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Season’s Greetings!

It’s been a turbulent but also amazing year! Thanks to all for your hard work over the last year in ramping up Digital Futures into one of Europe’s leading research environments focusing on the sciences for digital transformation. Let me take this opportunity to reflect on a few highlights from 2021 and some coming activities in 2022.

The Digital Futures community is growing. About two hundred research leaders and their teams are now engaged in projects and other activities. They work with the broader industrial, societal, civil and academic communities represented by the more than 2 500 people who now subscribe to our newsletter. Digital Futures invest in fundamental cross-disciplinary research trying to understand the implications of autonomy, machine learning, data privacy and cyber security on our society and how digitalisation can transform the world into a more sustainable and human place.

About seventy projects are now up and running. Many of them, such as the research pairs, have enabled new collaborations across disciplines and support young faculty members to strengthen their research agenda. International recruitments of students, postdocs and faculty members are targeted through various activities and instruments: career development workshops for postdocs and fellowships for strategic faculty recruitments are two such examples successfully implemented this year. Our Industrial and Societal Partnership Program has established four new projects ranging from smart construction of infrastructure to online rehabilitation of COVID-19 patients, illustrating how by teaming up with the Stockholm City and Region and industrial partners we can create competitive teams with the potential for real impact.

And what is coming 2022? We are starting off with a new Digital Transformation Institute call on AI to transform cybers-security and secure critical infrastructure. Here Digital Futures faculty members will team up with colleagues at UC Berkeley, UIUC, CMU, MIT, Princeton, Stanford, and the University of Chicago, for instance, to develop AI algorithms that are resilient to adversarial attacks. Our first scholars in residence will arrive at the beginning of the year. They are internationally leading researchers, including a Leibniz Prize awardee, who will give intensive PhD courses, engage in research collaborations and much more. The Industrial and Societal Partnership Program will continue to grow with new partners, projects and road-mapping. One important component will be new instruments addressing the joint development and use of testbeds, infrastructure and data. With these partners, we are also looking forward to further developing our flagship event Digitalize in Stockholm.

Let me finally extend a special thank you to our fantastic operations team: Anna, Johanna, Linnea, Sissi and Åsa, you are doing an outstanding job running Digital Futures and creating a warm and welcoming spirit for us all to enjoy.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season and a wonderful 2022!

Karl H Johansson

Director, Digital Futures