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Prof. Rehan Bhana

Director of Innovation, Birmingham City University

Rehan, with more than 20 years in the digital and tech space directing higher education programmes, has lead and contributed to many digital transformation projects where innovation plays a central role.

He particularly inspired us with his journey to founding Innovation Fest (IF), an exemplary piece of Birmingham City University practice-based education, that brings together and serves both research and industry communities. IF became a flagship innovation event in Birmingham that’s being adopted and franchised by a global community under various initiatives, fostering talent and strengthening cross-institutional co-operation; such are ‘ImagineIF’ here in Sri Lanka, the Innovation Project curriculum in China as well as the European Innovation Fest 2020, funded under Erasmus+ Knowledge Alliance through the PhD Hub project.

Rehan also leads the Innovation Lab, where the next-generation are working with experts to develop digital solutions and systems that are leading the transformation of the City of Birmingham towards becoming a smarter city. A number of projects and use-cases have been produced and validated at the Innovation Lab over the years in collaboration with various communities of practice in both academia and the industry. This has enabled the community to reach its potential, while also being indicative of Rehan's practical approach to build a sustainable ecosystem.