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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge. It seeks to understand how the construction and infrastructure sectors can use a digital approach to better design, build, operate, and integrate the built environment. The Centre was established by HM Government in the 2017 Autumn Budget as the home of the UK BIM and Digital Built Britain Programmes. The Centre’s founding mission is ‘to develop and demonstrate policy and practical insights that will enable the exploitation of new and emerging technologies, data and analytics to enhance the natural and built environment, thereby driving up commercial competitiveness and productivity, as well as citizen quality of life and well-being.’

The Centre for Digital Built Britain is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the University of Cambridge to deliver a smart digital economy for infrastructure and construction for the future and transform the UK construction industry’s approach to the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure.

Digital technology is changing the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is already transforming the UK construction industry.

Over the next decade this technology will combine with the internet of things (providing sensors and other information), advanced data analytics, data driven manufacturing and the digital economy to enable us to plan new infrastructure more effectively, build it at lower cost and operate and maintain it more efficiently.

Digital built Britain seeks to digitise the entire life-cycle of our built assets finding innovative ways of delivering more capacity out of our existing social and economic infrastructure, dramatically improving the way these assets deliver social services to deliver improved capacity and better public services. Above all, it will enable citizens to make better use of the infrastructure we already have.

The Centre for Digital Built Britain mission is to develop and demonstrate policy and practical insights that will enable the exploitation of new and emerging technologies, data and analytics to enhance the natural and built environment,  thereby driving up commercial competitiveness and productivity, as well as citizen quality of life and well-being.

CDBB has progressed from start-up mode – which was termed ‘research-policy-change’ – generating publications including the Gemini Principles, the Roadmap to the Information Management Framework and the Capability Framework and Research Agenda. This was accompanied by additional activity involving the wider community and provided us with the evidence and knowledge needed to plan our route and generate our to-do list to reach a digital built Britain.

Our next phase is ‘discovery engine to delivery engine’. CDBB activity at the heart of this phase will focus on supporting innovation, ensuring alignment, and continuing collaboration.

Five flagship pillar programmes support the discovery to delivery engine: Future research programmeNational Digital Twin programmeEmerging practices and technologies programmeInternational programme; and UK Implementation programme. In turn these five progammes are underpinned by Communications and EngagementSecurity, and Supporting industry programmes designed to secure alignment and collaboration. This is crucial to implement innovation, receive input at any stage, and allows CDBB to share and optimise our outputs.

Our evolved structure is intended to foster clarity for all stakeholders interested in our programme and provides mechanisms for engagement and collaboration. While we are ambitious, CDBB cannot deliver this programme of change alone and we need people to join in on the way. We don’t only want to talk to the people who agree with our vision – and actively encourage you to challenge us; if we aren’t doing something right then we need to know. This is a shared journey.