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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

Since its creation in 2018, the National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) has had three objectives: 

  1. Enable a National Digital Twin – an ecosystem of connected digital twins to foster better outcomes from our built environment 

  2. Deliver an Information Management Framework – ensure secure resilient data sharing and effective information management 

  3. Align a Digital Framework Task Group to provide coordination and alignment among key players. 

In 2021 and with the Digital Framework Task Group of senior leaders from industry, academia and government overseeing progress, it is at a point where key projects are being realised and support for its work is gathering momentum. Here is a summary of the latest developments from Head of Programme Delivery, Peter El Hajj. 

The Digital Twin Hub community is now in excess of 2,000 members and its remit to create technical foundations and to provide a co-ordinated community in which to share expertise and knowhow on digital twins is being met with enthusiasm and support from a diverse range of participants across the UK and beyond.  

This year is proving pivotal in terms of active engagement with our members to better understand their digital maturity and needs, especially through surveys, community activities and international summits. And in parallel is the publication of key documents and resources including the Digital Twin Toolkit and upcoming Collaborative Workshop to help companies make their business cases, and the Digital Twin Standards roadmap, a culmination of work by the British Standards Institute (BSI), which enables a framework for information management and sets out our programme for the next few years.  

Key to these activities is the willingness of members from both academic and industrial fields to share their own knowledge and experiences. Enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub we are sharing on the DT Hub a new series entitled Digital Twin Journeys to focus on academic research and lessons learned from digital twin projects focused on construction: buildings, infrastructure and industrial, and satellite applications. In parallel, we will engage with industry to run a consultation on our Flex 260 Standards as well as a second Smart Infrastructure Index (SII) Survey which tracks, in the first instance, digital and organisational maturity levels of asset owner and operator members.  

At the end of August, we also announced the launch of three thematic workshops to address Digital Twin Roadblocks by progressing the conversation and surfacing the challenges faced by organisations while embarking on their digital twin journeys. The aim is for members to discuss experiences and to elicit the main challenges and blockers encountered in their programmes to date. These monthly workshops will commence at the end of September 2021.  

Our work on the Information Management Framework, to allow the smooth adoption of digital twin technologies, has also gathered pace with the introduction of a methodology to divide the information management space into manageable segments. The 7 circles approach provides the building blocks for informed decision making and will deliver better information management and information sharing on a national scale. 

The NDTp’s CReDo project will be running a webinar on 2 November 2021 to coincide with COP26 to give insight into our plans to develop a digital twin across water, energy and telecoms to improve resilience across the infrastructure system. CReDo – Climate Resilience Demonstrator – is applying an Information Management Framework approach to share data across water, energy and telecoms service providers, combined with hydrology and climate data from the Met Office, to help plan for and adapt to the cascading effects of increased flooding due to climate change. Registration for the webinar will be opening soon. 

Contact: Peter El-Hajj