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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

The National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) is run by the Centre for Digital Built Britain, a partnership between the University of Cambridge and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Launched by HM Treasury in July 2018, the NDTp was set up to deliver key recommendations of the National Infrastructure Commission’s 2017 'Data for the Public Good Report'.

High-quality, secure data can improve how infrastructure is built, managed, operated and eventually decommissioned. It is therefore crucial that this data is captured and used effectively to bring forward savings for stakeholders and ensure societal benefits for all. This focus is reflected in the NDTp’s objectives: 

  • Enable a National Digital Twin – an ecosystem of connected digital twins to foster better outcomes from our built environment;
  • Deliver an Information Management Framework – to ensure secure resilient data sharing and effective information management;
  • Align a Digital Framework Task Group – to provide coordination and alignment among key players.

The NDTp has set up the Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) as advisory group. The DFTG is made up of senior leaders within industry, academia and Government and is chaired by Mark Enzer, Chief Technical Officer of Mott MacDonald. The DFTG reports to HM Government through the CDBB’s Strategic Advisory Board.

CDBB’s NDTp is a key step in the digital transformation of the infrastructure and construction sectors. Supported by Government, we are uniting the collective knowledge of construction professionals and diverse voices of experts to set the framework that will empower others to advance change and embrace connected digital twins within their own organisations. The NDTp runs the Digital Twin Hub, a collaborative and supportive web-enabled community for those who own, or who are developing digital twins within the built environment.

The NDTp is working with future users and early adopters of digital twins to develop an information management framework to connect digital twins to deliver benefits to all. The creation of the framework forms an integral part of HM Government’s modern Industrial Strategy and Construction Sector Deal.

Benefits of the National Digital Twin

The National Digital Twin offers better outcomes for all stakeholders per whole-life pound spent in the built environment:

  • Benefits to society: Transparent stakeholder engagement. Better outcomes for the ultimate customers - the public – taxpayers/bill payers/fare payers/voters. Improved customer satisfaction and experience through higher-performing infrastructure and the services it provides.
  • Benefits to the economy: Increased national productivity from higher-performing and resilient infrastructure operating as a system. Improved measurement of outcomes. Better outcomes per whole-life pound. Enhanced information security and thereby personnel, physical and cyber security.
  • Benefits to business: New markets, new services, new business models, new entrants. Improved business efficiency from higher-performing infrastructure. Optimised delivery efficiency, benefiting the whole construction value chain – investors, owners, asset managers, contractors, consultants, suppliers. Reduced uncertainty and better risk management.
  • Benefits to the environment: Less disruption and waste. More reuse and greater resource efficiency – a key enabler of the circular economy in the built environment.

Work programme

Programme delivery is led by Peter El Hajj, Head of NDTp Delivery at CDBB. Programme Admin: Helena Brimson, CDBB.

Contact: ndtprogramme@cdbb.cam.ac.uk

The NDT programme is made up six of core streams:

DT Hub stream

To provide a learning and best practice sharing community for those who are testing and developing digital twins within the built environment.

DTHub Stream Lead: Samuel Chorlton, Data Engineer at Redbox
Stream Senior Coordinator: Alexandra Robasto, CDBB.

Website: https://digitaltwinhub.co.uk/
Contact: DTHub@cdbb.cam.ac.uk

Commons stream

To develop the necessary national support for effective information management via products, guidance, specifications and standards​. Taking a “minimum viable” approach to the development of a national-level framework resource for effective information management in the built environment​.

Commons Stream Lead: James Harris, CEO at Turner-Harris.
Stream Senior Coordinator: Rachel Judson, CDBB.

Change Stream

To facilitate the adoption of the framework across the whole ecosystem of the built environment, particularly amongst the early adopters and early majority of both twins and the framework.

Change Stream Lead: Sarah Hayes, Independent Consultant.
Stream Senior Coordinator: Anne Guinard, CDBB.

Governance stream

Stream delivery on hold - To establish the structures and processes for managing the framework through three phases of development, adoption and (sector specific) ongoing oversight.

Governance Stream Lead: Paul Campion, CEO at TRL.

Enablers stream

Stream delivery on hold - Designing and delivering a prioritised and proactive programme enable the changes required for the adoption of the information management framework and compliant digital twins.

Enablers Stream Lead: James Harris, CEO at Turner-Harris.

Approach stream

Stream delivery complete - To set up coordinated and aligned activity across the whole NDT programme, which will deliver the framework and the benefits of effective information management in the built environment. The Approach stream concluded with the publication of the Pathway document.

Approach Stream Lead: Miranda Sharp, Independent Consultant.

Key milestones

Initial activity focused on aligning industry and government behind a common definition and approach to information management, so that data can be shared openly and securely between future digital twins. This includes::

  • Gemini Principles (2018), a paper setting out the proposed principles to guide the national digital twin and the information management framework that will enable it;

  • DFTG roadmap (2018), a prioritised plan for five core streams responsible for the delivery of the information management framework;

  • Digital Twin Hub launch (2019), a web-enabled community for early adopters of digital twins to learn through sharing and progress by doing;

  • Flourishing Systems (2020), a paper advocating a shift in vision for infrastructure that is people-focused and system-based.

  • Pathway towards an IMF (2020), a technical paper and a summary paper on the proposed technical core for the information management framework.

  • Gemini Programme (2020), this programme aims to develop resources for the DTHub community and expand the outreach of the Information Management Framework and of the NDTp itself. The Gemini programme brings together people and organisations willing to volunteer by contributing time and resources to the NDTp to develop materials for use by the DT Hub community.  Find out more and get involved

    If you would like to actively participate in a Gemini project please email the team at: NDTprogramme@cdbb.cam.ac.uk.

Key milestones on the NDTp are accessible on the interactive National Digital Twin timeline. Learn more about CDBB’s National Digital Twin Programme here.

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