National Digital Twin Programme
Guiding industry towards building a smarter nation that improves lives and creates a more sustainable planet for the public good.
The UK is establishing itself as a world leader in the development and application of digital twin technology. A significant milestone was reached in July 2018, when HM Treasury launched the National Digital Twin programme (NDTp), hosted by the University of Cambridge.
What is a National Digital Twin?
Individual digital twins are already being constructed across the country, creating efficiencies and better outcomes through improved use of data. The NDTp is creating the building blocks to enable these isolated twins to connect and form an ecosystem of interconnected digital twins. Each connection will take us one step closer to creating a National Digital Twin and unlock the immense value of sharing high-quality, secure data.
The result will not be a huge singular twin of the entire built environment. Instead, it will consist of a ‘federation’ of digital twins, or an ecosystem of digital twins, joined together via securely shared data.
Serving the public good
The NDTp is taking a collaborative and transparent approach to aligning the digital twin community and ensuring best practice and progress are shared. All aspects of the programme have a socio-technical perspective, with the goal of empowering others to advance change and embrace connected digital twins within their own organisations.
The aim is to serve the public good: interconnected data sharing leads to better insights, learnings and decision-making, with huge benefits in creating a more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective built and natural environment.
- Enable a National Digital Twin – an ecosystem of connected digital twins to foster better outcomes
- 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
Who is involved?
The NDTp is a collaboration of academia, industry and Government. Senior leaders from each of these sectors have been appointed to a Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) which acts as an advisory group, chaired by Mark Enzer, Chief Technical Officer of Mott MacDonald.
Benefits of the National Digital Twin
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.
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.
New markets, new services, new business models, new entrants. Improved business efficiency from higher-performing infrastructure. Optimised delivery efficiency, benefiting the whole value chain – investors, owners, asset managers, contractors, consultants, suppliers. Reduced uncertainty and better risk management.
Less disruption and waste. More reuse and greater resource efficiency – a key enabler of the circular economy in the built environment. Key to addressing global environmental concerns such as NetZero. Impossible to solve in silos – only through an interconnected approach can progress happen.
To make the vision of the NDT a reality, we need to have the right components and practices in place. Having accomplished a lot of the groundwork, we are now focused on developing these three areas:
The Digital Twin Hub
A web-enabled collaborative community for early adopters or future users of digital twins from across the spectrum of industry, academia and policy.Go to the DT Hub community
An Information Management Framework
To establish a common language by which digital twins can communicate securely and effectively, covering everything from information governance to standards and security.Go to the IMF
The National Digital Twin Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo)
A project to examine the impact of extreme weather on energy, water and telecoms networks, and how a collaborative, data-sharing approach can improve their resilience to climate change.Go to CReDo
NDTp progress towards a National Digital Twin
A paper setting out the proposed principles to guide the national digital twin and the information management framework that will enable it.
A prioritised plan for five core streams responsible for the delivery of the information management framework.
Digital Twin Hub
A web-enabled community for early adopters of digital twins to learn through sharing and progress by doing
A paper advocating a shift in vision for infrastructure that is people-focused and system-based
Pathway towards an IMF
A technical paper and a summary paper on the proposed technical core for the information management framework
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