Welcome to our August editorial!
In this month’s editorial, Justin Anderson, DT Hub Director, and Ryan Goodman, Connected Digital Twins Team Lead, discuss the highlights of the digital twin summit and provide an update on a very busy couple of months for the team.
What was the most memorable part of the summit for you?
Justin: I think having Jesse Norman launch the Transport Digital Twin Roadmap at the event was really significant and what stood out for me was that the Gemini principles were baked into that roadmap. It validates what we’ve been working on, and it’s great to see that it's now sitting there as a policy document for the next 12 or so years. You could sense his enthusiasm for digital twins and I think it was important for him to be looking out at an active community that could help with his plans.
It was also a real achievement that we managed to bring together nearly 1000 people and start to align that community around addressing some of the common challenges that we face such as the skills gap or how to scale up.
Ryan: My highlight was that we were able to demonstrate what is possible with digital twins. Often people get caught up in the conceptualisation of digital twins, so I think being able to showcase practical and tangible examples of what digital twins are and how they can be used was great. At the Catapult, we also have a workspace that can provide a 360 degree immersive experience (Igloo) and we were able to take in groups throughout the day to show how digital twins are being used for the planning and design of for example, the Emirates stadium or the Paris Olympics.
I also agree with Justin around the sense of community and belonging that the summit showcased. It was amazing to have such an international presence, with 53 countries represented, and I think that shows how accessible and inclusive a group it is.
A community is only as strong as the people that support it and contribute to it, so the event would never have been able to reach as many people or had the visibility and gravitas it had without the 27 partner organisations that supported the summit. These big name brands played a pivotal role in the event, making sure it was a success, so we’re really grateful to them.
Justin: It was also an important moment because there's just so many things that we're launching and the event became a focal point for us to announce them. We did a lot of work beforehand on working out a programme that we call the Gemini Alliance, which is essentially a partnership between the DT Hub and education and training providers to tackle the future of digital twin skills. Cranfield is the first provider that we're going to be working with very closely and we announced a new partnership with them to deliver a digital twins skills course.
We want to encourage people to browse our redesigned website – there is so much useful, practical information there including 6 new online learning modules launched at the summit and 8 new case studies that show the value of digital twins in different contexts. The learning modules are designed to help unlock the full value of data in the digital twin ecosystem and they form an important foundation to build on as we continue to address needs within the Gemini papers around the skills and capability gap.
Furthermore, and as part of the Connected Places Podcast series, we launched a new feature focusing on our Community Member’s experience of working within the digital twin ecosystem. For the first feature, we partnered with Royal Haskoning DHV to look at the power of digital twins, and we will continue to release other stories from our Community members as the year progresses.
Ryan: I think the DT Hub has sometimes been perceived as an online community, but this summit showed the importance of coming together as a community to learn and inspire each other. It’s something we definitely want to continue and we already have a date for next year’s event, so please put the 20th June 2024 in your diaries!