Editorial March 2021 – Growth and inclusion

Digital Twin Hub > Articles & Publications > Editorial March 2021 – Growth and inclusion

An Inclusive Community 


When the DT Hub was launched, our aim was to underpin all the content, discussion and collaboration with a sense of inclusivity. A year on, that goal very much remains – our feeling is that the more diverse perspectives we can bring into the community, the better. We want everyone to feel comfortable adding to the conversation, whatever their background and wherever they are on their digital twin journey. We hope that everyone feels that there is no question too simple or too complex to put forward.  


With that in mind, it is wonderful to see the community widening and in February we welcomed international members. In just 3 weeks we had 350 new members join, a 35% increase in our overall membership numbers. It demonstrated again the appetite that exists for being part of a collaborative community. It also paves the way for connecting infrastructure beyond our national borders. Even if digital twins across countries might not be possible for another 10 or 20 years, bringing people into the conversation as early as possible maximises the chance of success. 


Connecting Academia and Industry 


In February, we also launched the Research Register to encourage greater collaboration between academia and industry. We’re aware that industry aren’t always clear about what is happening in research, or how to engage with them and that research isn’t always as surfaced as it should be. Having a central place for the research to be shared will go a long way to addressing this.  


There is benefit for academics too as they often struggle to get real-life scenarios to trial their research against. We hope that this can be a place where they connect with industry partners to help them as they measure applicability and impact. 


Hub Insights 


A real highlight for me over the last couple of months has been hosting our first few Hub Insights interviews. It has been fascinating to hear what some of our members are up to in the digital twin space, but also to capture the kind of interactions we would normally be having outside the virtual world – a chance to ask a bit about who they are and their journey to where they are now.  


The shared take-away from all the interviews is that they are deeply passionate about unlocking the value of digital twins. Working for the public good is a huge motivation and Alexandra Bolton, Executive Director for CDBB, summed it up well in our first interview, “If we can connect data and use it better, we can find the right answers to some of the biggest questions and make a real difference to the lives of future generations.” 


Coming up in March 

As we reach our one year anniversary, we will be taking stock in our first annual benchmark report, to be released this month. It’s an opportunity for us to share the progress and learnings we have made as we’ve grown from a community of 10 members to over 1,200. It’s also a chance to define a set of objectives and recommendations for 2021, based on careful reflection. 


We will also continue with our Hub Insights series. On March 16th at 11:30 I will be interviewing May Winfield from BuroHappold Engineering and Peter Van Manen from Frazer-Nash Consultancy. They were both a part of the toolkit team which developed the Digital Twin Toolkit. Please register now to join us. 


An ongoing focus for March and the rest of the year is establishing a community council which will help transition the DT Hub into more of a community-led group. We’re hoping they can help build connections and drive conversations.  


As a result of some of the conversations we’ve already had on the Hub, we are now ready to commence on the first standards in the built environment for digital twins. It’s really through the feedback and insights of the community that projects like this are coming to fruition and the final report is due in May.  


To keep posted on all the above please check in regularly on the DT Hub website as well as on our social media channels: Twitter – @CambridgeCDBB and LinkedIn – Digital Twin Hub. 

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