Editorial View – Talking value, May 2020

Digital Twin Hub > Articles & Publications > Editorial View – Talking value, May 2020

Talking value 

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since my last update. It has been great to see a fantastic level of engagement for our recent Digital Twin Talks and our webinar on the “Pathway to value”, with more coming up for you to get involved in later this month. 

Before I get into that, I thought it would be useful to reflect briefly on the role that digital twins can play in increasing the resilience of our infrastructure, economies and societies. Digital twins can help us to improve long-term planning, including by assessing a wide range of scenarios, as well as considering the impacts of potential risks and threats to physical infrastructure and related services. They can also increase flexibility and dynamism in responding to shocks as and when these occur in future. This fact has even been recognised by the World Economic Forum (WEF) who cited the National Digital Twin programme within an article relating to infrastructure resilience and recovery

A more resilient future should also be a more sustainable one and there is a golden opportunity to shape a recovery that meets both goals. This includes looking at our existing infrastructure and how we protect and utilise it. As well as being open to fresh ideas about how we plan, build, operate and decommission or dynamically repurpose new infrastructure. This is a clear priority for the UK and international governments, and the Committee for Climate Change has just set out six principles for a resilient recovery.  

We’d love to see some of your ideas on digital twins and resilience in the DT Hub, from the projects you are involved in now through to your plans for the future. 


Twin Tuesdays 

Could there be a better day of the week to discuss digital twins? Our Digital Twin Talks kicked off on Tuesday 28th April with a video and live online discussion on “Towards a Web of Digital Twins” from Olivier Thereaux, Head of Research and Development at the ODI. Olivier made a fascinating connection between networks of digital twins and the thinking behind the world wide web. This prompted a lively debate on a wide range of topics including interoperability, taxonomies, data sharing, standards and being driven by a clear purpose. 

You can still view the conversation thread (and add further thoughts or comments) here

This was swiftly followed up by a talk on 5th May with Brian Matthews, Project Lead for the Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI). DAFNI are providing exactly the kind of data infrastructure that the ODI are calling for and that can support sharing and connections between data and models. This sparked another lively discussion, with questions and comments on data and metadata, on how people can access and use DAFNI, on the carbon impacts of transport infrastructure and more. 

You can still view the conversation thread (and add further thoughts or comments) here

The next session took place on Tuesday 12th May with Dr Tanguy Coenen from Imec, with a focus on city-level digital twins. 


Pathway to value 

We had lots of great discussion during our theme 3 webinar “Pathway to value” on 30th April. Many thanks if you were able to join us and share your perspectives. If you couldn’t make it, then there are still plenty of opportunities to get involved. 

During the session, we discussed how digital twins can deliver economic (profit), social (people) and environmental (planet) benefits, as well as considering some of the blockers to overcome. We also began to look at proposed activities for the theme and related priorities for members. 

The slides we used, including high-level information we captured from you on valuable use cases, are now available to download from the Resources section.  

We have also created a dedicated discussion forum for this theme which you can access here. Please do continue to contribute your ideas on use cases that can drive value in this section, as well as any other thoughts you have on how we can realise the anticipated benefits. 

In addition, if you would like to share information about specific projects, then it would fantastic if you can add these to the DT Register. If you need any help with this then please don’t hesitate to come back to me or to other members of the wider CDBB team. 


How to get involved 

A quick reminder of a few of the ways you can get involved in DT Hub activities: 

  • Comment on an existing post or start a new topic in the Members Forum 

  • Add a summary of your digital twin projects to the DT Register (a register of digital twin projects – we’d be very happy to help to write these up) 

  • Join the next Digital Twin Talk on 12th May, with one more planned for 19th May and then a digital roundtable to bring all the speakers together on 26th May 

  • Let us know through the “Contact Us” option at the bottom of each page what other activities and content you would like to see in the portal in future  


We hope you enjoy the latest content and activities – and look forward to seeing you online soon. 


Samuel A Chorlton 

Chair, DT Hub Steering Group 

13th May 2020 


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