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RachelJudson

The National Digital Twin programme is a national programme, built on consensus.  As the open consultation on our proposed approach to an IMF draws to a close, Miranda Sharp IMF Engagement Lead at CDBB shares how the DT Hub members can continue to shape its development. 
We believe the IMF is the key to enabling secure, resilient data sharing between organisations and sectors in the built environment and want to work with you to devel0p it.  Greater use of digital technologies and information in the built environment increases capacity, efficiency, reliability and resilience. This in turn enables existing assets to enhance service provision for people, as well as improving efficiency in design and delivery of new assets through a better understanding of whole-life performance of those assets already in place. We know that by working collaboratively with members of the DT Hub, who share in that vision, we will end up with a better end result. My role within the programme is to help make your voice heard, and to open conversations where you can ask the challenging questions we need to find answers to. 
During the next phase of the consultation we will be running in-depth interviews with practiti0ners to understand the challenges the proposed approach faces, and how these could be resolved. We want to know if the approach be top down or bottom up – or both? We want to hear your thoughts, ideas and reflections, both positive and negative.
In working collaboratively to establish the IMF we will enable a National Digital Twin that is implementable and usable, in order to enable society to tackle the urgent and cross-silo challenges of achieving carbon reduction targets and effectively coordinate disaster response. We will also be able to derive the greater benefits of securely connecting our data assets.

This process will require debate and deliberation along the way and invite many questions to which answers might not be immediate or clear. That is because our vision to create a digital built Britain is not complete or static; it is an evolving development emerging from multiple voices and viewpoints across a wide range of organisations – big and small, public and private, clients and contractors. 
Our webinar marking the publication of the report attracted a range of questions and this is precisely what is needed to interrogate the approach, to challenge its strengths, identify weaknesses and test resilience. Some people are keen to know if CDBB has started to build a prototype to demonstrate the framework but, as the pathway document explains, we must first build consensus on the prosed approach to an IMF – one cannot happen without the other.

 


Work is underway to create a thin slice of an IMF to start to establish and test a common language and apply this early framework to a platform being developed by the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) and put it under scrutiny. But first we need to map out the approach that will enable a demonstrable piece of the framework. The top-level academic contribution to the developing framework will also be studied closely to ensure it is robust and resilient, able to withstand change, to grow and expand. Challenge will simultaneously come from the bottom-up when organisations will input to test competency. 
The IMF is designed to make connections between digital twins and provide operators and decision-makers with resilient and secure verified data sharing to enable a wider view of the implications of decisions and insights that invite timely interventions and potentially better outcomes. The decision-making and the form it takes is the responsibility of organisations and businesses themselves and beyond the scope of this report – but we do want to hear your views. 
With that in mind we have created two new communities here on the DT Hub – Architects and Developers – dedicated to the discussion around the development of the IMF and the operational implementation of the Framework within organisations. 
Our Architects Community has been established for those involved in real-world application and implementation of information management. The group will test and calibrate the NDT programme’s approach to the IMF and provide a forum for discussion on challenges, opportunities and the practicalities for implementation. Our Developer Community, comprising information management, data science and integration specialists, is bringing scrutiny to the IMF approach and has been established to provide a rich discussion area for the core concepts, tenets and philosophies of the Framework and its constituent parts. If you have ideas, questions or observations about the Pathway document then please engage with us via these two new communities. 
Achieving alignment, interoperability, protocols, governance and standards to allow individual businesses to flourish while serving the interests of society needs engagement and contribution from as many of you as possible. It is time to collaborate at scale. I look forward to working together to shape an IMF to secure the sharing of data, enabling insight to drive informed decision-making is an essential process, unlocking value and delivering better outcomes for the greater good. 

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Steven Zhang
On 04/09/2020 at 20:34, RachelJudson said:

Some people are keen to know if CDBB has started to build a prototype to demonstrate the framework but, as the pathway document explains, we must first build consensus on the prosed approach to an IMF – one cannot happen without the other.

I think I have to agree with 'some people' mentioned above. With a prototype (or a mockup), it will be helpful for getting people's feedback, and help the process of concensus building. Otherwise, the idea or concept of national digital twin can be intengible. I guess "slice of an IMF " maybe considered a type of prototype. Would love to join both Communities to explore.

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