Introduction to the Digital Twin (DT) Hub “themes”

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Priority themes

The DT Hub is the place for early adopters to share good practice and learn from each other based on real-world experience. DT Hub activities focus on facilitating collaboration between members, to gain greater understanding and catalyse progress towards realising the potential benefits of digital twins. Discussions are grouped into a set of thematic areas (themes), the first three of which are:

  1. Testing digital twin concepts: What are digital twins, what are main building blocks for twins and how can we develop common understanding?
  2. Digital twin competencies: What capabilities, skills and culture are needed to successfully implement twins?
  3. Pathway to value: building and sharing value cases; what is the roadmap to increased scale and greater value?

The idea is to combine good thinking from members’ strategies, use cases and projects. As well as leaning from the wider market. This will generate guidance and recommendations to feed into the wider National Digital Twin (NDT) Programme.

Why start here?

The selection of the initial three themes reflects a desire to address “foundational” concepts and thinking on digital twins. That is, to take on some of the shared challenges to build common understanding and unblock or accelerate opportunities. The work on these themes can then help to tackle the:

  • Need for clarity on whether something can really be classed as a twin, and understand the key building blocks of a twin, to evaluate  vendors claims; and to enable greater consistency for future development of twins
  • Desire to better understand the skills and cultural orientation needed as twins are rolled out operationally (e.g. what does a field engineer want to do with a twin, versus someone from an innovation team)
  • Requirement to build fuller value cases (which include societal, environmental and financial benefits) as twins move from initial pilots towards wide-scale implementation

The initial work on themes will also provide a foundation to address other key priorities based on the Gemini Principles (which set out proposed principles to guide the national digital twin and the information management framework that will enable it) such as data quality and security. The better we understand the scope and key building blocks of digital twins (through activities such as the discussions relating to theme 1), the easier it will be to consider what digital twin use cases will be most valuable, which will also help inform security-related and other requirements.

The three themes also relate to each other. Understanding more about the definitions, concepts and buildings blocks for digital twins (theme 1) will inform the skills, capabilities and organizational culture that may be required to successfully implement twins (theme 2). Equally, these themes will be vital to help each organization to shape clear strategies and roadmaps and to map out a pathway to value at scale (theme 3).

Focus on projects and use cases

A major focus of this community is to “learn by doing and progress through sharing”. Each theme will draw directly on the work that members are doing and planning related to digital twins. Members are invited to share insights from their work on digital twin strategies and applications. In particular, the more that you can share on your projects in the “DT (Digital Twin) Register” section of the portal the more we can all learn from each other.

The goal is also to share thinking on common use cases, and leverage these to test evolving thinking for each theme. We’re already starting to do that for theme 1, where examples of important digital twin use cases include:

  • Predictive maintenance, progressing to increased automation and even “self-healing” assets
  • Efficiency and carbon reduction in logistics
  • Planning (from short term operational needs, through to longer term strategy and resilience)


How to get involved

There are lots of ways to get involved and contribute your ideas, or tap into the content and insights being generated for each theme including:

  • Telling us about your digital twins in the DT (Digital Twin) Register
  • Joining a webinar to discuss the themes. (We are sending out invitations for a theme 2 webinar on 24th March). Review materials from previous webinars on the “Resources” page
  • Commenting on posts in the “Themes” pages, starting with the first theme on “Testing digital twin concepts”. Think there’s something we should be talking about? Start a new topic or let us know about through “Contact Us” at the bottom of each page
  • Joining a live conversation to dig into the themes in more detail (we’ll share more on these later)


(From the DT Hub facilitation team).

the_pathway_towards_an_imf.pdf DTHUb_NewbieGuide_May2020_(1).pdf HUB Version_DT Standards Roadmap_November 2020 (3).pdf

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