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  1. Bringing CreDo to life With COP26 on the horizon, we are fully immersed in preparing to showcase the Climate Resilience Demonstrator - CReDo. We have appointed two partners to help us communicate the story in an engaging and inspiring way and demonstrate the huge potential of information sharing. Firstly, we are working with Crocodile Media to develop a short, dramatic film that will tell the story of a flooding event and how connected digital twins may provide a better response to climate disasters. The second partnership is with ESRI, a provider of online maps and 3D models of cities, who are developing an interactive demonstrator that will allow the public to test out various scenarios on a made-up city. The purpose of both will be to demonstrate how information sharing across organisational boundaries is a key enabler to improving resilience of infrastructure systems. We have organised an event “Increasing our climate resilience through connected digital twins” on the 2nd of Nov to watch the film, see the interactive tool in action and find out more about how connected digital twins can help to tackle climate change. We’re delighted that the project doesn’t end with COP26 – instead, the technical development of CReDo will continue until next year and will be delivered through a collaboration of research centres and industry partners; The Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, Newcastle and Warwick will work alongside the Hartree Centre, DAFNI, Science and Technology Facilities Council, CMCL Innovations, the Joint Centre of Excellence in Environmental Intelligence, CPNI and Mott MacDonald. We are also delighted to be working in partnership with three major UK utility providers; Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks who are equally committed to making bold steps towards resilient infrastructure. Progress on IMF’s seven circles We have been moving forward with all seven circles of the Information Management Framework from top level ontologies, to integration architecture to information quality management. One document I particularly want to highlight is ‘Managing Shared Data’, an exciting piece of work being developed by @Matthew West, Technical Lead for the NDTp. He is bringing together the lessons we’ve learned over the past three years since publication of the Pathway toward an IMF report and providing clarity on what it means for organisations to manage information effectively, an essential enabler for connecting digital twin. It is in development and we’re hoping to release the final document by the end of the year. DT Hub There are three main activities to highlight for October: DT Hub website update. We’re keen to keep improving the useability and layout of the site so the new version of the DT Hub will include a public facing page, with all the resources to make it easier to access public documents. It also includes a page to host all information related to CReDo. DT Roadblocks workshop series. As the community progresses on their digital twin journeys, it is inevitable there will be a myriad of challenges. The great aspect of being part of a community is that there are others who have faced similar challenges and can share their learnings or provide insights in to how to overcome your particular hurdle. Our first workshop is aptly named, “Problems shared, problems halved”. If you would like to be part of a constructive discussion, do sign up to this series, running until the end of the year. Smart Infrastructure Index. We have just launched our latest SII survey to enable members to measure their digital maturity and benchmark progress against peers. When members complete and submit the survey, the SII will generate a personalised report including a score and targeted recommendations. The idea is that it enables users to identify areas for improvement and to support the prioritisation of future activities. The survey is open until mid-November and can be accessed here.
  2. Danny Murguia

    Network FOuNTAIN Online Survey

    Information ontologies and management in a digitised built environment The Network FOuNTAIN is inviting professionals in the AEC industry to participate in our survey that investigates the role of information ontologies and management for a digitised built environment. If you have experience in managing digital information, help us understand the level of adoption of information ontologies and information management activities and their relationship with performance outcomes. To access our survey please click here: https://lboro.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/network-fountain-survey. For comments and feedback please contact the Principal Investigator, Dr Peter Demian, at P.Demian@lboro.ac.uk.
  3. until
    The Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) project from the National Digital Twin programme is holding a webinar to launch the project to a global audience in conjunction with the COP26 climate conference on 2nd November at 10:30-12. This webinar replaces the weekly Gemini Call, and the DT Hub community are encouraged to sign up, as well as inviting their wider networks to attend. The climate emergency is here now, and connected digital twins are an important part of achieving net zero and climate resilience. The CReDo team will present how the project meets this urgent need, and will premiere two exciting outputs – a short film and an interactive visualisation of how connected data across three infrastructure networks can provide better insights and lead to better resilience of the system-of-systems overall. Only if we come together to securely share data across sectors can we plan a smarter, greener, more resilient built environment. Book your spot today! Keep an eye on the DT Hub website for updates about the CReDo programme.
  4. I came across an EU funded project "xr4all" which provides a development environment(among other things) for XR projects. The details are here: https://dev.xr4all.eu Will it be possible for the NDT programme to provide similar platform for DT community in the UK? It will help in fostering rapid collaboration and development of the DT ecosystem. Thanks and kind regards, Ajeeth
  5. Version 1.0.0

    30 downloads

    A Survey of Industry Data Models and Reference Data Libraries published in November 2020 is the initial version of a continuous work to identify and assess existing Industry Data Models and Reference Data Libraries in terms of scope, quality and formalisation of the documentation, formalisation of the representation, maintenance frequency, usage … This survey is key to identifying existing industry data models that may have to be mapped into the NDT’s Foundation Data Model and Reference Data Library (RDL). Additionally, this work is intended to help the technical team to identify potential authoritative sources for key classes that will become part of the NDT’s RDL (for instance, units of measure). The list is open, and more standards are being added to the survey on the DT Hub. Please refer to this page to see the most up-to-date list and don’t hesitate to suggest standards for the team to add to the list.
  6. Version 1.0.0

    41 downloads

    To underpin the sharing of data across organisations and sectors, the National Digital Twin progamme (NDTp) aims to develop an ontology - a theory of what exists, i.e. the things that exist and the rules that govern them – capable to describe “life, the universe and everything” (Adams, 1980). As set out in the Pathway towards the IMF, this ontology will consist of: a Foundation Data Model – the rules and constraints on how data is structured an ecosystem of Reference Data Libraries, compliant with the Foundation Data Model – the particular set of classes and properties we use to describe digital twins. To achieve the consistency required to share information across organisations and sectors, the Foundation Data Model needs to be underpinned by a Top-Level Ontology (TLO), i.e. the top level categories (“thing”, “class”, …) and the fundamental relationships between them that are sufficient to cover the scope of a maximally broad range of domains. As a starting point to define the NDT’s TLO, the technical team has reviewed and classified existing TLOs in A survey of Top-Level Ontologies, published November 2020, and assessed them against a set of requirements. This has led to the identification of 4 potential candidates for the NDT’s TLO: BORO, IDEAS, HQDM and ISO 15926-2, as set out in The Approach to Develop the FDM for the IMF publication. Ontologies continue to be added to the survey. Please refer to this page to see the most up-to-update list and to suggest other ontologies for the team to consider.
  7. 57 downloads

    As set out in the Pathway to the Information Management Framework, the Integration Architecture is one of the three key technical components of the Information Management Framework, along with the Reference Data Library and the Foundation Data Model. It consists of the protocols that will enable the managed sharing of data across the National Digital Twin. In the Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper, the National Digital Twin programme’s (NDTp) technical team sets out key architectural principles and functional components for the creation of this critical technical component. The team defines a redeployable architectural pattern that allows the publication, protection, discovery, query and retrieval of data that conforms to the NDT’s ecosystem of Reference Data Libraries and the NDT’s Foundation Data Model. The paper will take you through: A requirement overview: a series of use cases that the Integration Architecture needs to enable, including: routine operational use cases: where data from a diverse set of organisations can be shared and analysed for a single purpose (e.g to support legal and regulatory requirements) the ability to respond to an emergency: pulling together data from across different communities in a way that was not foreseen before the incident that caused the requirement ‘business as usual’ NDT maintenance use cases such as publishing a Digital Twin or adding a user to the NDT ecosystem. Architectural principles: key architectural principles that must be adhered to, regardless of the type of architecture that is implemented, including: Data quality: data quality needs to be measurable and published with the data itself Privacy of the published data: the Integration Architecture shall ensure that data is shared and used only according to the conditions under which it was published. Security: ensuring that all data and functions are secure from bad actors. Encryption will be a particularly key aspect of the security features in the Integration Architecture. Recommended integration architecture pattern: Three general architectural pattern options are explored in the paper (centralised, distributed, and federated). The benefits and concerns for each pattern are discussed with respect to the requirements. The recommended architectural pattern is a hybrid of these three approaches – centralising certain functions, whilst distributing and federating others. The recommended pattern is intended to allow datasets to be shared locally (i.e., within an NDT Node, see figure below), but will also allow for inter-node discovery, authorisation and data sharing to take place. NDT Nodes may be established by individual organisations, regulators and industry associations, or service providers and will be able to handle Digital Twins on behalf of their constituent organisations and provide a secure sharing boundary. In the recommended architecture: Datasets are published by the data owner (1), these are then made available to the organisations within the community of interest, in addition an event is issued to register publication with the Core (2). When queries are submitted (A), the dataset can then be discovered by organisations in other communities of interest (B) and retrieved where appropriate (C). The release, discovery and retrieval are carried out according to the authorisation service so that access is controlled as specified by the data owner. Detail of the functional components: The Core Services are likely to be quite thin, comprising mainly of: a master NDT Catalogue that holds the location of available NDT Datasets across the ecosystem the master FDM/RDL that will synchronise with the subset that is relevant for each NDT Node a publish/ subscribe model to propagate data changes to parties that have an interest and appropriate contract in place. The Core and each NDT Node shall interact through a microservice layer, with which they shall have to be compliant. Next steps: The paper concludes with a list of ten key tasks to develop further the Integration Architecture components. We will make sure to inform you on progress and in the meantime, we are looking forward to hearing your questions and comments.
  8. Version 1.0.0

    33 downloads

    In May 2020 the National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) published the Pathway to an Information Management Framework (IMF). The publication was accompanied by an open consultation to seek feedback on our proposed approach and to hear from across the community about how they thought the IMF should develop to support their use and adoption of it. The consultation ran until the end of August, with ongoing engagement with the programme’s technical stakeholders, we received a great deal of valuable feedback. The full summary of the IMF Pathway Consultation Responses is published here today, written by Miranda Sharp, NDTp Commons Lead.
  9. Version 1.0.0

    29 downloads

    The Approach to Develop the Foundation Data Model published in March 2021 follows up on the Survey of Top-level Ontologies (TLO) published in November 2020. It sets out the Top-Level-Ontology requirements for the NDT's Foundation Data Model. Drawing upon the assessment of the TLOs listed in the Survey of Top-level Ontologies, it identifies 4 potential candidates for the NDT’s TLO: BORO, IDEAS, HQDM and ISO 15926-2: The four candidates are distinct from the other TLOs in being 4-dimensionalist, i.e. they consider individual objects as four-dimensional, with both spatial and temporal parts.
  10. Version 1.0.0

    108 downloads

    The Information Management Framework (IMF) is intended to enable better information management and information sharing at a national scale and provide the standards, guidance and shared resources to be (re)used by those wishing to participate in the National Digital Twin ecosystem. While the scope of the IMF is broad, the “7 circles of Information Management" diagram is a pragmatic way to divide the information management space into areas of concern that can be addressed separately whilst supporting each other. It identifies coherent areas of interest that can be addressed relatively independently. As part of the second circle of the diagram, the IMF technical team has released this paper outlining our recommended approach to developing information requirements, based on the analysis of process models. The methodology first identifies an organisation's processes, the decisions taken as part of the process, and then the information requirements to support the decisions. These are communicated to those who create the information. This provides a systematic approach to identifying the information requirements and when it is most cost-effectively created. Managed appropriately, this information capture can avoid costly activity to create information by surveying or inspecting in-use assets. To allow this anticipation of information needs, the methodology set out in the paper recommends the following steps: identify the lifecycle activities that an organisation performs decompose the activities in order to identify the material “participants” involved (“things” required for each activity: people, resources, assets, equipment, products, other activities, …) identify the decisions critical for these activities identify the information requirements for those decisions and the quality required. Read more in the blog containing a video introduction to the “7 circles of Information Management” by IMF Technical Team Lead, Matthew West, followed by a deep dive into the second circle – Process Model based Information Requirements – presented by Al Cook, main author of this paper.
  11. 61 downloads

    The National Digital Twin programme, in partnership with the Construction Innovation Hub, has released a Capability Enhancement programme, as a follow-on from the Skills and Competency Framework published in March 2021. The Capability Enhancement programme aims to provide organisations and individuals with tools and guidance to understand and cultivate the skills and knowledge needed to support the National Digital Twin, as outlined in the Skills and Competency Framework. The Capability Enhancement Programme includes a self-assessment survey to help individuals assess their competency level against a chosen role and a training register that provides a starting point for individuals and organisations to develop a training plan. Self Assessment Questionnaire Training Register Watch this video for further insights into the steps you can take to help your organisation grow their information management maturity and get ready to become part of the National Digital Twin:
  12. Version 1.0.0

    34 downloads

    Following a year-long consultation exercise bringing together leading experts from the data science and information management communities, The pathway towards an Information Management Framework (IMF) report was published in May 2020. This report sets out the technical approach to deliver the Information Management Framework, a common language by which digital twins of the built and natural environment can communicate securely and effectively to support improved decision taking by those operating, maintaining and using built assets and the services they provide to society. The report outlines three building blocks to form an appropriately functioning technical core: · Foundation Data Model (FDM): a consistent, clear understanding of what constitutes the world of digital twins · Reference Data Library (RDL): the particular set of classes and properties we will use to describe our digital twins · Integration Architecture (IA): the protocols that will enable the managed sharing of data. A webinar, The pathway towards an Information Management Framework, was held on 8 June 2020, you can watch it here: Following the publication of the report,  an open consultation to get feedback on the methodology proposed was run and feedback was consolidated in the following summary.
  13. During Tuesday’s Gemini call, the above was raised to help promote awareness of the CDBB Digital Twin programme with developers and the alike. This struck me as a pretty good idea.. So based on the Gemini Principles and my understanding of the IMF pathways document, the below is a draft suggestion for the pot, to provoke the thoughts and ideas of the community: The IMF is rooted in the Gemini Principles; a collaborative top-down approach, driven by bottom-up integrated processes, embracing holistic systems thinking and pragmatic ontology, enabled by secured digital platforms, to derive better delivery and asset lifecycle outcomes. Its key value proposition is that it enables the story of an asset, infrastructure system or system of systems, registering its trigger events and the evidence-, risk-based decisions-making, from cradle-to-grave, the digital golden thread generating future benefits.
  14. Matthew West, Technical Lead, National Digital Twin Programme, introduces a video on the 7 circles of Information Management and Process Model Information Requirements. Join Matthew and Al Cook, a member of the technical team of the NDTp and an expert in data integration activities and information security, as they take you through key elements of the Information Management Framework and detail a new approach to effective information management. A video is available to view below, with a live Q&A session from 10:00 to 10:30 on Thursday 15 July 2021. Access to quality and well-managed information in organisations is key to support decision making and optimise outcomes at all levels. Decisions based on poor quality information, or no information at all, can significantly increase the risk of mistakes or even disasters. Systematically implementing information management ensures the ability to deliver the right information to the right decision-makers, at the right time. It is a critical success factor for the National Digital Twin (NDT), an ecosystem of connected Digital Twins where high-quality data is shared securely, on a massive scale to improve decision making across the UK. The “7 circles of Information Management”: developing the Information Management Framework The Information Management Framework (IMF), a collection of open, technical and non-technical standards, guidance and common resources, is intended to enable better information management and information sharing at a national scale and provide the building blocks to be (re)used by those wishing to be part of the NDT. The scope of the IMF is broad and the “7 circles diagram” that I introduce in the video below is a pragmatic way to divide the Information Management space into areas of concern that can be addressed separately as well as supporting each other. It is intended to help identify areas and associated NDTp deliverables that are of particular relevance to you. The technical aspects of the IMF may come first to your mind. On top of “information transport” mechanisms, together with authorisation and security protocols, to ensure that information can be accessed seamlessly, the NDT needs a language, an inter-lingua, so that data can be shared consistently and used to support decisions without requiring any further “data wrangling”. To develop this common language (the NDT’s ontology) the team is pursuing a principled approach, deeply grounded in mathematics and science to ensure that it is as extensible and all-encompassing as possible. This is what the deepest circles of the 7 circles diagram are about. There is, however, much more to the Information Management Framework than the purely technical aspects, and as part of the highest circles of the 7 circles diagram, we are developing guidance on how to systematically improve information management so that producing data that meets the quality standards required to be part of the NDT becomes part of “business as usual”. A first step towards better information management: defining your information requirements This means that while the NDT’s ontology is being developed, steps can be taken to work towards better information management. Organisations need to reach a point of recognition that there is a need to address data quality in a way that enables improved decisions within their own business and with those they have data-based relationships with. And defining Information Requirements (the second circle in the stack) is a key starting point. Process Model based Information Requirements Too often, information requirements are incomplete or even absent in organisations, with the implication that if requirements are not identified and agreed there is no reason that they would be met. As part of the second circle of the “7 circles diagram”, the team has released a paper outlining the proposed approach to developing information requirements, based on the analysis of process models. This is a novel approach, ensuring the systematic identification of information needed (no more, no less) to support decisions and to identify where it is captured. I encourage you to watch Al Cook’s presentation in the second part of the video to find out more about this approach. The team and I hope to share more detailed guidance on information management in the near future, helping you to assess your organisation’s current information management maturity, prioritise areas for obvious improvements in decision-making and start addressing them, so that mistakes can be avoided and better outcomes achieved. And as we continue to further develop the Information Management Framework, we look forward to accompanying you through the discovery of other circles among the 7 circles of Information Management. This video contains an introduction to the 7 circles of Information Management presented by Matthew West followed by a presentation by Al Cook on a suggested approach to define information requirements. Al and Matthew look forward to answering your questions and talking about next steps in a live Q&A session on the DT Hub, on the 15/07 from 10:00 to 10:30.
  15. Hello Everyone! What approach do you all suggest one should take if the project/idea being worked on is an upcoming new domain and where DT seems to be a perfect match? My project idea is in education space and I think DT will make a huge difference and revolutionise the way education is delivered. I would like some guidance on how I should start with respect to DT. What should be my starting point? I am a software engineer, so I am comfortable with software development, tools and libraries. Thanks and kind regards, Ajeeth
  16. The digital future of the built environment relies on the people that will create it. In our integrated world, over two thirds of UK leaders say their organisation is facing a digital skills gap (Microsoft, 2020) - we have a challenge and opportunity to close this gap whilst realising the benefits of the National Digital Twin. Working as part of the Mott MacDonald and Lane4 team appointed by the Construction Innovation Hub, we have developed a Skills and Competency Framework to raise awareness of the skills and roles needed to deliver a National Digital Twin. The skills and roles identified relate specifically to the Information Management Framework (IMF) - the core component of the National Digital Twin that will enable digital twins to speak the same language. The future of the National Digital Twin is in your hands Seize the opportunity to use this Skills and Competency Framework, to underpin digital twin development and IMF adoption. Without understanding the skills and roles required, there is a risk that organisations may deploy staff lacking sufficient skills to develop their digital twins. A skills gap could also risk poorly designed digital twins which do not support interoperability and connectivity with the IMF or failed digital twin pilots and projects which have direct economic consequences for those organisations. Accelerating progress with skills development With the Skills and Competency Framework, we can accelerate progress, reduce the rate of digital twin failure and ensure consistency in the approach to enable the National Digital Twin – all while establishing a pathway for digital skills and capability enhancement across the UK. We can do this by: Communicating the value of data as infrastructure, and the importance of literacy, quality and security Taking a systems-thinking approach to see data, technology and process as part of an interconnected ecosystem Having a collaborative and adaptable culture that is benefits driven, focused on outcomes to achieve and recognise the role people play in achieving this Find out how to achieve this by using the Skills and Competency Framework and stay tuned for a supporting Capability Enhancement Programme with role-based training plans and skill self-assessments. Learn by doing, Progress by sharing This Skills and Competency Framework is the first of its kind, but the topic of digital skills development in our industry is not. Throughout the development of the Framework, we have engaged with stakeholders and material from many bodies such as the Construction Innovation Training Board (CITB), Open Data Institute and other CDBB initiatives around skills. We intend to progress the Framework by sharing it with the industry and connecting to other bodies, industries and people with similar purposes and goals as CDBB. We are open, we are collaborative and we are ready to close the skills gap.
  17. We all know that Ontologies have a massive role to play in the realisation of the Information Management Framework and the wider National Digital Twin Programme. But damn(!), they can be hard to work with. Create an Ontology of any scale and the existing academic tools such as Protégé become pretty unmanageable pretty quickly. And that's before you try to explain your ontology to any sort of Normal Human. Even the most curated Ontology can be flabbergasting to the majority of people. If we are going to use Ontologies to define the logic behind Digital Twins, and crucially if we expect to be able to explain that logic to Normal Humans, then we need a better way of visualising, filtering, and editing our Ontologies. That's where OntoPop comes in. It's intended as a free-to-use, open source, non-proprietary Ontology visualisation tool. Highways England have funded the OntoPop MVP using innovation funding. Our hope is that we can expand its use across the other infrastructure owners and suppliers involved in the National Digital Twin programme, and use it to co-develop and own functionality that ultimately we are all going to need at some point. The MVP of OntoPop is now available to play with on the link below. Please visit https://ontopop.com/ and tell us what you think, all feedback is appreciated. We're particularly interested in if you would like to work on this project with us.
  18. As set out in the Pathway to the Information Management Framework, the Integration Architecture is one of the key technical components of the Information Management Framework. It consists of the protocols that will enable the managed sharing of data across the National Digital Twin. In the recently released Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper, the NDTp’s technical team set out key architectural principles and functional components for the creation of this critical technical component. The team defines a redeployable architectural pattern that allows the publication, protection, discovery, query and retrieval of data that conforms to the NDT’s ecosystem of Reference Data Libraries and the NDT’s Foundation Data Model. Download the Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper The Integration Architecture Pattern and Principles paper will take you through: A requirement overview: a series of use cases that the Integration Architecture needs to enable, including: routine operational use cases: where data from a diverse set of organisations can be shared and analysed for a single purpose (e.g to support legal and regulatory requirements) the ability to respond to an emergency: pulling together data from across different communities in a way that was not foreseen before the incident that caused the requirement ‘business as usual’ NDT maintenance use cases such as publishing a Digital Twin or adding a user to the NDT ecosystem. Architectural principles: key architectural principles that must be adhered to, regardless of the type of architecture that is implemented, including: Data quality: data quality needs to be measurable and published with the data itself Privacy of the published data: the Integration Architecture shall ensure that data is shared and used only according to the conditions under which it was published. Security: ensuring that all data and functions are secure from bad actors. Encryption will be a particularly key aspect of the security features in the Integration Architecture. Recommended integration architecture pattern: Three general architectural pattern options are explored in the paper (centralised, distributed, and federated). The benefits and concerns for each pattern are discussed with respect to the requirements. The recommended architectural pattern is a hybrid of these three approaches – centralising certain functions, whilst distributing and federating others. The recommended pattern is intended to allow datasets to be shared locally (i.e., within an NDT Node, see figure below), but will also allow for inter-node discovery, authorisation and data sharing to take place. NDT Nodes may be established by individual organisations, regulators and industry associations, or service providers and will be able to handle Digital Twins on behalf of their constituent organisations and provide a secure sharing boundary. In the recommended architecture: Datasets are published by the data owner (1), these are then made available to the organisations within the community of interest, in addition an event is issued to register publication with the Core (2). When queries are submitted (A), the dataset can then be discovered by organisations in other communities of interest (B) and retrieved where appropriate (C). The release, discovery and retrieval are carried out according to the authorisation service so that access is controlled as specified by the data owner. Detail of the functional components: The Core Services are likely to be quite thin, comprising mainly of: a master NDT Catalogue that holds the location of available NDT Datasets across the ecosystem the master FDM/RDL that will synchronise with the subset that is relevant for each NDT Node a publish/ subscribe model to propagate data changes to parties that have an interest and appropriate contract in place. The Core and each NDT Node shall interact through a microservice layer, with which they shall have to be compliant. Next steps The paper concludes with a list of 10 key tasks to develop further the Integration Architecture components. We will make sure to inform you on progress and in the meantime, we are looking forward to hearing your questions and comments on the paper!
  19. 136 downloads

    The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB’s) National Digital Twin programme, in partnership with the Construction Innovation Hub, has released a Skills and Competency Framework to help individuals, organisations and training bodies to understand the roles and competencies needed to support the National Digital Twin. This new resource represents the first step in a journey to set out and develop the skills and competences required to re-imagine your career pathway or grow your organisation. Download the 'Top Trump' Role Profiles
  20. The vision of a National Digital Twin as an ecosystem of connected digital twins enabling better social and economic outcomes across the built environment continues to gain wide support. But to make it a reality, we need people with the right skills to put it into play. “Collaborate on the rules and compete on the game” is a phrase we use to describe how we want connected digital twins to evolve. The sporting analogy carries over well into skills. We want the best teams to deliver on the National Digital Twin, not just a team of strikers or goalkeepers but diverse teams with a range of skillsets and capabilities. Diversity has to be at the heart of a skills strategy ensuring that the future workforce is more effective. The skills & competency framework sets out the skills that are needed to manage information and work with data in the future. These aren’t just what we might see as hardcore technical skills such as data modelling and analytics which are described as digital skills but also business skills like transformational leadership which recognises the benefits of getting information management right. The capability enhancement programme sets out pathways for individuals and organisations to get the right skills in place depending upon aspirations both at the personal level and the organisational level. Have a go at the self-assessment questionnaire to assess what training might be helpful to you and take a look at the training register to find a suitable course. The National Digital Twin is a long term journey and there is time to get the right skills in place to reach our destination.
  21. Last May the National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) published our proposed Pathway to an Information Management Framework (IMF). The publication was accompanied by an open consultation to seek feedback on our proposed approach and to hear from across the community about how they thought the IMF should develop to support their use and adoption of it. The consultation ran until the end of August, alongside ongoing engagement with the programme’s technical stakeholders, we received a great deal of valuable feedback. The full summary of the IMF Pathway Consultation Responses is published today, written by Miranda Sharp, NDTp Commons Lead. Overall, the responses to the Pathway were positive and respondents welcomed the opportunity to give feedback and contribute to its improvement. This was hugely gratifying for everyone who has contributed to the work over the last 18 months. Some of the responses to the pathways document challenged the proposed approach and we are keen to keep learning from these differences of opinion and perspective. In the paper we have summarised the range of responses in the table below: Positive response themes Nuanced response themes and questions Critical response themes The work is welcome and progress towards it is considered consistent with the Gemini Principles. The plans to build on existing work are particularly welcome. Discussion of the technical challenge is valid but respondents called for human factors associated with change to be explored in parallel. A small number of respondents rejected the approach as too “top down”. There was broad agreement that the IMF should consist of a FDM, RDL and IA. Representatives from organisations often sought an indication for tangible next steps. Some respondents stated that more than a single Integration Architecture is required. The models and protocols described in the report were seen as comprehensive. There were specific asks for advice on data quality, security, legal provenance and the securing of benefits from investment. Several responses disputed the possibility and validity of a single FDM . More details about the responses can be found in the paper, but what we are hoping is to use this space in the IMF Community to discuss and work on the themes raised here in the IMF Community. Do you agree or disagree with these themes? Do you think any are missing? What work do you think could be done to address the questions and criticisms? Some work has already begun: The legal, commercial and regulatory elements of resilient and secure sharing of information. You can read about our first steps on this journey, Legal Roundtables held in November, here under the Digital Commons/ Legal. The need for a demonstrator and guidance for communicating the benefits of a National Digital Twin and how to begin readying organisations for the change. There was demand for use cases, case studies which is being addressed through the Gemini Programme and the DT Toolkit. Work has been undertaken this year, with funding from the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) to create an FDM Seed for the CIH’s Platform Design Programme. We hope this will be the first demonstrator, of sorts, for the technical work that is being developed by the NDTp’s Technical Team. You can see the outputs of the Technical team here, and we will be releasing the next paper, Approach to develop the Foundation Data Model (FDM) here soon. We are planning further demonstrators that show the tangible benefits of the National Digital Twin, we hope to be able to share our plans with you in the near future. The Programme also strives to continue to build a body of evidence (‘Corpus’)), as per the Tasks set out in the Pathway, to build other demonstrators for the programme. Alongside this work the publication of the Response to IMF Pathway Consultation will contribute to the development of an updated Pathways document that will refocus efforts of the NDTp. We hope to share that will you in the coming months.
  22. Last month, on Thursday 25 February, techUK released a landmark report ‘Unlocking Value Across the UK’s Digital Twin Ecosystem’, alongside the much anticipated publication of the CDBB’s ‘Digital Twin Toolkit’ report. Please see here for the full recording of the session: To kick-off, Tom Henderson (Programme Manager, Smart Infrastructure & Systems, techUK) thanked members of the Digital Twins Working Group (DTWG) for their deep insight and hard work, welcoming the publication before running through the different parameters of techUK's report- highlighting the core strategic conclusions and recommendations (2:57) which focus on the need to: Develop a cross-cutting, interdisciplinary coordinating body to drive forward digital twin adoption and diffusion in the UK Demonstrate value from (and explore barriers to) the adoption and diffusion of digital twins via a series of strategic demonstrators Trigger the adoption of digital twins across the UK by exploring the development of an online digital twin procurement portal Work with industry to identify talent pipeline requirements and anticipate levels of future demand for skills across the UK’s digital twin ecosystem Fund a Net Zero 2050 digital twin demonstrator to establish the UK as a global leader in leveraging digital twins for decarbonisation Following the release of the techUK report, Sarah Hayes (Change Stream Lead, National Digital Twin Programme) provided an insightful overview of the NDTP and ran through the significance and findings of the newly released DT Toolkit (9:05), which looks at: What is a digital twin? What can a digital twin be used for? Key case studies How to build a business case template? How to develop a digital twin roadmap? Thanking the Toolkit team for their hard work and deep technical expertise, Sarah signposted the opportunity to continue engaging in the development and application of the DT Toolkit via the Digital Twin Hub – an online resource where you can learn more about emerging digital twin initiatives and share insights across the UK’s digital twin ecosystem. techUK looks forward to continuing work with the CDBB and encourages techUK members of all shapes and sizes to sign up for the DT Hub moving forward! Subsequently (23:30), delegates heard from the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Science, Research and Innovation – Amanda Solloway MP, who took the time to welcome the publication of the reports and expressed optimism around the role that digital twin technologies can play in enabling the UK to become a world-leading scientific superpower. In particular, the Minister discussed the link between digital twins and possibilities to drive prosperity, create new products, services, and jobs, and to transform public services. techUK would like to thank Minister Solloway for taking the time, and welcomes the Government’s recognition that digital twins are critical – not only for our recovery from the pandemic, but also to our long-term growth and productivity. Download and read the full report here.
  23. Today we are delighted to publish the Approach to Develop the Foundation Data Model for the Information Management Framework. This document follows up on the November publication of the Survey of Top-level Ontologies (TLO) and the Survey of Industry Data Models (IDM) and Reference Data Libraries (RDL). (You can find these publications under Gemini Commons/IMF technical Documents.) The pragmatic and technical requirements for the Foundation Data Model have now been developed and consideration has been given as to whether any existing Top-Level Ontologies could be used as a suitable start-point. The Approach takes you through these requirements, the assessment of the surveyed TLOs to the final decision. There are four Top-Level Ontologies that meet all the technical requirements: BORO, IDEAS, HQDM and ISO 15926-2. They are distinct from the other Top-Level Ontologies in being 4-dimensionalist. These allow us to see individual objects as four-dimensional, having both spatial and temporal parts. You can find the Approach to Develop the FDM for the IMF here
  24. In November 2020 the National Digital Twin programme programme published the Survey of Top-level Ontologies (TLO) and the Survey of Industry Data Models (IDM) and Reference Data Libraries (RDL). You can find these publications under Gemini Commons/IMF technical Documents. The technical part of the proposed pathway to an Information Management Framework comprises of three main elements: A Foundation Data Model A Reference Data Library, and An Integration Architecture which define a common structure and meaning for the consistent and integrated sharing of information. The pragmatic and technical requirements for the Foundation Data Model have now been developed and consideration has been given as to whether any existing Top-Level Ontologies could be used as a suitable start-point. There are four Top-Level Ontologies that meet all the technical requirements: BORO, IDEAS, HQDM and ISO 15926-2. They are distinct from the other Top-Level Ontologies in being 4-dimensionalist. These allow us to see individual objects as four-dimensional, having both spatial and temporal parts. We are therefore proceeding to develop the Foundation Data Model seed from these 4-dimensionalist Top-Level Ontologies. The Approach to Develop the Foundation Data Model for the Information Management Framework has been published here alongside the Surveys in the Gemini Commons/ IMF Technical documents. If you would like to ask any questions about the publication, the methods taken and choices made, head over to the IMF Community Network where the programme team are available to respond.
  25. Industries involved in the creation and management of built assets require effective, resilient and secure data and information sharing and aggregation. Much of this information is needed throughout the life of the asset and needs to be shared with a number of organisations. This is critical not only for asset management, but to support the services provided by the asset, as well as other considerations such as measuring the accumulating carbon in order that a net zero footprint can be achieved. As a result, a formal mechanism to ensure that the right information can be made available at the right time, to the right people and that the quality of the information is known and understood, is required. The Information Management Framework (IMF) is such a mechanism, the technical part of which comprises three main elements: A Foundation Data Model A Reference Data Library, and An Integration Architecture. The Foundation Data Model (or ontology) and Reference Data Library define a common structure and meaning for information that is shared between organisations within and across sectors and domains. Together, therefore, they enable the consistent sharing and integration of information. The Integration Architecture comprises a combination of technologies that enables this sharing of data between databases and the systems that use them. The pragmatic and technical requirements for the Foundation Data Model have now been developed and consideration has been given as to whether any existing Top-Level Ontologies could be used as a suitable start-point. There are four Top-Level Ontologies that meet all the technical requirements: BORO, IDEAS, HQDM and ISO 15926-2. They are distinct from the other Top-Level Ontologies in being 4-dimensionalist. These allow us to see individual objects as four-dimensional, having both spatial and temporal parts. We are therefore proceeding to develop the Foundation Data Model seed from these 4-dimensionalist Top-Level Ontologies. More detailed information on the requirements and the process followed is set out in the ‘Top-Level Ontology Survey’ and the attached ‘The Approach to Develop the Foundation Data Model for the Information Management Framework’ documents. The Approach to Develop the FDM for the IMF.pdf
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