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  1. PRESS RELEASE With the announcement that the Digital Twin Hub will transition to an Industry/Catapult partnership housed at the Connected Places Catapult (CPC), we are pleased to add that the next phase of the National Digital Twin programme’s Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) will also move to CPC. This next phase will build on the excellent efforts of the interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral team who worked on CReDo so far. This work is being shared openly to contribute to a culture of secure data sharing for the purposes of resilience and adaptation to climate change. The first phase of CReDo, showing the benefits of connected digital twins across infrastructure networks on adaptation and resilience, is coming to a close at the end of March. This phase of the project, funded by UK Research and Innovation, the University of Cambridge and CPC, wrapped up with a public webinar on 2nd March 2022, which was attended by over 240 participants and featured insights from the technical development team, funders and asset owners. So far, CReDo has demonstrated how collaboration through connected digital twins is key to tackling climate change. The project is marking the move into its next phase at CPC with a series of outputs that will share key findings, benefits, lessons learned and the technical approach to this first-of-its-kind collaboration. These are all openly available on the Digital Twin Hub from today. Discussing the urgency for collaboration through connected digital twins, Sarah Hayes, Head of the CReDo project, said: “The risks arising from failing to adapt to climate change are huge. CReDo seeks to mitigate these risks by increasing our understanding of infrastructure interdependencies and the future impact of interventions to increase resilience. The CReDo team have worked incredibly hard to lay the foundations for increasing infrastructure system resilience. It is the skills of our people, supported by new technologies, which will take forward our capability to tackle climate change through connected digital twins.” Pointing to the potential for this work to have a positive impact, Mark Enzer, Head of the National Digital Twin programme, said: “In a wonderfully tangible and relevant way, CReDo has shown the value of enabling secure information flow across sector boundaries. But this should be just the beginning. The idea of connecting digital twins must be extended to other sectors and other use cases – not only in addressing climate change, but wherever we need to understand systems better and intervene more effectively. I believe in CReDo!” Looking forward to the next phase of the project, Yalena Coleman, Director of Applied Data & Technology at CPC, said, “Integrated infrastructure is a key strategic focus area for Connected Places Catapult, and we will be investing in further phases of CReDo, working together with partners to take forward the key learnings from this phase. We will ensure the learnings are shared with the wider community and across other relevant initiatives like the Digital Connectivity Infrastructure Accelerator, National Underground Asset Register and others; and link up industry, academia and government thinking in this area.”
  2. We all want the built environment to be safe and to last. However, minor movements over time from forces such as subsidence can impact how well our assets perform. It can also make connecting and modifying assets harder if they have shifted from the position in which they were built. If the assets are remote or hard to access, this makes tracking these small movements even more difficult. The latest instalment from the Digital Twin Journeys series is a video showing the construction and built environment sectors what they need to know about remote sensing and using satellite data, featuring the Construction Innovation Hub-funded research by the Satellites group based at the Universities of Cambridge and Leeds. Using satellite imaging, we may be able to detect some of the tell-tale signs of infrastructure failure before they happen, keeping services running smoothly and our built environment performing as it was designed over its whole life. You can read more from the Satellites project by visiting their research profile. This research forms part of the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s (CDBB) work at the University of Cambridge. It was enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, of which CDBB is a core partner, and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).
  3. Osama Zaki

    Connected Digital Things

    Several Terms such as Digital Ecosystem, Digital Life, Digital World, Digital Earth have been used to describe the growth in technology. Digital twins are contributing to this progress, and it will play a major role in the coming decades. More digital creatures will be added to our environments to ease our life and to reduce harms and dangerous. But can we trust those things? Please join the Gemini call on the 29th of March; Reliability ontology was developed to model hardware faults, software errors, autonomy/operation mistakes, and inaccuracy in control. These different types of problems are mapped into different failure modes. The purpose of the reliability ontology is to predict, detect, and diagnose problems, then make recommendations or give some explanations to the human-in-the-loop. I will discuss about these topics and will describe how ontology and digital twins are used as a tool to increase the trust in robots. Trust in the reliability and resilience of autonomous systems is paramount to their continued growth, as well as their safe and effective utilisation. A recent global review into aviation regulation for BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Sight) with UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) by the United States Congressional Research Office, highlighted that run-time safety and reliability is a key obstacle in BVLOS missions in all of the twelve European Union countries reviewed . A more recent study also highlighted that within a survey of 1500 commercial UAV operators better solutions towards reliability and certification remain a priority within unmanned aerial systems. Within the aviation and automotive markets there has been significant investment in diagnostics and prognostics for intelligent health management to support improvements in safety and enabling capability for autonomous functions e.g. autopilots, engine health management etc. The safety record in aviation has significantly improved over the last two decades thanks to advancements in the health management of these critical systems. In comparison, although the automotive sector has decades of data from design, road testing and commercial usage of their products they still have not addressed significant safety concerns after an investment of over $100 Billion in autonomous vehicle research. Autonomous robotics face similar, and also distinct, challenges to these sectors. For example, there is a significant market for deploying robots into harsh and dynamic environments e.g. subsea, nuclear, space etc which present significant risks along with the added complexity of more typical commercial and operational constraints in terms of cost, power, communication etc which also apply. In comparison, traditional commercial electronic products in the EEA (European Economic Area) have a CE marking, Conformité Européenne, a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the EEA. At present, there is no similar means of certification for autonomous systems. Due to this need, standards are being created to support the future requirements of verification and validation of robotic systems. For example, the BSI standards committee on Robots and Robotic Devices and IEEE Global Initiative for Ethical Considerations in Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems (including P7009 standard) are being developed to support safety and trust in robotic systems. However, autonomous systems require a new form of certification due to their independent operation in dynamic environments. This is vital to ensure successful and safe interactions with people, infrastructure and other systems. In a perfect world, industrial robotics would be all-knowing. With sensors, communication systems and computing power the robot could predict every hazard and avoid all risks. However, until a wholly omniscient autonomous platform is a reality, there will be one burning question for autonomous system developers, regulators and the public - How safe is safe enough? Certification infers that a product or system complies with legal relevant regulations which might slightly differ in nature from technical or scientific testing. The former would involve external review, typically carried out by some regulators to provide guidance on the proving of compliance, while the latter usually refers to the reliability of the system. Once a system is certified, it does not guarantee it is safe – it just guarantees that, legally, it can be considered “safe enough” and that the risk is considered acceptable. There are many standards that might be deemed relevant by regulators for robotics systems. From general safety standards, such as ISO 61508, through domain specific standards such as ISO 10218 (industrial robots), ISO 15066 (collaborative robots), or RTCA DO-178B/C (aerospace), and even ethical aspects (BS8611). However, none of those standards address autonomy, particularly full autonomy wherein systems take crucial, often safety critical, decisions on their own. Therefore, based on the aforementioned challenges and state of the art, there is a clear need for advanced data analysis methods and a system level approach that enables self-certification for systems that are autonomous, semi or fully, and encompasses their advanced software and hardware components, and interactions with the surrounding environment. In the context of certification, there is a technical and regulator need to be able to verify the run-time safety and certification of autonomous systems. To achieve this in dynamic real-time operations we propose an approach utilising a novel modelling paradigm to support run-time diagnosis and prognosis of autonomous systems based on a powerful representational formalism that is extendible to include more semantics to model different components, infrastructure and environmental parameters. To evaluate the performance of this approach and the new modelling paradigm we integrated our system with the Robotics Operating System (ROS) running on Husky (a robot platform from Clearpath) and other ROS components such as SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) and ROSPlan-PDDL (ROS Planning Domain Definition Language). The system was then demonstrated within an industry informed confined space mission for an offshore substation. In addition, a digital twin was utilized to communicate with the system and to analysis the system’s outcome.
  4. until
    As this phase of CReDo draws to a close, the project team invites you to a webinar on 2nd march to share the project outcomes and learnings. Hear from the CReDo team about the technical demonstrator they delivered and the lessons they learned, and find out how you can pick up the vital work of collaboration through connected digital twins. The National Digital Twin programme has developed a Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo), a pioneering climate change adaptation digital twin project that provides a practical example of how connected data can improve climate adaptation and resilience across a system of systems. The product of a first-of-its-kind collaboration, CReDo looks specifically at the impact of flooding on energy, water and telecoms networks. It demonstrates how those who own and operate them can use secure, resilient, information sharing across sector boundaries to mitigate the effect of flooding on network performance and service delivery. It also provides an important template to build on to adapt it to other challenges, such as climate mitigation and net zero. To register, please click here.
  5. You’re invited to a webinar on 2nd March to find out how collaboration through connected digital twins can help plan resilient cities and infrastructure. The National Digital Twin programme has developed a Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo), a pioneering climate change adaptation digital twin project that provides a practical example of how connected data can improve climate adaptation and resilience across a system of systems. Watch the film Tomorrow Today, and try the interactive app to see what CReDo has been working towards. The CReDo team will use synthetic data developed through the project to show how it is possible to better understand infrastructure interdependencies and increase resilience. Join the webinar to hear from the CReDo team about the work that has happened behind the scenes of developing a connected digital twin. CReDo is the result of a first-of-its-kind collaboration between Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks, in partnership with several academic institutions. The project has been funded by Connected Places Catapult (CPC) and the University of Cambridge, and technical development was led by CMCL and the Hartree Centre. This collaboration produced a demonstrator that looks at the impact of flooding on energy, water and telecoms networks. CReDo demonstrates how owners and operators of these networks can use secure, resilient, information sharing across sector boundaries to adapt to and mitigate the effect of flooding on network performance and service delivery. It also provides an important template to build on to turn it to other challenges, such as climate change mitigation and Net Zero. Hear from members of the CReDo team – including the asset owners, CPC, and the technical development team - about the demonstrator they have delivered and the lessons they learned. If you’re interested in using connected digital twins to forge the path to Net Zero, then this event is for you. Register for our end-of-project webinar on 2nd March, 10:30 – 12:00: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/credo-collaborating-and-resilience-through-connected-digital-twins-tickets-228349628887
  6. Something (hopefully) of interest to share. A colleague at the University of Bristol, Dr Maria Pregnolato, was in Westminster this week as part of the Sense about Science event, talking to parliamentarians about how Digital Twins can predict when infrastructure fails. With others, Maria is exploring how DTs can increase the resilience of infrastructure. One project features a case study using the Clifton Suspension Bridge - more detail is here. This and other work is informing discussions with policymakers as it is seen as important to recognise that the value from DTs will be diminished if a number of Challenges to Implementation are not addressed, including: Compelling definitions and unclear processes Standardising protocols for data management Supporting engineering companies in the digital transition. It would be interesting to hear the thoughts of others.
  7. 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.
  8. Peter El Hajj

    NDTp August 2021 Editorial

    The summer was marked by our milestone event, the Cyber-Physical Fabric Summit, which took place on July 19th. It was a huge success with more than 800 people registered, and close to 400 people on the live calls and a series of insightful roundtable discussions. There was a live Zoom chat running in parallel to the summit, with the comments every bit as engaging as the content. Each roundtable had a further thread on the DT Hub to ensure that others could catch up on the discussion. The summit was not only useful in terms of pooling knowledge and ideas, but in creating movement towards the shared goal of developing an ecosystem of interconnected smart machines and digital twins. It left me feeling energized to hear from others who are equally excited about this journey and to have a cross section of academia, government and industry take part. The main takeaways for me were: The need for boundary spanning leadership. Our speakers underlined the importance of taking an interconnected and collaborative approach to working across sectors, industries and organisations. I liked the analogy of an octopus – something that joins the intelligent tentacles and makes them work together. Deep socio. In the same way that we have ‘deep tech’, there was a lot of discussion around ‘deep socio’ and ensuring the social side of creating our cyber physical fabric has equal weight to the tech side. There is a real need to address issues around ethics, privacy and commercial and regulatory requirements. Creating and adopting in tandem. It was great to see so much consensus around the importance of adoption. We need to constantly be implementing the latest research, so we can test and refine as we go along. Living labs. There was discussion around how we need to keep testing what we’ve created to really see what is working and what isn’t and what the impact is on real people. There’s a really interesting example taking place at MIT where their Living Labs programme is developing a scalable data management platform, allowing them to collect and integrate multiple types of data including: personal data or “small data” (collected by smart phones, activity tracking devices, or new wearable sensors); MIT data (wifi data, campus maps, event data etc); as well as external data types (social media data, transportation data, weather, city data etc). A further example worth following is the Smart Mobility Living Lab London where they are using smart mobility living as a test-bed for data innovation. DT Hub We continue to grow fast and have crossed the 2,000 member mark. We now have members from more than 1,000 individual organisations across 60 different countries. There has also been an increase in participation with many more new postings and threads being generated by our members. Do log on to add to the discussions! Also look out for our Flex 260 Standards, which opens for public consultation. Again we really value your feedback. As we grow, so does our need for additional staff and I’m delighted to welcome two great additions to the team: @Kirsten Lamband @Catherine Condie. Both come with a wealth of experience and will be driving our communications and engagement activities across the programme. CreDo Update CReDo, the Climate Resilience Demonstrator, is a climate change adaptation digital twin demonstrator project to improve resilience across infrastructure systems. We launched a new DTHub page for CReDo where we will be sharing progress and the benefits of cross sectoral information sharing to improve climate resilience across infrastructure. We are exploring examples of interdependencies map for infrastructure systems. Check out this thread and share any thoughts you might have. An important part of our Credo programme is communicating the technology and research to a diverse audience in an inspiring way. We have tenders out to create a video and would be grateful if you could circulate the following with your network
  9. Welcome! This discussion thread is for exploring opportunities to make better decisions about the interfaces between the built and natural environments of the UK by integrating models from these sectors. This conversation kicked off at an interdisciplinary workshop on 21 and 29 January, 2021. Participants have been invited to continue the conversation here, and to invite others who might want to join in. Questions to discuss include (but are not limited to): What new questions would a national digital twin (comprised of integrated models from built and natural sectors) be able to answer? Who are the stakeholders and how would they interact with integrated models and resulting decisions? What new opportunities and benefits would this integration enable? Where would the biggest impacts be? What are the research and development priorities based on these opportunities? How might this impact the development of the Information Management Framework (IMF) for a national digital twin? Finally, a report will come out by the end of March summarising the insights from the workshop, and that will be posted here for your reference.
  10. Tammy Au

    Digital Twins for Resilience

    In the interview with Eleanor Voss, policy advisor to the NIC, we have begun to explore the recommendations from the NIC regarding the incorporation of resilience standards and the adoption of these by regulators. Eleanor has provided a comprehensive overview of the most pertinent areas of the study to our members and has provided us with the opportunity to influence the route that these recommendations may eventually take. For those who are not aware, The NIC is an arm’s length body of the treasury. The Commission makes recommendations to government on economic infrastructure policy. If government accept the Commission’s recommendations, they become government policy. For example, in 2017, the NIC published the report, Data for the Public Good, which made recommendations to government on the opportunities that data, machine learning, AI and digital twins present for infrastructure planning, operation and resilience. Now, of course, following acceptance of many of the NIC’s recommendations in the report, the Centre for Digital Built Britain is taking forward much of this work through its National Digital Twin Programme. The Commission continues to play a role in steering this valuable programme. In the past, the NIC has approached resilience from a sector level, for example, water and energy, but with the current environmental, population and technological changes, resilience has become a pressing issue with a need for a cross sector approach. This is particularly highlighted by the interdependent nature of infrastructure. In 2018, the then chancellor asked the NIC to undertake a cross sector study, and to recommend to government, policy measures needed to ensure the resilience of the energy, telecommunications, water and transport sectors. A few weeks ago, the NIC published its study of infrastructure resilience – Anticipate, React, Recover: Resilient Infrastructure Systems. The report calls for government to set standards for the resilience of our infrastructure and create a framework to ensure that these standards will be met now and in the future. Today, of course, the impact of Covid-19 has meant that resilience is being discussed by everyone. Resilience? In order for an asset to fully satisfy its function in a manner that is effective it is often said that it is necessary for it to be resilient. But what do we actually mean by that? During the interview with Eleanor, she refers to it as infrastructure systems, engineering and organisational systems being able to: anticipate, resist, absorb, recover, adapt and transform. That places quite a high degree of responsibility on the ownership, operation and design of an asset or system. With the publication of the NIC report recommending Government publish resilience standards and for regulators to introduce these as new obligations on infrastructure operators by 2023, it is absolutely essential that we are able to understand how this might affect us and what preparatory work we can be doing now to be ready. Measure? The first part of ensuring that an asset is resilient is measurement. This is where we want to focus the discussion in the Hub. It is vital that we are able to provide feedback into the Commission regarding the feasibility of their recommendations and the only way in which we can reasonably look to do this is through assessing the practicality and viability of first measuring and then later utilising these results. Within the interview, Eleanor draws out three key areas where your guidance would be beneficial. These are: 1. How do we identify the appropriate level of granularity for data and models such that they can support the measurement of resilience? 2. Providing accurate simulations for complex systems such as infrastructure requires a realistic digital representation of the physical one. As this is the core aims of Digital Twins, how can we use Digital Twins in areas such as what-if scenario planning and assessing the necessary circumstances which lead to loss of service? 3. Dependencies/interdependencies how can we use Digital Twins to understand these and manage them? Within the Hub we would like to encourage members to consider these questions from the perspective of the asset owner/operator they represent and allow us to provide useful feedback to the commission. The Hub will be running this discussion until the end of August when we will segue the discussion and start looking at supporting adaptive planning.
  11. iain miskimmin

    Impact of Natural Disasters

    Good evening all, I am looking for organisations that are willing to talk about the financial, reputational and environmental impact on them during some of the recent natural disaster we have suffered in the UK. the reason is that we are looking at a resilience digital twin centred around critical infrastructure. Setting both commons and foundation data model requirements to understand criticality, vulnerability and impact. can anyone facilitate an introduction? thanks Iain
  12. Webinar: Building Tomorrow’s Resilience: Why Digital Twins Are Shaping the Water Utility Status Quo Just how effective are digital twins in helping to identify critical points in your water and wastewater infrastructure—like a growing leak or an unexpected closed valve? Bentley product manager Ari Opdahl delves into the possibilities of predictive operational intelligence in this special WEF eShowcase. https://register.gotowebinar.com/recording/6892911365133001731
  13. On Monday 3rd August, Matthew West, the Technical Lead for the NDTp, gave a presentation to the extended CDBB staff about the first steps the NDTp is taking towards an Information Management Framework (IMF), the FDM Seed. We thought it might be helpful to share it here so you can see how the current work fits with our wider goals. https://youtu.be/NyWfbocL1es
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