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  1. Context DT Hub activities focus on a set of thematic areas (themes) that are based on shared opportunities and challenges for members. These themes are areas where collaboration can help members to gain greater understanding and make progress towards realising the potential benefits of digital twins. The first theme is called “Testing digital twin concepts”. The focus is on: Helping DT Hub members increase common understanding of digital twin definitions and concepts, then test and refine this thinking in specific use cases and projects where there is potential to deliver significant value Why start with this theme? Each of the members we spoke to felt that it is difficult to systematically plan and progress digital twins without a clear understanding of what digital twins are, when something is classified as a digital twin, and what are the key concepts or building blocks that lie behind these twins. In other words, discussing digital twin concepts and definitions is a “foundational” activity that is needed to underpin future activities. Moreover, it is difficult to think about making digital twins more connected and interoperable, as stepping-stones towards a national digital twin, if the approach to each twin is inconsistent. Scope This theme will build on work being done through the NDT Programme, including the Gemini Principles, and feed back ideas and recommendations based on real-world experience from members and from the wider market. There are other reasons why this work is needed. As with other major technology developments, from the internet of things to AI, a growing range of players will claim to have tech solutions for digital twins. There is a risk here of “twinwash”. If every sharp-looking 3D visualization is labelled as a “digital twin”, regardless of whether or not it bears any relation to real-world physical assets, this can create confusion and risks devaluing “real” twins. Tackling this theme can help digital twin owners start to address questions like: What makes my digital twin a twin? What types of areas (e.g. related to data, models, analytics, control systems etc) do I need to consider in creating digital twin strategies and planning for individual digital twin projects? What can I learn from the approaches taken by others to defining and scoping digital twins -including how this relates to specific use cases? How do I relate and connect multiple digital twins within my organization? How does my twin (and the approach I’m taking to it) relate to other third-party twins? For example, how will a water pipeline twin connect with a highways or city twin? Related to the first bullet above, at least some DT Hub members would like to see the creation of a “Turing test for twins”. In other words, to have an agreed set of criteria established as the minimum threshold for a twin to be considered a twin. At the same time, there is also a desire for flexibility - the scope of twins will vary according to the intended purpose and specific use case. For example, not all twins will involve real-time control and actuation. Objectives The main objectives for this theme are then to: Provide insights on “good” approaches to describe and classify digital twins and their constituent elements – building on the Gemini Principles Understand (from examples) how other industries have advanced their digital twin journeys Apply this thinking to specific use cases in existing or planned founding member digital twins in areas where there is the potential to deliver significant value Help DT Hub members to achieve greater consistency across their organizations and with supply chains and partners Develop an intuitive “test” for what constitutes a digital twin Feedback learnings into the evolution of the “Commons” and the Gemini Principles Get involved You can already start to get involved, including by: Commenting on the posts in the dedicated space for this theme Starting your own topic where you have ideas to share Joining one the Digital Twin Talks which are focused on this theme and which we will promote on the home page - you can also watch the videos from previous talks here We want this theme to be driven by member’s views and priorities, so it would also be great if you would like to comment on this post including on: Existing initiatives that could feed into this work Use cases that we should prioritise to test emerging thinking on digital twin concepts Specific digital twin projects you are be working on Your views that on what makes a digital twin a twin
  2. Why this theme? DT Hub activities focus on a set of thematic areas (themes) that are based on shared opportunities and challenges for members. These themes are areas where collaboration can help members to gain greater understanding and make more progress towards realising the potential benefits of digital twins. This short introductory piece outlines the scope and approach for the second theme: Digital twin competencies: To help organizations understand the competencies, skills and cultural considerations that can help them to successfully adopt digital twins, as well as fostering collaboration and making recommendations on the best way forward Why did we identify this theme as priority? Each of the members we spoke to raised concerns about digital competencies within the built environment. To maximize the value that a digital twin can bring to an organization, the different actors who might undertake digital twin related activities must have the necessary knowledge, skill, and authority to do so. In other words, without a sufficiently competent set of individuals to realize the benefits, digital twins will be under-utilized. In recognition of the built environment’s challenges with training and upskilling its workforce as well as the concern raised by DT Hub members, this has become a prioritized theme. Scope This theme will build on work being done through the National Digital Twin (NDT) programme Enablers stream and will develop ideas and recommendations based on real-world experience from members and from the wider market. In addition, this theme will also help to test some of the underlying principles of the NDT programme which may influence future digital competency frameworks. Engaging with this theme can help digital twin owners start to address questions like: Who within my organization should interact with our digital twins? How will they interact with digital twins? What knowledge and skills are needed to undertake these activities? What skills gaps do I have and what gaps are there in the built environment overall? When looking to hire new staff who will interact with our digital twins, and what core competencies should I be looking for? What cultural orientation is helpful to successful implement digital twins – what can I learn from others? Related to the first bullet above, work has been started by some members to identify the types of actors that may interface with their digital twins. Building on this work, we plan to discuss and agree a schedule of “personas”, that broadly represent a suite of roles, and then build a profile of the competencies against each persona. Objectives The main objectives for this theme are then to: Identify a schedule of personas that cover relevant roles for a notional organization, ensuring sufficient flexibility and scalability. Understand (from examples) what digital twin related activities each persona is expected to undertake Using an industry recognised system such as the European Qualification Framework (EQF) to map knowledge, skill, and autonomy requirements to each of the relevant activities Feedback learnings to inform into the development of the NDT programme Enablers work Generate insight to potentially develop a digital twin competency framework NOTE: It is acknowledged that organizations such as CITB are working on digital competency frameworks, and it is hoped that engagement with such activities is done via the Enablers stream. We’re already starting on the first set of activities for this theme and we are creating some content for you to dive into including: A Webinar to discuss the theme requirements, including a broad discussion around persona and competencies. Topics and posts to kick off conversation within the hub (for example a piece on competencies related anonymizing data) as well as links to interesting external sources based on this research. We are adding these to a dedicated forum for theme 2 Research into interesting examples from other industries of approaches that consider digital competencies (coming soon - we will also add interesting links to the theme 2 forum) What next? There are lots of opportunities for you to get involved, including in activities to flesh out this theme. We want this to be driven by member’s views and priorities, so it would be great if you would comment on this post including to tell us: Where you are seeing initiatives that could benefit skills development in the digital twin area Use cases and in-house examples that might help inform this work Specific competency activities you may be working on related to building knowledge and skills Any views that you have on what digital twin competencies look like
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