Connected Places Catapult hosts the Digital Twin Hub, a community of digital twin practitioners whose motto is ‘Learn by doing, progress by sharing’. Since we took over the running of the hub three years ago, we have stressed the need to share data to help everyone understand how their systems affect the bigger picture. Great progress is made when we demonstrate real use cases.
These include the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) – a digital twin that can predict how a major flood event could impact the supply of power, communications and water. In CReDo, we work with Anglian Water, UK Power Networks and BT to show how sharing information through a digital twin encompassing water, energy and telecoms networks can help to improve climate adaptation and resilience, by providing a system level view of the impact of extreme weather events.
Due to technical, cultural, economic, financial, commercial and legal barriers to sharing data we need a robust data sharing infrastructure, to enable seamless and secure data sharing. This was one of the recommendations in ‘Data for the Public Good’ published by the National Infrastructure Commission in 2017. Work is on going through the National Digital Twin Programme and sector initiatives to develop this data sharing infrastructure.
A seamless and secure data sharing vision could then be realised across all sectors if we harness our best approaches to data sharing, and make them open and accessible to all.
A year ago, I set up a voluntary data sharing discussion group to help work out who is doing what in the data sharing space, understand some of the pain points and outline the best approaches to taking action. By getting together once a week, we are able to share our ideas and concerns and agree what we want to work on together.
We produce assets such as a ‘Data sharing architecture template’ to help explain the need for a data sharing architecture, and host workshops to contribute to the thinking of the DT Hub Standards and Interoperability Working Group which presented its findings at the recent Connected Digital Twins Summit, hosted by Connected Places Catapult.