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Digital Twins: How to ensure data is informing better decision making

23 March 2020

Mark Enzer, Chair of both the DTTG and DFTG discusses how the National Digital Twin Programme can help make better decisions on infrastructure.

Digital Twins: How to ensure data is informing better decision making
The National Digital Twin Programme will enable better outcomes from our built environment

The Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) brings together the UK’s most progressive economic infrastructure clients in partnership with government. The ICG work programme focuses on the areas where Clients can have the biggest transformational impact: Project 13 - a new delivery model for infrastructure, Digital Transformation, Carbon and People.

The ICG’s Digital Transformation Task Group (DTTG) is made up of Chief Data Officers and their equivalents from across the ICG membership, as well as Government representation. Its objective is “to facilitate and accelerate Digital Transformation in the UK’s infrastructure industry”. The main objective being assisting with the creation and sharing of Enterprise Digital Transformation Strategies.

The National Infrastructure Commission made three high-level recommendations in its Data for the Public Good report:

  1. A National Digital Twin – to create an ecosystem of connected digital twins that will enable better outcomes from our built environment
  2. An Information Management Framework – to allow secure data sharing and effective information management
  3. A Digital Framework Task Group – to provide coordination of key players across government, academia and industry to deliver 2. and enable 1.

In response, and with the support of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) has convened the Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG). The DFTG created a roadmap of the steps required to deliver the Information Management Framework and enable the National Digital Twin. The roadmap is being delivered by CDBB’s National Digital Twin Programme.

Mark Enzer, Chair of both DTTG and the National Digital Twin Programme, explains how these Task Groups work together to achieve the shared objective of ensuring the right information is in the right hands at the right time to make better decisions for the ultimate customer and user of our infrastructure:

“The DFTG is made up of representatives from across government, regulators, academia and industry. We have the country’s leading thinkers in this area working together on defining the Information Management Framework. However, they do not own assets and therefore cannot implement the recommendations."

"The Digital Transformation Task Group is made up of practitioners who are pushing the boundaries within their asset owner/operator organisations. They do have assets and projects, budgets and resources so they are able to implement the recommendations from the DFTG and provide practical feedback and learning. This means that the connection between the DFTG and the DTTG is immensely powerful to develop and implement practical digital transformation. "

"Several members sit on both Task Groups and the Programme Managers work together closely. Joint events like the National Digital Twin Day help to showcase progress."

"We have not yet grasped the opportunities that digital transformation will bring to our industry. By working together, these Task Groups are gaining momentum and moving at a pace that would not be possible if they were working in isolation. I look forward to the relationship evolving as we take the industry to the next level of connectivity and integration.”

  • Melissa Zanocco, head of programmes at ICG