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Collaboration, climate resilience and digital twins

Transformation often requires cross-sector interdependency, collaboration and information-sharing. The Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) is a pioneering project which aims to develop a digital twin (a virtual representation that serves as the real-time digital counterpart of a physical object or process) across key services networks. This should provide a practical example of how access to the right information and connected data can improve climate adaptation and resilience.

UK Power Networks, BT and Anglian Water are collaborating on CReDo and together will share their weather, asset and operations data securely to inform an increased level of resilience for our infrastructure. Project collaboration is between the universities of Warwick, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, the Science & Technology Facilities Council, CMCL Innovations and the Joint Centre of Excellence in Environmental Intelligence and is funded by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI), Connected Places Catapult and the University of Cambridge.

Highlighting proof of concept that interconnected digital twins work with the right technology and information management framework to underpin them, the team spans academia, industry and government to help develop climate adaptation solutions and to reach net zero.

The aim is for it to demonstrate how operators and owners can use resilient, secure information sharing across sectors to mitigate the effect of flooding on network performance and the delivery of services – specifically on energy, water, and telecoms networks – after the impact of extreme weather, in particular flooding.

Substantial work is being put into establishing the framework to cover technical, procedural, legal and security concerns and apply federated access protocols. The aim is to enable a culture shift in viewing the sharing of data as an integral part of working to create an unobstructed willingness to do so, whilst addressing understandable concerns over data security.

Humanity will be increasingly impacted by climate-related natural disasters: directly through loss of lives, homes and livelihoods, and by concomitant failures of services such as clean water, power or medical care. The project aims to illuminate a scenario in which engineers can make critical decisions based on data from connected digital twins to improve resilience, provide solutions and have a positive impact on lives.

It serves to highlight how visibility across the entire infrastructure system, rather than one individual network, can allow improved decision making to enable greater levels of resilience.

CReDo will provide a working demonstration of the technology and collaboration that would underpin a National Digital Twin, demonstrating how digital twins and datasets can be connected to enable data sharing between organisations across academia, industries and governments, to strengthen climate change resilience. In addition, it is intended to be scalable to other contexts, networks, and locations.

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