On Thursday, techUK’s Director of Market Programmes, Matthew Evans delivered a thought-provoking talk at the IoT World Europe Summit, which explored how key decision-makers can deliver a national digital twin (DTw) and how companies are already benefiting from this technology.
Building upon work previously conducted by techUK with the National Infrastructure Commission, Highways England, National Rail and Tideway, Matthew introduced the current state of play, highlighting of the building blocks that are being put in place to realise a fully functional national DTw.
Primarily, the session touched on the fact that potential adopters of DTw technologies, such as infrastructure contractors, are often reluctant to invest because of a lack of clear-cut use cases which demonstrate how they can drive business value. Additionally, Matthew highlighted that different data ecosystems often lack interoperability, fatally undermining even the best-intentioned DTw initiatives. Finally, despite recent regulatory developments, Matthew argued that there is still a distinct lack of cross-sector collaboration in this space, arguing that bold national DTw plans will only succeed with dedicated channels for cross-sector collaboration.
Taking these points forward, Matthew argued that the development process for a digital twin is evolutionary in nature, in that it will never be a complete twin, but that this should not deter or discourage current levels of ambition surrounding the development of a national DTw. Instead, he argued, developers should focus on starting small and building the business case for DTw technologies, pointing out that even the most complicated digital twins in existence gained traction this way.
Moreover, Matthew suggested that the development and delivery of a national DTw is not within the capability of just one organisation or company. On the contrary, he argued that this process and the eventual end-product will only come about through dedicated collaborative working across and within sectors and between organisations that may be currently seen as competitors.
Overall, it was a fantastic event and a great opportunity for attendees to network with some of the world’s foremost IoT developers that are helping to radically transform the world around us. For more information on the work that techUK is doing to support the national DTw agenda in the UK, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and the team will be happy to assist.