25 Feb 2021

techUK launches landmark report on the future of the UK’s digital twin ecosystem

As the UK looks to respond, adapt, and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, urgent, sustained, and collective action will be needed to reignite different layers of our economy and society.

Digital twins have a potentially powerful role in helping us do so. Yet there is confusion over what a digital twin is, how one can be used, and how one can be commissioned and designed.

Today, techUK publishes a landmark report: ‘Unlocking Value Across the UK’s Digital Twin Ecosystem’ (Login or fill in the form to access the report PDF)

This report has been developed via techUK’s interdisciplinary Digital Twins Working Group (DTWG).

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It outlines how digital twins can be adopted effectively, and why the accelerated adoption of digital twins is essential for the future success of our people, economy, society, and planet.

Recognising the need for a broader programme of investment (focused on research, skills development and core engineering capabilities), techUK puts forward the following recommendations aimed at providing a strong, sustainable foundation for digital twin adoption and diffusion across the UK:

  1. Develop a cross-cutting, interdisciplinary coordinating body to drive forward digital twin adoption and diffusion in the UK
  2. Demonstrate value from (and explore barriers to) the adoption and diffusion of digital twins via a series of strategic demonstrators
  3. Trigger the adoption of digital twins across the UK by exploring the development of an online digital twin procurement portal
  4. Work with industry to identify talent pipeline requirements and anticipate levels of future demand for skills across the UK’s digital twin ecosystem
  5. Fund a net zero 2050 digital twin demonstrator to establish the UK as a global leader in leveraging digital twins for decarbonisation

Get in touch with the team today if you would like to learn more about our work on digital twins.

Susanne Baker, techUK Associate Director for Climate, Environment and Sustainability, techUK:

“Digital twins have the potential to support the UK to deliver on Net Zero 2050 objectives, support the reduction of social inequalities and drive R&D-led growth. However, the lack of consensus around how digital twins can be leveraged and why digital twins can drive better outcomes - for our people, economy, society and planet - means that the full benefits of this technology are yet to be realised. 

“This report aims to set out strategic recommendations for industry and Government as to how the UK’s digital twin ecosystem can progress and evolve long-term, so that we can see and support this technological innovation to its full capacity.”

* Beyond investment for triggering adoption and innovation using current and near to market tech,  there’ll also be a need for broader investments to trigger research, skills development and to drive forward core engineering capabilities that the UK will require to develop a globally leading ecosystem.