Digital Twinning NetworkPlus: DTNet+

Lead Research Organisation: The Alan Turing Institute
Department Name: Research

Abstract

Digital twins are a fusion of digital technologies considered by many leading advocates to be revolutionary in nature. Digital twins offer exciting new possibilities across a wide range of sectors from health, environment, transport, manufacturing, defence, and infrastructure. By connecting the virtual and physical worlds (e.g. cyber-physcial), digital twins are able to better support decisions, extend operational lives, and introduce multiple other efficiencies and benefits. As a result, digital twins have been identified by government, professional bodies and industry, as a key technology to help address many of the societal challenges we face.

To date, digital twin (DT) innovation has been strongly driven by industry practitioners and commercial innovators. As would be expected with any early-adoption approach, projects have been bespoke & often isolated, and so there is a need for research to increase access, lower entry costs and develop interconnectivity. Furthermore, there are several major gaps in underpinning academic research relating to DT. The academic push has been significantly lagging behind the industry pull. As a result, there is an urgent need for a network that will fill gaps in the underpinning research for topics such as; uncertainty, interoperability, scaling, governance & societal effects.

In terms of existing networking activities, there are several industry-led user groups and domain-specific consortia. However, there has never been a dedicated academic-led DT network that brings together academic research teams across the entire remit of UKRI with user-led groups. DTNet+ will address this gap with a consortium which has both sufficient breadth and depth to deliver transformative change.

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