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Combining asset data into a connected digital twin can give asset owners across energy, water and telecoms networks a better understanding of the risk of extreme weather events caused by climate change, allowing them to take action. 
“We cannot plan for a more resilient future in silos” heard delegates to a showcase event this month exploring progress with CReDo – the Climate Resilience Demonstrator – whose second phase is led by Connected Places Catapult and the Digital Twin Hub. 
Instead, a “whole system” approach is needed which considers the complex connections and interdependencies between different types of infrastructure essential to society’s functioning. 
Over 450 people joined the hybrid event and heard Elliot Christou, CReDo Technical Lead at the Catapult, and Sarah Snelson, a Director specialising in public policy practice with Frontier Economics, explain the threats posed by a changing climate and the need to take action using sophisticated tools such as CReDo to limit disruption from future flooding. 
CReDo is a climate change adaptation digital twin which brings together data across energy, water and telecoms networks to create a bird’s eye view of the infrastructure system. Connected Places Catapult has been working with Anglian Water, BT and Openreach and UK Power Networks who have brought their people and their data to the project to investigate how it possible to share data across sectors and how there is benefit in doing so through increased climate resilience.   
We heard how simulations can be run and data interrogated using the CReDo digital twin to allow users to understand more fully the vulnerabilities of their infrastructure networks to flooding. With the correct information to hand, asset owners can make more informed decisions to protect their assets in advance of these extreme weather events impacting and causing failure across the system.  
Scenarios can be created that demonstrate the impact of a range of different future flooding risks,  and show how the loss of one piece of the infrastructure jigsaw puzzle can disrupt other services. CReDo can then be used to coordinate and support decision making to allow the infrastructure system to be better protected and made more resilient. 
Using data to create “actionable insights” could therefore allow decisions to be made that “keep the lights on at a lower cost for the benefit of network operators and society” it was said. 
Recent months have been focused on CReDo as a decision-making tool for asset operators. Going forward, the benefits for customers and wider society are set to be explored further. A report on progress with phase two of the project is to be published shortly. 
Flooding threats made clear 
The showcase event began with a powerful video featuring Baroness Brown of Cambridge, (Professor Dame Julia King) Chair of the Adaptation Committee of the Climate Change Committee outlining the rising occurrences of extreme weather, the need for infrastructure to be resilient to such events and how the impact on society can be more serious if authorities are not more prepared. 
“The climate change resilience of infrastructure networks is a challenge that is not yet well understood and is one that we need to address urgently,” she said. “Asset owners really need to know, who are they dependent on”, she added, pointing out that if one is impacted by flooding and that problem was to affect an energy substation for instance, that problem could cascade further. “Understanding risks in advance and how we can mitigate them is key.” 
Speakers at the event included Sarah Hayes, Strategic Engagement Lead for CReDo, who explained that one vision for the digital twin is for asset owners to be able to assess the impact of future investment decisions, such as relocating or improving defences for a power substation. 
While phase one of the CReDo project used a centralised database, phase two explores how to develop a distributed architecture to enable scalability across sectors, regions and organisations, she explained. “We are on a journey towards connected digital twins”. 
Jethro Akroyd, Principal Engineer at CMCL Innovations, ran through the approach to developing the distributed architecture and explained how CReDo uses a common data structure to enable interoperability between the data sets from the asset owners. He walked the audience through a technical demonstration of the CReDo visualisation showing how the assets are connected and then impacted by flooding scenarios as failure cascades throughout the system. 
Industry panel shares its insights 
A panel discussion involving representatives from asset owners involved in CReDo, Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks together with representatives across infrastructure and climate resilience  and moderated by Arup’s global digital leader Simon Evans concluded proceedings. 
"I am hugely impressed by what I have heard,” remarked one of the panel. “What we are talking about is getting access to data". Another said: “We are increasingly seeing the impact of climate change, so energy and water networks definitely need to work more closely together." 
One utility provider remarked that more frequent severe weather events caused by climate change were having a big impact on its fault rates. “We cannot protect everything all of the time, so the better we understand how systems are inter-related, the more we can help customers and create insights into the most sensible way to protect our network.” 
National Infrastructure Commissioner Jim Hall commented that it was great to see the use of digital tools to help with the planning of resilient infrastructure. “This is a really exciting space,” he noted, “let’s not stop experimenting”. 
Connected Places Catapult’s Ecosystem Director for Integrated Infrastructure, Chris Jones described CReDo as a “great example of the Catapult ethos of bringing together infrastructure sectors, generating a conversation, identifying common ground and sparking innovation”. 
“We have got ambitious plans to scale CReDo”, he added, “and we want you all to work with us to take this project forward.” 
Learn more about CReDo 
Get involved in our next phase 
Contact us: credo@cp.catapult.org.uk 
Article by Mike Walter, Connected Places Catapult

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Industry blog series from Bentley Systems

Dip into this series of industry blogs sent to us by Bentley Systems. 
Vertical Buildings: What Asset Owners and Contractors Need to Know about Britain’s New Building Safety Regulator
Analysis of the U.K.’s Top 100 Construction Companies Shows Which Firms Performed Best Over the Past Decade
Grand Paris Express: What We Learn from City Centre Transport Megaprojects in Paris and London
A Smarter Way to Future-proof Our Water Supply
The Wind of Change Is Blowing on Renewables, Making Them Cheaper and More Efficient, with the U.K. Ideally Placed to Benefit
A Bird’s Eye View: How the World’s First Digital Twin of a Nation Can Help Create Better Cities
The Nine Euro Ticket
Leadership in a Data-driven Age: Why the Best Managers Will Always Welcome Greater Transparency and Why Fundamental Leadership Components Haven’t Changed
For Electric Vehicle Charging, “Going Dutch” Means Being Open, Transparent, and Interoperable
Since the Census Helps Plan Infrastructure and Housing, Could a National Framework for Data Help Overcome the Shortcomings of the COVID-19 Census?
Regardless of Progress at COP27, We Are Getting on with Transforming and Decarbonising Infrastructure Delivery
Do you have any material that would be of interest to our members? Please get in touch - contact me via DT Hub Messages.
22 June 2023, 09:00-17:30 – hybrid event
Urban Innovation Centre, 1 Sekforde Street, London EC1R 0BE
Register to attend online via Airmeet
We're excited to announce the first Connected Digital Twins Summit on Thursday 22 June 2023, 09:00-17:30, and hope you can join us!
The Digital Twin Hub and Connected Places Catapult are hosting a one-day interactive event to showcase the latest cross-industry business applications for connected digital twins.
The hybrid event will be held at Connected Places Catapult’s Urban Innovation Centre in London and features VIP keynotes, a panel discussion, the Gemini Call live, working groups, demo's and showcase of digital twin innovation from the Catapult Network.
The Connected Digital Twins Summit brings together policy makers, asset owners, solution providers, academics and investors to:
Learn about the latest outputs and tools to enable collaboration across industries Explore applications of digital twin technology across multiple sectors Share views on overcoming barriers to connecting digital twins Discover how to assess ROI and empower business decisions Network with Digital Twin Hub community members to spark new ideas and business opportunities. The event will also introduce the DfT Transport and Innovation Board Programme and present a showcase of SME-led use cases for digital twins.
How can connected digital twins address industry challenges?
Led by Digital Twin Hub Chair, Dr Alison Vincent, this session features connected digital twin projects underway across the UK, with a panel discussion on how to overcome the barriers to connecting digital twins and a special Gemini Call Live with Arup’s Simon Evans. 
09:30 – 10:25 Morning Welcome and VIP Keynote Addresses including Why Connect Digital Twins? (Alison Vincent, Chair, DT Hub; Paul Wilson, Chief Business Officer, Connected Places Catapult)
10:30 – 11:00 Break
11:00 – 11:25 Cyber-Physical Infrastructure Challenges for Industry: Landscape review (Simon Hart, Head of Digital Twins and Cyberphysical Infrastructure, Innovate UK)
11:30 – 11:55 Panel: Overcoming Barriers to Connecting Digital Twins (Chaired by Justin Anderson, Director of the Digital Twin Hub, Connected Places Catapult)
12:00 – 12:25 Panel: Digital Twin Financing (Chaired by Mark Coates, International Director of Public Policy, Bentley Systems)
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00 Gemini Call Live (Hosted by Simon Evans, Global Digital Energy Leader, Arup)
15:05 – 15:30  To be announced soon
15:30 – 16:00 Break
16:00 – 16:20 Climate Resilience Demonstrator (Sarah Hayes, Engagement Lead, CReDo)
16:20 – 16:40 To be announced soon
16:40 – 17:00 To be announced soon
17:00 – 17:10 Wrap Up and Final Words (Alison Vincent, Chair, DT Hub and Justin Anderson, Director of Digital Twins, Connected Places Catapult)
How is the UK championing innovation in connected digital twins?
Digital twin research and development and the journey towards a cyber-physical infrastructure. This session features key projects and programmes across the Catapult Network and how they will change the industrial and economic landscape.
11:00 – 11:45 Transport Research and Innovation Board Programme: Overview and SME use cases (Connected Places Catapult, Department for Transport and SMEs) 
11:50 – 12:25 Digital Operations and Maintenance Environment (DOME) for Offshore Wind (Ben George, General Manager, Humber, Offshore and Renewable Energy Catapult) 
12:30 – 13:25 Lunch
13:30 – 14:05 To be announced soon
14:10 – 14:40 Digital Strategic Road Network (Paul Bate, Director of Modelling and Appraisal, Connected Places Catapult)
14:45 – 15:20 To be announced soon
15:30 – 16:00 Break
16:00 – 16:55 To be announced soon
How our community is coming together to enable connected digital twins
Interactive Training/Working Group Sessions 
Understand key issues, open standards and more through hands-on working groups with members of the Digital Twin Hub Strategic Board and guests. These sessions focus on specific areas of interest as identified by the Digital Twin Hub community.
11:00 – 11:25 Stimulating Innovation in Digital Twins through R&D Funding (Mark Gasgarth, Head of Digital Security and Resilience, EPSRC and DT Hub Advisory Group)  
11:30 – 11:55 DT Hub Working Group: Governance Model and Trust (DT Hub Strategic Board and guests)  
12:00 – 12:25 DT Hub Working Group: Open Standards and Interoperability (DT Hub Strategic Board and guests)
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch  
13:30 – 14:00 DT Hub Working Group: Digital Skills and Building Capability (DT Hub Strategic Board and guests)  
14:10 – 15:25 Interactive Training Session
15:30 – 16:00 Break
16:00 – 16:30 DT Hub Working Group: Business Case and Demonstrating Value (DT Hub Strategic Board and guests)
16:35-16:55 DT Hub: Driving Community Value (Justin Anderson, Director of the Digital Twin Hub, Connected Places Catapult)
On-site guests will experience digital twins and connected systems in action using latest interactive Igloo technology, and will be able to explore digital twin technologies, systems and solutions in our exhibition space.
Register to attend online via Airmeet 
Interested in supporting our event? Read our Commercial Partnerships brochure below
The Connected Digital Twins Summit is held as part of the UK's first Digital Twin Week in conjunction with UK:Digital Twin.
Connected Digital Twins Summit_Commercial Partnerships Brochure (5).pdf
The government has published its response to the Cyber-Physical Infrastructure consultation, which explored the opportunities and challenges posed by the increasing interconnection of the cyber-physical systems, such as robotics and digital twins.  
The response sets out how the UK could lead in the development of Cyber-Physical Infrastructure through its strength in cyber-physical systems and the leading role of innovators in the private sector, industry and academia, who will ultimately build CPI.
As part of this, the government is launching a £200,000 grant funding competition for an organisation or consortium to build a Cyber-Physical Infrastructure ecosystem capability to help advance the agenda and stimulate a diverse UK ecosystem. For more information and how to apply, see here.
Cyber-Physical Infrastructure Consultation response
The 2022 Cyber-Physical Infrastructure consultation response been published. It shows a strong endorsement for the Cyber-Physical Infrastructure agenda set out and outlines how the UK can lead in convergence of cyber-physical systems.
Read it on the DT Hub.
Read the UKRI blog on How we created cyber-physical infrastructure to catalyse innovation by Simon Hart, Head of Cyber-Physical and Digital Twins, Innovate UK 
The Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) team and project partners have launched a new film to show how a novel approach to cross-sector datasharing in a connected digital twin is key to safeguarding critical infrastructure as we tackle the effects of climate change.
CReDo is combining datasets from Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks into one system model to develop a cross-sector picture of impact of extreme weather events. It uses a distributed architecture to share data and insights across sectoral and organisational boundaries, demonstrating how we can safely collaborate on a national network of connected digital twins to create resilient infrastructure.
The UK’s critical national infrastructure is increasingly vulnerable to extreme weather and other effects of climate change, such as sea level rises. Major power outages, landslides onto roads, buckling train lines and flooding of infrastructure sites: these are all realistic scenarios, and can lead to cascading risks affecting other sectors. Different infrastructure sectors are highly interdependent, so the shutdown of one operator may cause knock-on effects for multiple sectors.
“Asset owners really need to know who they are dependent on – it’s crucial both for the integrity of assets but also for the service you give your customers. Understanding the risks in advance and how we can mitigate them is key.” Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge
The new film features Julia King, Baroness Brown of Cambridge and Chair of the Adaptation Committee, along with David Riley, Head of Carbon Neutrality at Anglian Water, Paul O’Brien, Director of AI, Cybersecurity and Operations at BT and Barry Hatton, Director, Asset Management at UK Power Networks.
It shows how infrastructure owners can share information in a safe and secure way, allowing visibility of those aspects that help everyone to understand dependencies and make better decisions.
CReDo has been designed so that it can be extensible to other asset owners, new sectors, wider geographic regions and a range of extreme weather events. The wider benefit is that it improves overall resilience. Barry Hatton, UK Power Networks
The film,  produced by Econ Films London, premiered at the CReDo showcase event on Tuesday 7 March 2023.
About CReDo
The CReDo project launched in November 2021 to create a proof-of-concept connected digital twin using shared data. The scenario was a severe storm causing surface water flooding across the energy, water and telecoms networks in a specific area. The CReDo digital twin looked at interdependencies across the infrastructure system and modelled when assets failed due to high water levels. It propagated knock-on failures through the combined system. The impact on primary and secondary assets and the cascade of resulting failures were captured in an interactive visualisation.
Phase two of the work is maturing the system into a working prototype that is scalable and extensible to new asset owners, larger geographical areas and new climate scenarios. It is using a distributed data architecture to maximise the data retained under an individual asset owner’s private systems and security. This opens the door for future collaboration with other digital and data initiatives, the co-development of standards and solutions and ultimately, connected intelligence through an interoperable digital ecosystem.
Contributors – Leigh Taylor, Garie Warne 
The digital twin landscape has been revolutionized by the integration of control and automation technologies. These technologies play a crucial role in optimizing operations and maintenance for various industrial and infrastructure systems. The integration of these technologies into the digital twin landscape has enabled organizations to make informed decisions and improve the overall performance of their systems. In this article, we will discuss the Anglian Water OT (Operational Technology) strategy, how critical this is to a successful digital transformation and how it fits into the enterprise picture. Additionally, we will also discuss how a NRTM (Near Real Time Model) solution is being used within the delivery of Anglian Water’s Strategic Pipeline as a "system of systems" to aid operations and maintenance. 
AW OT Strategy  
The Anglian Water OT strategy is a highly important aspect of the digital twin landscape as it helps describe how these control systems should be implemented and used. It focuses on the use of control and automation technologies to optimize the performance of operational systems. The OT strategy is implemented by using various control and automation technologies, such as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) enabled SCADA systems linking into an Industry 4.0 approach with a central data core.  This approach takes the principles of Edge Driven (to ensure that the most up to date information can be used), Report by Exception (to minimise data transfer) and Open Architecture (to avoid vendor lock in). A further principle of Connect, Collect and Store, means that all data is enabled within a connection (to enable ease of future enhancements), what is needed to be looked at is physically collected and looked at, and only what is needed from a latest data update, trend analysis, or historical perspective is stored on a long-term basis. 
Industry 4.0 
The Industry 4.0 approach taken by Anglin Water’s Strategic Pipeline Alliance (SPA) differs from previous approaches in that data is placed at the core of the operations and silos, and point-to-point integration are removed. This allows data to be captured at the site (or edge) level and seamlessly be used throughout the enterprise. 
SCADA systems are used to remotely monitor and control various aspects of industrial and infrastructure systems, such as pipelines, and water treatment facilities. In the digital twin landscape, SCADA systems are used to monitor the performance of infrastructure systems and make adjustments as needed to optimize their performance. For example, Anglian Water is using SCADA systems to monitor the flow of water through the Strategic Pipeline, as well as the functioning of pumps, valves, and other critical components. The SCADA and related control system is made up of several different components, including sensors and actuators that are placed along the pipeline to collect data, and a central control system that processes and displays this data in real-time, all of which must be fully compliant with National Infrastructure Standards (NIS) which governs infrastructure-based systems which are deemed to be critical national infrastructure. 
SPA recognised that a key component in managing large infrastructure systems is the use of a "data core". A data core is a centralized repository for storing, processing, and analysing data from the pipeline and other systems. This data can include things like sensor data, control system data, and other operational data, as well as more IT centric data such as asset information, location data, hydraulic models, and BIM (Buildings Information Management) data.  
By storing this data in a centralized location, Anglian Water can easily access and analyse it to identify any issues that need to be addressed. Our Data Core solution involves the use of a centralized data storage and processing system, which is integrated with the SCADA system and other technology systems to provide a holistic view of the pipeline and its surrounding infrastructure. This is a key difference between our approach and many other Proof of Concept activities within the market, as it is inherently scalable and able to more easily be productionised. 
The implementation of the data core solution also provides opportunities for the development of a "Near Real Time Model" (NRTM) solution for SPA. An NRTM solution will allow Anglian Water to see how the pipeline is behaving in real-time and adjust as needed. By having this level of control, Anglian Water can ensure that the pipeline is operating at peak efficiency and minimize the risk of downtime or other issues. 
SCADA Control 

Control and automation technologies will be used within SPA to remotely monitor and control various aspects of industrial and infrastructure systems. From a control perspective to ensure the operation of what is a critical asset for supplying water to hundreds of thousands of customers, SPA has a three-layer approach to control, as seen in this diagram. The core layer (Pipeline and Sites) is based upon autonomous control of each individual site, with a further “last line of defence” of manual site-based control.  These are fully isolated from the outside world; however, as the SPA pipeline is highly complex, neither of these is a sustainable position to be in for long. 
To automate and ensure that all of the 70+ sites that are linked to the SPA pipeline can operate effectively as a single system a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system acts as a Regional Control system over all the sites, ensuring that the right amount of wholesome water is received by the right customers at the right time primarily using a mass balance approach to ensuring that water is moved in a way that maximises supply against an agreed prioritisation. 
Whilst this control system can ensure that the right amount of water is moved, it cannot optimise for cost, impacts related to the use of sustainable energy or other factors such as ensuring we optimise the amount of water we abstract, out of the ground over a yearly period. This is the job of a Near Real Time Model, which will try an optimise as much as possible these factors, making the SPA pipeline as efficient as possible. 
NRTM Control 
The NRTM solution is a "system of systems", as it integrates with multiple technology systems to provide a holistic view of the SPA pipeline and its surroundings. This integration allows Anglian Water to make informed decisions based on the data collected from multiple sources. The NRTM solution also allows for predictive maintenance, which is used to identify potential issues before they occur. Predictive maintenance will help Anglian Water to prevent downtime and minimize the need for costly repairs. In addition, the NRTM solution can also provide insights into the energy efficiency of the SPA pipeline, helping to reduce energy costs and improve the overall performance of the system.  
In conclusion, the digital twin landscape is revolutionizing the way Anglian Water monitors and controls their infrastructure-based systems. The integration of control and automation technologies, the implementation of an OT strategy, and the use of a NRTM solution, are all critical components in the optimization of operations and maintenance. By using these technologies, Anglian Water can make informed decisions, improve the overall performance of their Strategic Pipeline system, and reduce downtime and costs. The digital twin landscape therefore provides a comprehensive and integrated view of complex water systems, allowing Anglian Water to manage their infrastructure more efficiently and effectively. 
Whilst writing another article about loosely coupled systems and their data, I was struck by one internal reviewer’s comments about one uncontentious (at least to me) statement I made:
The loosely coupled systems article was already getting a bit long, so I couldn’t go into any depth there. The loose end of the idea was still dangling, waiting for me to pull on it. So I pulled and… well, here we are in another article.
I’ve always liked origins. I love it when someone crystallises an idea in a “Eureka!” moment, especially if, at the time they have the idea, they have no clue on the wide ranging impact their idea will have. Think Darwin’s “On the Origin of Species”, Mary Wollstonecraft’s “A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” (1792). A particular favourite of mine is the “Planck Postulate” (1900) which led to quantum mechanics.
The origin story that’s relevant to all this is Tim Berners-Lee’s (TBL) “Vague but exciting…” diagram (1989) which was the origin of the world-wide web. I want you to take another look at it. (Or, if it’s your first look, be prepared to be awed about how much influence that sketch has had on humanity). There are a few things in that diagram that I want to highlight as important to this article:
Information management Distributed systems Directed graphs …but don’t worry, we’re not going to get into the weeds just yet. 
I want to introduce a use case and our main character. He’s not real, he’s an archetype. Let’s call him “Geoff”. Geoff is an example of a person in a vulnerable situation. Someone who could benefit from the Priority Service Register (PSR). Geoff lives alone and has the classic three health problems that affect our increasing ageing population: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Type-2 Diabetes and Dementia.
Geoff’s known to a lot of agencies. The Health Service have records about him, as do the Police, Utilities (Gas, Water, Electricity), The Post Office, Local Government and, as he has dementia, his local Supermarket. They have a collective responsibility to ensure Geoff has a healthy and fulfilling life. To execute on that responsibility it’s going to mean sharing data about him.
Now we’re set in the arc of our story. We’ve got the four characteristics of these kind of problems:
Heterogeneous data Diverse ownership Selfish agendas Overarching cooperative goal To expand: Data about Geoff is in various databases in different forms owned by assorted agencies. Each of those agencies has its own classifications for vulnerabilities, goals, aims and agenda - targets and KPIs to which they have to adhere - but remember they also have a joint responsibility to make sure Geoff is ok.
In this article, I’d like to weave the three aspects of TBL’s diagram with the four characteristics of the problem space and see if we can “Solve for Geoff” and improve his experience.
Let’s start with information management in distributed systems. The understanding of  “Distributed Systems” has moved on since 1989. What we’re talking about here is a “Decentralised” system. There’s not one place (in the centre) where we can put data about Geoff. Everyone has some information about him and we need to manage and share that information for the good of Geoff.
If we imagine a couple of separate relational databases that have rows of data about Geoff, we’ll see there are two problems.
Two different versions of Geoff Spotted them? They are:
The names of the columns are different The identifying “key” data isn’t the same (Why would they be? They’re in different systems) To generalise: 1. is about metadata - the data about the data; 2. Is about identity.
So, to metadata. In a relational database there is some metadata, but not much, and it’s pretty hidden. You’ve probably heard of SQL, but not of SQL’s cousin, DDL (data definition language). DDL is what defines the tables and their structure so the first example above would be something like:
Data Definition Language for the Persons table What’s wrong with this? (I hear you ask). At least a couple of things. One is that there’s no description of what the terms mean. What does “Vulnerable” mean? And by defining it as a boolean, you’re either vulnerable or not. The other thing that’s very important in Geoff’s scenario is that this (incomplete and unhelpful) metadata is never exposed. You might get a CSV file with the column headings, and a word document explaining what they mean to humans, but that’s about it. Good luck trying to get a computer to understand that autonomously...
A part of Tim Berners-Lee's "Vague but exciting" diagram I haven’t forgotten TBL’s diagram. In it, he hints at another way of describing data: using a directed graph. A graph has nodes (the trapeziums in his diagram) and edges (the lines with words on them). The directed bit is that they’re arrows, not just lines. He’s saying that there are a couple of entities: This Document and Tim Berners-Lee and that the entity called Tim Berners-Lee wrote the entity called This Document. (And, as it’s directed, The Document didn’t, and couldn’t, write Tim Berners-Lee.)
Skipping forward blithely over many developments in computer science, we arrive at the Resource Description Framework (RDF) which is a mechanism for expressing these graphs in a machine-readable way. RDF is made of individual “Triples”, each one of which asserts a single truth. The triple refers to the three parts: subject, predicate and object (SPO). To paraphrase, the above bit of graph would be written:
Subject                       Predicate      Object
Tim Berners-Lee      Wrote            This document
We can translate Geoff’s data into RDF, too. The following is expressed in the “Terse Triple Language” (TTL or “Turtle”) which is a nice compromise between human and machine readability.
RDF version of Geoff's data The things before the colons in the triples are called “prefixes” and, together with the bit after, they’re a shorthand way to refer to the definition of the property (like fibo:hasDateOfBirth) or class (like foaf:Person). Notice that I’ve hyperlinked the definitions. This is because all terms used in RDF should be uniquely referenceable (by a URL) somewhere in an ontology. Go on, click the links to see what I mean.
We’ve now bumped into one of the ideas that spun out of TBL’s first diagram: the Semantic Web. He went on (with two others) to describe it further in their seminal paper of 2001. All the signs were there in that first diagram, as we’ve just seen. Since then, the Semantic Web has been codified in a number standards, like RDF, with a query language, SPARQL, and myriad ontologies spanning multiple disciplines and domains of knowledge. The Semantic Web is often connected to the concept of “Linked Data”, in that you don’t have to possess the data: You can put a link to it in your data and let the WWW sort it out. foaf:Person from above is a small example of Linked Data - they’ve defined “Person” in a linkable way so I can use their definition by adding a link to it. We’ll get back to this in a bit.
There are so many great reasons for encoding data in RDF. Interoperability being the greatest, in my opinion. I can send that chunk of RDF above to anybody and they (and their computers) should be able to understand it unambiguously as it’s completely self-contained and self-describing (via the links). 
There’s just not an equivalent in relational or other databases:
That’s dealt with the first of our two problems outlined before, i.e. metadata. Let’s move on to identity. In my (and a lot of people’s) opinion identity wasn’t really considered carefully enough at the beginning of the internet. I don’t blame them. It would have been hard to predict phishing, fake accounts and identity theft back in 1989.
I put <some_abstract_id> in the RDF example, above, on purpose. Mainly because RDF needs a “subject” for all the triples to refer to, but also because I wanted to discuss how hard it is to think of what that id/subject would be. In RDF terms it should be a IRI as it should point to a uniquely identifiable thing on the Internet, but what should we use? I have quite a lot of identities on the internet. On LinkedIn, I’m https://www.linkedin.com/in/mnjwharton/ . On Twitter, I’m https://twitter.com/iotics_mark . In Geoff’s case, what identity should we use? He has two in my contrived example: “1234” and “4321” - neither of which have any meaning outside the context of their respective databases. I certainly can’t use them as my <some_abstract_id> as they’re not URLs or URIs.
To solve this problem, who we gonna call? Not Ghostbusters, but the W3C and their Decentralised Identifiers (DIDs). Caveat first. This isn’t the only way to solve identity problems, just my favourite. The first thing to know about DIDs is that they are self-sovereign. This is important in a decentralised environment like the internet. There is (rightly) no place I can go to set up my “internet id”. I can set up my own id, host it anywhere on the internet and, when it’s resolved (looked up in a database, for example), it will show you a short document. Here’s an example from the W3C spec - first the DID itself:
And then the document to which it points
Example DID document I agree that it looks pretty complicated, but it isn’t really for regular humans. The important thing is that I can prove, cryptographically, that this id is mine as it has my public key and I can add proofs to it that only I can make (because only I have my private key). (Note for tech nerds. The document is in JSON-LD - the JSON serialisation of RDF). These documents are stored in a Registry (which in itself should be decentralised, such as a blockchain or a decentralised file system such as IPFS).
Let’s get back to Geoff. The <some_abstract_id> I put in earlier, can now be replaced by Geoff’s. I’ll make one up for him
 Then we can use an excellently-named technique called Identity “smooshing” i.e. we can link all the other identities of Geoff that we know about using some triples. There are various we could pick.
foaf:nick - someone’s nickname
skos:altLabel - an alternative label for something
But I think that gist:isIdentifiedBy from the Semantic Arts’ Gist ontology is the best idea for Geoff.  gist:isIdentifiedBy describes itself as:
Perfect! Especially the bit about being able to have more than one.
Putting all the bits together, using decentralised identifiers, semantics and linked data we can have the self-sovereign id for Geoff linked to all his data and the other identifiers in other systems - all in one place and all self-contained and self-describing
Full RDF version of Geoff with links to other systems information Tying all the threads together to conclude. TBL’s vision of the World Wide Web and the Semantic Web were, and remain, decentralised to their core. Clue’s in the name. “Web”. His original diagram had all the pieces (except for Id) - information management in distributed (now decentralised) systems using graphs. TBL even tried to rename the WWW the Giant Global Graph (GGG) to emphasise this. Now most people just bundle these technologies as Web 3.0.
We also managed to “solve for Geoff” - the diverse, customer-in-a-vulnerable-situation use case - by allowing all the parties to keep data about Geoff:
In their own systems Using their own identifiers In an interoperable way (i.e. in RDF triples) so they can share some/all of it. I think of this not as a standard as such, but a standard approach. It’s like we all agree about the alphabet to use, but we don’t care so much about what you write using it.
Decentralised problems call for decentralised solutions and the mix of Semantics and Decentralisation allow everyone to keep control of their data about Geoff and to manage their part of the service mix, but also to share it with others in an interoperable way. At IOTICS, we call it “Digital Cooperation”.
I don’t really care what you call it, Semantics and Decentralisation go together like Fish and Chips, Beans on Toast, Strawberries and Cream. Strawberries are nice; cream is nice. But, together, they are more than the sum of their parts.
We all speak the same language, don't we?
Jonathan Eyre, Senior Technical Fellow in Digital Twins, AMRC and Digital Twin Lead, HVMC
And what does industrial common language mean for data interoperability?
In conversation we use language to express thoughts and our point of view, but are the same words being used and understood by everyone in the same way? At the moment, this is most certainly not the case for a term like digital twin at the moment, especially with use cases all being so different to each other. This misalignment can be manageable for a small group discussion, but for larger world-wide collaborations the question becomes how can you trust and perhaps even validate that everyone is using the same language in the same way?
These issues are already deeply embedded in current information systems; information is actively consumed across organisations, supply chains and even across human languages that are all trying to exchange information without any loss of quality. Common acronyms can have different meanings; SME stands for both "small and medium-sized enterprise" and "subject matter expert" which even a small misunderstanding like this can cause major downstream issues. Ensuring language is being used in the same way for every end user is difficult, but not impossible as we’ll discuss.
So how do we create an industrial common language?
We live in a complex world where manufactured goods are produced for other sectors (like the built environment), that are then transported around to let other sectors like healthcare to provide services to society. A sprawling system of systems.
Creating consistency in this interconnectedness is not to be understated in its difficulty. As with most things, there is prior work such as “The pathway Towards an Information Management Framework” [1] where this report and other supporting outputs detailed key principles and captured common language formally as “Industry Data Models & Reference Data”. The scale of the overall challenge is overwhelming for any individual; however individually we don’t need to solve everything. The framework critically enables experts in their fields to create consistent language to support everyone in managing information quality all the way to the top.
This is what the Apollo Protocol [2] is empowering by having a method for convening forums to solve problems, establishing a consistent language for them and justifying 'why?' with evidence along the way. Language is an ever-evolving process and creating an industrial language is no different with on-going efforts required.

I'm convinced, but what does it really give us? 
Chiefly, data interoperability. This often gets mentioned superficially as being crucial to enable digital twins and cyber-physical systems, however, to get there it is common language that is a key step towards having it.
The next thing is producing reference data libraries (RDLs) which are a “particular common set of classes and the properties we will want to use to describe our digital twins.” [1]. These will define the underpinning common language structures that will enable a click of a button exchange of information between information systems without data loss.
Data interoperability and RDLs together provides a new layer to build upon for managing quality information ensuring overall consistency. Importantly though nothing is technology (or vendor) dependent and is simply a methodology to analyse the world backed with evidence. This, itself, has a lot of advantages but overall allows a much greater agility to enable its development in distributed environments, thus avoiding silos of information that are typically controlled by a dictated single source.  Critically, this consistent, but distributed, approach enables continual open extensions to improve and innovate the structuring of the language we build up, even in different data management systems in different ecosystems.
So, what next?
Consistent language is critical for data interoperability and requires input by everyone. Being able to agree on language though doesn’t mean that everyone needs to unanimously agree, but by creating understanding where we can in our respective areas will enable the success of the transformations we are all making. With this approach, other areas of opportunity naturally open up such as mapping reference data libraries, ultimately enabling us to solve the wicked problems we face together worldwide.
The Apollo Protocol and its approach is enabling convening to develop unified common language for industrial data. If you are involved in initiatives and events also trying to enable interoperability and data sharing, then perhaps consider what you can do to enable consistent language as a starting point?
Jonathan Eyre is a member of the DT Hub Advisory Board, Senior Technical Fellow for Digital Twins for the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre and Digital Twin Lead for High Value Manufacturing Catapult. Contact Jonathan via the DT Hub. 
[1] The pathway Towards an Information Management Framework:
[2] The Apollo Protocol: https://theiet.org/apollo-protocol
Join the Apollo Protocol network discussions:
22 June 2023, 09:00-17:30 – hybrid event
Urban Innovation Centre, 1 Sekforde Street, London EC1R 0BE
UK and international Digital Twin Hub community members will convene to explore the latest cross-industry, business applications of digital twins that are creating impact and ROI.
Join 350+ senior-level policymakers, corporate asset owners, solution providers, academics, and investors to experience live demonstrations and interactive showcases, and gain access to new tools to enable business decisions.
Read our event brochure
Partnership opportunities
Please see our Connected Digital Twin Summit Commercial Partnership brochure below:
Connected Digital Twins Summit_Commercial Partnerships Brochure.pdf
The DT Hub is at this year's Futurebuild exhibition at the ExCel, London - come and find us on the Digital Stage!
13:30-14:15, Thursday 9 March 2023
Closing the gap between design and reality
Our exciting panel topic Digital twins... fake news for net zero features DT Hub Strategic Board members Melissa Zanocco, Mark Enzer and Simon Evans in lively discussion with Henry Fenby-Taylor about the practicalities of turning design ideas into reality, and the future impact of digital twins in the race to net zero.
The DT Hub is proud to present the best of the best when it comes to digital twins. This panel of industry experts will cover what we all want to know - whether digital twins are the answer and the significance of connected digital twins, community focused systems solutions, the circular economy and more.
We're also delighted to announce that 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗖𝗮𝘁𝗮𝗽𝘂𝗹𝘁'𝘀 𝗗𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝗼𝗳 𝗕𝘂𝗶𝗹𝘁 𝗘𝗻𝘃𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁, 𝗘𝗿𝗶𝗻 𝗪𝗮𝗹𝘀𝗵 will be the host of the 𝗗𝗶𝗴𝗶𝘁𝗮𝗹 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝗴𝗲 on the day.
Find out more about our speakers and attend the session.
Look out too for Digital Twin Hub representatives at Futurebuild
Bola Abisogun, DT Hub Advisory Group, speaking on 7/3 at 10:30-11:15
Emilia Cardamone, DT Hub Advisory Group, speaking on 7/3 at 16:30-17:15
Dan Rossiter, DT Hub Community Council, speaking on 8/3 at 16:30-17:15
Sarah Hayes, CReDo speaking on 8/3 at 14:30
About Futurebuild
Better future for the built environment. As the industry’s premier event, Futurebuild provides the stage for inspiring ideas, innovative solutions and knowledge sharing to drive sustainable construction and help us reach our goal of net zero. The exhibition brings together the entire supply chain to showcase, debate and understand the advancements in sustainable construction and the emerging technologies that will make net zero possible. Futurebuild is about driving positive change. Click here to learn more about Futurebuild.
Sign up here!
The DT Hub is a Futurebuild partner for 2023.

Welcome to our first editorial of 2023!
An update from Ryan Goodman, DT Hub Team Lead
What are some of the highlights from the last couple of months?
We are always looking for opportunities to increase collaboration and cooperation between industries, so a highlight has been launching our Cross Catapult Group. The group is open to each of the nine Catapults, whether it’s high value manufacturing or offshore renewable energy. The aim is to have a representative as part of the group joining a meeting every month to share knowledge and exchange digital twin related case studies. Many of the Catapults are in industries where we see applications of digital twins evolving or emerging and we want the DT Hub to be the central vehicle through which all the relevant news from the Catapults, relating to digital twins, is disseminated.
We’re hoping that it will build greater lines of communication across the Catapults so, for example, enabling overlapping industries or adjacent industries that would benefit from informing data standards or making data more interoperable.
Another highlight was hosting the first in our series of Fireside Chats; we had a virtual 30-minute panel discussion looking into the financial challenges and opportunities that accompany digital twins’ creation and implementation. There were 91 attendees at the event, so a great response and we plan to continue running them at least every quarter. Their focus will differ from Gemini Calls and rather than presenting case studies, the aim is that they spark debate amongst our community and help drive more thought leadership related content around the opportunities to progress connected digital twins.
One other item to flag up is that we are in the process of developing e-learning materials with the Open Data Institute to build digital skills and improve literacy and capability around digital twin thinking. They will not only focus on the technical side but also build up some of the softer skills such as communication related to building a digital twin business case. We really need to progress these skills so we can clearly communicate the value and impact to Businesses and Society from implementing this technology.
Any dates for the diary?
Tuesday 7 March – Register for our Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) webinar, we'll be looking at cross-sector data sharing and bringing the data together in a way that is scaleable and extensible. 
Thursday 9 March – FutureBuild 2023, where we're hosting a panel session with several DT Hub community members, to drive discussions around the future adoption of digital twins.
Thursday 22 June – Save the date for our Digital Twin Showcase event at Connected Places Catapult, London. If you’re not already a member of the DT Hub, sign up here – more information coming very soon!
What exciting digital twin story have you come across recently?
I’ve been reading a really interesting report from McKinsey about how the enterprise metaverse will be powered by dozens of interconnected Digital Twins that replicate everything from physical assets to people to core business processes and often interact with the physical environment without human intervention. There are some great case studies in the report that bring to life what this could look like and the potential efficiencies that would come from this approach.
The report also mentions how quickly the digital twin sector is growing. The research findings have indicated that 70 per cent of C-suite technology executives at large enterprises are exploring and investing in digital twins. This interest, combined with an improvement in supportive technologies, is driving market estimates for digital-twin investments. These investments are set to be more than $48 billion by 2026, which is great news for the digital twin ecosystem.
Showcasing the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo)
The Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) team recently welcomed the UK Parliament's Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy report Readiness for storms ahead? Critical national infrastructure in an age of climate change where the project was noted for its work looking at the impact of flooding on energy, water and telecoms networks. CReDo is combining datasets from Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks into one ‘system model’ to develop a cross-sector picture of extreme weather events on the infrastructure system. In bringing together data and insights across sectorial and organisational boundaries, the project shows how we can collaborate on a national network of connected digital twins to create resilient infrastructure. After a successful first phase, the CReDo team can't wait to take you through the latest activities and achievements.
Don't miss the CReDo Phase 2 webinar!
We would be delighted if you could join us online for the CReDo webinar Showcasing the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) – Increasing climate resilience through cross-sector data sharing in a connected digital twin on Tuesday 7 March 2023 from 10:00-12:00.
This event runs in place of the usual Digital Twin Hub Gemini Call. 
 Digital twins and data sharing initiatives can face many challenges. We will be looking at: 
How to break down data siloes for cross-sector data sharing and bring the data together in a way that is scalable and extensible to other organisations, sectors and regions  How to unlock the strategic use case for planning and investment in climate resilient infrastructure.  We'll also be running a live demo of the latest version of CReDo and showing clips of the new film. The CReDo team will be ready to answer your questions. 
NEW  Event programme
𝘞𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯: 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝗘𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘀, Arup and DT Hub Strategic Board
𝘊𝘙𝘦𝘋𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝟤 𝘫𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘺: 𝗦𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗵 𝗛𝗮𝘆𝗲𝘀 and 𝗟𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻, CReDo (Connected Places Catapult)
𝘊𝘙𝘦𝘋𝘰 𝘣𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘧𝘪𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘮𝘪𝘤𝘴: 𝗦𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗵 𝗦𝗻𝗲𝗹𝘀𝗼𝗻, Frontier Economics; 𝗘𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝘁 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝘂, CReDo (Connected Places Catapult)
𝘛𝘦𝘤𝘩𝘯𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘶𝘱𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘥𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯: 𝗝𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼 𝗔𝗰𝗸𝗿𝗼𝘆𝗱, CMCL Innovations
𝘐𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘺 𝘱𝘢𝘯𝘦𝘭 𝘘&𝘈: moderated by 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝗘𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘀, with 𝗔𝗹𝗲𝘅 𝗪𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗵𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿, Milestone Infrastructure; 𝗡𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗹 𝗪𝗮𝘁𝘀𝗼𝗻, Northumbrian Water; 𝗝𝗶𝗺 𝗛𝗮𝗹𝗹, National Infrastructure Commission; 𝗧𝗼𝗺 𝗕𝘂𝗿𝗴𝗼𝘆𝗻𝗲, Anglian Water; 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘁 𝗪𝗲𝗯𝗯, UK Power Networks; 𝗟𝗼𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗲 𝗞𝗿𝘂𝗴, BT/Openreach; 𝗡𝗶𝗸𝗸𝗶 𝗩𝗮𝗻 𝗗𝗶𝗷𝗸, Mott MacDonald
𝘊𝘙𝘦𝘋𝘰 𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘱𝘴: 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗝𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀, Connected Places Catapult
𝘊𝘙𝘦𝘋𝘰 𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘮 𝘘&𝘈: moderated by 𝗦𝗶𝗺𝗼𝗻 𝗘𝘃𝗮𝗻𝘀, with 𝗦𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗵 𝗛𝗮𝘆𝗲𝘀, 𝗘𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝘁 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗼𝘂 and 𝗟𝗼𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗖𝗵𝗮𝗺𝗯𝗲𝗿𝗹𝗮𝗶𝗻, CReDo (Connected Places Catapult); plus 𝗦𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗵 𝗦𝗻𝗲𝗹𝘀𝗼𝗻, Frontier Economics; 𝗝𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼 𝗔𝗰𝗸𝗿𝗼𝘆𝗱, CMCL Innovations; 𝗖𝗵𝗿𝗶𝘀 𝗝𝗼𝗻𝗲𝘀, Connected Places Catapult
𝘊𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴: 𝗬𝗮𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗮 𝗖𝗼𝗹𝗲𝗺𝗮𝗻, Connected Places Catapult

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Everything you need to know about the DT Hub and its community in an easy download.
New for the DT Hub in 2023 is our overview brochure, highlighting our work as a community to date, our priorities and objectives, key projects and initiatives, and the impact we make collaboratively.
We hope you will use the brochure to share our vision with colleagues and industry contacts.
“Digital twins and connected digital twins will equip us against global systemic challenges including pandemics, climate change and resilience. They make investment sense for societies, industries and governments as we move towards the vision of a cyber physical future, and their impact on our economies will be huge. The need for connected digital twins to meet the challenges of this changing world has never been greater and the Digital Twin Hub is leading the way."
Dr Alison Vincent, Chair, Digital Twin Hub
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