Innovation and changeDigital TransformationCity seeks ‘digital twin’

City seeks 'digital twin'

Competition seeks a digital model of Bristol – a digital twin – and ways in which it could be used

Bristol may soon have its own ‘digital twin’ – a first for the UK – through a new competition launched today by Lord Adonis.

The chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission issued a call to arms for students, academics and leading technology companies to enter a new Data Challenge, and see whether a digital model of the city – a digital twin – could be created and how it could be used.

Entrants can recreate any element of the city in digital form – whether local bus routes, energy usage or waste collections – so that it can be used to help map Bristol’s future infrastructure needs.

Teams must include people from a range of disciplines, whether students, academics, data scientists or infrastructure specialists, and have until 6 October to enter. They will then have the opportunity to present their proposals at the Bristol Data Dome, the only observatory of its kind in Europe.

Lord Adonis will be advised by an experienced panel of judges, including representatives of Innovate UK, the Alan Turing Institute, Ordnance Survey, the UKCRIC (UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities) network and the National Infrastructure Commission.

The winner will be announced at the Bristol Festival of the Future City on 19 October, and will have the chance to work with the National Infrastructure Commission to see how their digital plans of Bristol can be further developed to create a digital twin of the whole of the UK.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said: “Britain should be leading the way in using the latest digital technologies to make the most of our infrastructure, and to plan for new projects.

“Our new Data Challenge is about asking the brightest and best to see how far this technology can take us, and what benefits it could bring.

“I look forward to seeing how teams create a model for Bristol which could be used to help plan and use infrastructure across the country.”

The Digital Twin Data Challenge forms a key part of the National Infrastructure Commission’s latest study, which examines how digital technologies including artificial intelligence can be used to improve the productivity of the nation’s infrastructure.

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