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  • Writer's pictureGJC Team

Prioritising national infrastructure data

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

Smart infrastructure

In this blog we discuss the necessity to prioritise, regulate, and share national infrastructure data.

The UK Government National Infrastructure Commission 2023 report ‘Data for the public good’ outlines priorities for unleashing data for infrastructure.

The report notes the imperative for UK Infrastructure to become ‘smarter’ if it is to be optimised. It stresses that if Artificial intelligence (AI) is provide the insights for infrastructure assets and systems, industry needs to adapt and support big data, analytics, and collaborate significantly more.

The Report highlights the need for:

(1) Regulators, network operators and utilities providers to prioritise data. Data sharing is a critical enabler for economic opportunities and can catalyse innovation. To this end the UK is establishing a Digital Framework Task Group that will work across infrastructure sectors to realise the benefits of data.

(2) A digital framework for infrastructure data. With leadership of the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB), key infrastructure providers organisations will collaborate to develop appropriate data standards that build on existing regulations and guidelines.

(3) Collaboration and data sharing across the infrastructure industry. The Infrastructure Client Group (ICG) will lead industry engagement in the digital framework and cultivate a shift towards increased data sharing in the infrastructure industry to encourage collaboration and innovation. The UK’s economic regulators will also play an important role in raising the quality and openness of infrastructure data.

(4) A roadmap towards a national digital twin. High quality, standardised data on infrastructure assets, and the ability to securely share this data, will enable the UK to build a dynamic, interconnected (infrastructure) ‘system’. The CDBB is tasked to work with the Alan Turing Institute (ATI) to develop a national digital twin. This virtual model of UK national infrastructure will allow the real time monitoring of infrastructure as well as support predictive planning. This will help to strategically manage the UK’s infrastructure and deliver resilient, responsive, and high-performance infrastructure systems.

The Data for Public Good report is helpful for noting the key components required to move towards ‘smart infrastructure’. This includes the need to put data at the centre of smart infrastructure thinking; the role of data regulators in creating an enabling environment; the imperative for data to become the ‘currency’ for collaboration across industry; and the pathway towards the creation of a national digital twin as a focal point.


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