Have your say over how digital technologies can improve the nation’s infrastructure

Published: 27 Jul 2017



Modern city at night with technology concept

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis today issued a call for evidence on how new digital technologies can improve the productivity of the UK’s infrastructure.

It forms part of the Commission’s latest study, which examines how these innovations could be used to better plan and maintain the country’s infrastructure network.

The New Technologies study will also consider the security and resilience requirements of new systems producing large amounts of data, and how new models such as digital twins could be introduced to help plan for future infrastructure needs.

It will do so through four case studies:

  • Better asset management through the application of artificial intelligence – in particular, the maintenance of masonry arch bridges in the rail network;
  • Smarter traffic management – to make better use of the road network, and as part of the move towards connected and autonomous vehicles;
  • Water efficiency – how new technologies can be used to drive efficiencies, and reduce leakages in the system; and
  • Big data – considering how we can support the effective deployment of data-based technologies by enabling the improved collection, management and use of infrastructure data

The study follows a request from the Chancellor for the Commission to identify which new technologies have the greatest potential for improving the productivity of infrastructure, and what steps government should take to support their deployment.

An initial call for evidence in February asked which technologies should be considered – with the responses focusing predominantly on digital.

Today’s call for evidence asks for views on how these are already being used, how they could be extended further and what future opportunities may become available.

Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said:

“From artificial intelligence to virtual reality, digital technologies play an increasing role in people’s everyday lives, but we are only just beginning to see how it could be used to address some of the country’s greatest challenges.

“The evidence we’ve received makes clear that digital technologies will be at the heart of what we do in future to better manage and maintain our infrastructure.  Today I’m issuing a call for evidence on how we make this happen and ensure we remain at the forefront of infrastructure innovation.

“We want to hear a range of views – whether from people in the industry or the general public; from specialists in infrastructure or in digital technology – so we can develop a way forward that takes advantage of the most cutting-edge technologies available.”

Share this article


Recent Articles

Coming up in 2022
Thumbtack pins in calendar concept for busy, appointment and meeting reminder

Coming up in 2022

This page shows a calendar reflecting the latest expected dates for Commission reports, publications and events. You can also sign up to receive our quarterly newsletter by entering your email address in the box at the very foot of our homepage; or sign up to receive updates specifically on the programme for the second National...

22 Feb 2022 By
We’re recruiting – Senior policy adviser
Digital city image

We’re recruiting – Senior policy adviser

We have a great opportunity for an experienced policy professional with an interest in and good experience of the digital infrastructure space, but who also has the breadth of skills and knowledge that would allow them to work across all areas of our policy remit. Work is underway in earnest on our second National Infrastructure...

17 Aug 2022 By
We’re recruiting – Head of Governance
Image of a meeting pack

We’re recruiting – Head of Governance

The operational independence of the Commission is crucial both to the credibility of the advice it provides to government and its capacity to deliver its responsibilities effectively. To help achieve that, the Commission is supported by a number of boards and committees that oversee and monitor its performance and ensure that its duties are performed...

17 Aug 2022 By
Armitt on drought resilience: fixing leaks, reducing demand, building supply
Dry soil and patchy grass

Armitt on drought resilience: fixing leaks, reducing demand, building supply

In a comment piece for The Times’ Red Box, Commission Chair Sir John Armitt today sets out steps to help reduce the risk of future severe drought in England. The piece, reproduced below, argues for further action on identifying leaks, expanding water metering and reducing consumer demand, and building new supply and transfer infrastructure. Sir...

8 Aug 2022 By

Evidence_Icon_Turquoise Created with Sketch.

Explore data used in the Commission's research, and gain insights from across UK infrastructure

Join our team of professionals supporting the Commission to provide evidence based and forward thinking advice on infrastructure strategy.