New Gemini Principles lay the foundations for developing digital twins

Published: 7 Dec 2018

By: NIC

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Computer generated-image of a city

The Government’s new Digital Framework Task Group today published the Gemini Principles – the values and definitions that would guide the development of a national digital twin of the UK’s infrastructure, as recommended by the National Infrastructure Commission.

A national digital twin would offer a digital model of the UK’s infrastructure network, made up of connected digital twin models spanning transport, energy, water and telecommunications.  This could vastly improve how infrastructure is managed, maintained and planned in the future – for example, by identifying water leaks more quickly, or reducing delays on the rail network.

Britain’s strengths in artificial intelligence and machine learning make it well placed to lead this agenda.  Published today by chair of the Task Group Mark Enzer and Business Minister Richard Harrington, the Gemini Principles for developing future digital twins are:

  • Public Good – the twin must be used to deliver genuine public benefit in perpetuity;
  • Value Creation – it must enable value creation and performance improvement;
  • Insight – it must provide determinable insight into the built environment;
  • Security – the twin must enable security and be secure itself;
  • Openness – it must be as open as possible;
  • Quality – it must be built on data of an appropriate quality;
  • Federation – the twin must be based on a standard connected environment;
  • Curation – the twin must have clear ownership, governance and regulation; and
  • Evolution – it must be able to adapt as technology and society evolve

The creation of the Digital Framework Task Group was one of the key recommendations in the National Infrastructure Commission’s report, Data for the Public Good.  This was one of three recommendations that the Government accepted, as well as:

  • The need for work to bring together organisations from across industry to identify opportunities to make data available; and
  • Work between this new Task Group, the UK Regulators Network and Government departments to review and strengthen the role of economic regulators in improving the quality and openness of infrastructure data.

Responding to publication of the Gemini Principles, a spokesperson for the National Infrastructure Commission said:

“The UK has a chance to be a world leader in digital and artificial intelligence technologies, which could bring enormous benefits to our infrastructure network and people’s everyday lives.

“The Gemini Principles set out today by the Digital Framework Task Group will underpin the vital work to develop the first-ever Digital Twin of the UK’s infrastructure – which could also be world-beating in its scale and complexity.

“We look forward to seeing the next steps from the Task Group as it continues to work with industry and Government to develop this technology and its applications.”

Notes to Editors:

The Data for the Public Good report was published on 14 December 2017 and can be found here

The Government published its response to the Data for the Public Good report in July – the National Infrastructure Commission’s statement on that is available here 

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