Press Release

The National Digital Twin programme (NDTp) and partners on the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) have released a short film Tomorrow Today, showing the essential role of infrastructure resilience in the climate emergency and an interactive app, which allows users to explore how connected digital twins can help plan for better utilities resilience.

Both were launched at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) and are available here:

The interactive app, developed by the NDTp together with Esri UK and in partnership with Mott MacDonald, introduces the fictional Sunford City. The city experiences a series of severe storms, driven by climate change, that cause a cascade of emergencies across the city and hamper the ability of utility networks to recover.

Users can test different scenarios by using isolated digital twins versus connected digital twins, to see how this enables them to make decisions to better protect the city. This demonstrates how connecting datasets and digital twins across organisations and sectors through the National Digital Twin is vital to future infrastructure resilience and is on the critical path to Net Zero.

Directed by BAFTA winning director Colin O’Toole, Tomorrow Today tells the story of Arthur and his grandson Jack facing the unprecedented Storm Ruby, which has the potential to knock out multiple utility services and threaten lives. It has been produced by Crocodile Media in partnership with Little Monk Pictures. The film will premiere during COP26 and will be available online from 2 November 2021.

Sarah Hayes, the project’s lead and author of the report Data for the Public Good, commented, “Following the recent statement by the Environment Agency that ‘It is adapt or die’ when it comes to climate-driven flooding, CReDo’s outputs could not be more timely. We want the film and app to connect with everyone, from asset owners to the public, and remind them that lives are at stake. We need to build more resilience into our systems, and that takes collaboration. As Clara, the engineer in the film, says, ’We have the technology, we just need to share the data.’”

Charles Kennelly, chief technical officer of Esri UK, said, “Esri UK is proud to be working with the CReDo project to highlight the essential role of connected digital twins in understanding and mitigating the climate crisis. Geospatial technology is foundational for linking disparate digital twins, helping understanding of climate data and enabling organisations to collaborate on complex projects. We believe that the film and demonstrator app will have a significant impact on delegates at COP26.”

Rachel Boyd, creative director of Crocodile Media, said, “Crocodile is delighted to be working with the CReDo project. Our partnership with Little Monk Pictures has brought a wealth of world-class on- and off-screen talent to Tomorrow Today, harnessing the power of narrative storytelling to communicate the critical role of GIS data and connected digital twins on the road to Net Zero. Climate change is the single biggest issue of our time and it’s been our privilege to work with the CReDo team and Esri UK to bring the film to COP 26.”

CReDo project objectives

Collaborating on the Climate Resilience Demonstrator (CReDo) project with the National Digital Twin programme are Anglian Water, BT and UK Power Networks, who will use their asset and operations data combined with environmental data to inform an increased level of infrastructure resilience.

The project is being delivered through a collaboration of research centres and industry partners; the Universities of Cambridge, Edinburgh, Exeter, Newcastle and Warwick are working alongside the Hartree Centre, DAFNI, Science and Technology Facilities Council, CMCL Innovations, the Joint Centre for Excellence in Environmental Intelligence and Mott MacDonald. It is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Connected Places Catapult and the University of Cambridge.

Using an Information Management Framework (IMF) approach, which is being developed through the NDTp, CReDo will enable the partners to share data across a secure platform. CReDo will demonstrate the capability of the IMF approach to connect digital twins in a principled, scalable way to inform decision making in capital and operational planning, reducing the cost and disruptive impact of extreme weather events and increasing resilience. This collaborative project will demonstrate the potential of a National Digital Twin to deliver beneficial outcomes for people and the planet.