Home » Birmingham to use digital twin tech as part of net-zero drive

Birmingham to use digital twin tech as part of net-zero drive

by Liam Turner
An aerial map of Birmingham's road network with a green, digital-looking aesthetic

Birmingham City Council is set to use digital twin technology as part of its plans to become a net-zero city.

The city’s cabinet is expected to soon approve the funding of its DIATOMIC (Digital InnovAtion TransfOrMative Change) project, which will gather real-time data from sensors on features such as energy output, pollution, and traffic congestion.

This will feed into a virtual model to run simulations, study performance issues, and generate potential improvements in how the council runs it services in it efforts to achieve net-zero.

The council is set to receive just over £1m for the project from the Innovate UK West Midlands Innovation Accelerator.

‘A leading city in digital innovation’

Cllr Jayne Francis, Birmingham’s cabinet member for Digital, Culture, Heritage and Tourism, said: “This is a great way of helping us tackle the big challenges facing the city, seeing what works and where the problems are using real-time data.

“That way, we can invest intelligently, making sure we can be even more confident of results that will help our residents.

“There will be some really pioneering work happening in east Birmingham, tied to our inclusive growth programme, unlocking opportunities for local tech and social enterprises, which traditionally attract people from more disadvantaged communities.”

She added: “It is also about being even more outward looking, enabling city-to-city partnerships – much like the cultural, sister-city relationships that many cities have, but with the focus of these partnerships being economic in nature.

“We are positioning Birmingham as a leading UK city in digital innovation.”

The project will involve the application of a procurement system aimed at utilising local skills.

The council is working in partnership with Birmingham City University, Aston University, University of Birmingham, the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, and Connected Places Catapult.

Image: An aerial map of Birmingham’s road network. Credit: Hairem/Shutterstock

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