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DAFNI Newsletter July 2023

Welcome to the DAFNI July 2023 newsletter.
We are delighted to reach the end of the reviewing stage for our Centre of Excellence Grant programme and in our next newsletter we will be announcing the winners of this fund.
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DAFNI Conference, Imperial College London
12 September 2023
The momentum for the DAFNI conference is building and we are delighted to have confirmed two keynotes…Book now to secure your place!
Book now:
In future we are looking to set up a series of workshops to look at risks and shock scenarios in the areas of transport, energy, and telecoms. To keep updated, follow DAFNI on Eventbrite at:
In this issue we also feature the University of Oxford, where the Oxford Programme for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (OPSIS) is using the DAFNI platform and DAFNI hardware with the Water Resource Model of England and Wales (WREW).
Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Project Lead
Bookings open 2023
This year’s DAFNI Conference will take place at Imperial College, London on 12 September 2023.
Our speakers will examine the theme of ‘Building a secure and resilient world’.
Keynotes include: 
❇️ Bridget Rosewell CBE, Non-Executive Director at UKIB, Formerly Commissioner of the NIC
❇️ Dr Wei Yang, Co-Founder & CEO, Digital Task Force for Planning
Attendance brings:
✅Networking during breakfast and coffee breaks
✅Deeper conversations with colleagues old and new during lunch
✅Opportunity to meet the DAFNI team and the Executive Board
✅Chance to engage and join the DAFNI Community
✅See the DAFNI platform in action at our exhibition stand
✅ Find out how you can get involved with the Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis – fostering multi-disciplinary research with DAFNI as the high performance platform
✅Lightning talks from our grant holders
✅Find out about the latest research projects that DAFNI is involved in

Find out more and register at:

News from our central team

University of Oxford: National water modelling propelled by DAFNI hardware infusion

The purchase of DAFNI-funded hardware is enabling the Oxford Programme for Sustainable Infrastructure Systems (OPSIS) at University of Oxford to visualise modelling results, including satellite imagery and future scenarios, at very high resolution.

Computer Screens
The Water Resource Model of England and Wales (WREW) is one of the projects using the DAFNI platform and DAFNI hardware to model water infrastructure and water policies at country level for the first time.
Professor Jim Hall leads OPSIS, and explains, “At OPSIS we aim to improve decision-making by providing evidence and tools to analyse infrastructure systems’ resilience, explore possible futures and plot out pathways to sustainability. The new visualisation equipment funded by DAFNI helps us to scrutinise the results and communicate them to our research partners and within the group.”
In addition to use by OPSIS, the room will also be made available for use by other research groups in the Environmental Change Institute at University of Oxford, for interactive decision-making sessions
Click to read the blog:
The Climate Investment Challenge (CIC) from Imperial College Business School  
We often hear about the role of ‘data’ in helping investors to combat climate change…but how?
The Climate Investment Challenge CIC is a competition inviting student groups from around the world to propose innovative ideas to encourage business investment in solutions to tackle climate change. The CIC offer prizes to winning teams to develop their ideas to the next level.
Climate Investment Challenge Advert

The Centre for Greening FInance and Investment project co-sponsored the challenge and CGFI members Yilka Hysaj (Imperial College London), Christophe Christiaen and David Wallom (University of Oxford), and DAFNI lead Brian Matthews worked with the CIC on the Data Analytics Prize, which asked students to focus on using data analytics of data to solve business challenges for associated with climate change, with £5,000 awarded to the winning team.

The finalists were invited to pitch their ideas at an evening event at London’s Royal Institution on 9th June 2023, where Brian Matthews joined the judging panel.

Congratulations to the winning Team Reckon! – Aparna Holenarasipura Sreedhara & Akanksha Sahay from the University of Cambridge with their entry “Financing a just coal transition”, looking at analysing the costs and risks of transitioning away from the use of fossil fuels in emerging economies.

Akanksha said, “Special thanks to Brian Matthews for his invaluable feedback on modelling and data aspects of the solution.”

The UK Centre for Greening Finance and Investment CGFI will continue to mentor the prize winner throughout the summer to help move their idea towards implementation.

Group of people at conference
New DAFNI features

DAFNI issued its release 4.2 in June 2023, adding the following new features:

  • Reworked how Datasets are uploaded in DAFNI removing the 5GB limit on file sizes. There is still a soft limit of ~50GB for total Dataset size
  • Added an option to manually specify the Geojson for Dataset spatial coverage when uploading a Dataset and when filling in the metadata in Publish and Publish and Visualise steps in Workflows.
Screenshot of grant submission system
Calling all researchers who are submitting a proposal to Research Councils

DAFNI is on the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) grant submission system — you will see us listed as a facility which can be added to your grant proposal.

If your grant application requires novel workflows or you have particular requirements we would advise a conversation prior to submission. This is so we can advise accordingly. Look forward to joining your proposals.


DAFNI technical training
A great opportunity to get up to speed quickly on DAFNI and to ask our technical experts your burning questions.  Our regular technical training events on DAFNI are available to book via Eventbrite.
  • 27 September 2023 
  • 22 November 2023
Eventbrite Advertising Training

To attend the event you will need experience of entering code through a command line interface, for more information and to book, please visit:

person and laptop

 To request your account, please go to the DAFNI website and complete the short questionnaire:

Technical updates
Current users! Get updates on the latest technical updates and features, visit:
Funding opportunity
TWINE Demonstrators – digital twins for the natural environment

Apply for funding of up to £700,000 to deliver a digital twin pilot project which demonstrates how research using Earth Observation (EO) data and emerging digital twinning technologies can transform environmental science in the following priority areas:

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  • Climate change, mitigations and adaptation
  • Biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Natural hazards, including weather, and their mitigation

This funding opportunity is being delivered by NERC, in partnership with the Met Office, as part of the Twinning Capability for the Natural Environment (TWINE) programme.

This funding opportunity closes on 3 October 2023 and grants must start in January 2024 for 15 months

For more information, please visit the UKRI Funding Finder – NERC TWINE Demonstrators page:


DAFNI was originally funded by an £8 million EPSRC investment in the UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC) and a £1.2m grant under EPSRC’s Resource Only Strategic Equipment. Its aim has been to become the national platform to satisfy the computational needs in support of data analysis, infrastructure modelling and visualisation, and encourage whole-system thinking for the UK’s infrastructure research needs.

In March 2023 UKRI awarded £4m to STFC Scientific Computing to establish a national Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis, and move the Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) into its new phase.

Today, the platform supports research that aims to provide the UK with a world-leading infrastructure system that is more integrated, efficient, powerful, reliable, resilient and affordable. It is enabling the community to conduct research that is able to generate new insights at a higher level of detail and accuracy than ever before.

To find out more about DAFNI, visit:​

STFC logo
EPSRC logo


Rutherford Appleton Laboratory



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2nd August 2023