The last couple of months have been challenging with so many people’s lives and businesses being affected by this vicious virus which has directly touched loved ones and colleagues. Our thoughts are with you all. We are encouraged that research and science, combined with data and modelling are helping to lead efforts in a number of areas, including predicting future patterns of virus spread and contact tracing apps for the current outbreak. Our partners in the Urban Observatories are reporting and analysing important new data on areas such as changes to transport patterns, air quality and emissions.

Dr Brian Matthews, Project Lead, DAFNI

DAFNI and the National Digital Twin

DAFNI is supporting the modelling and data curation to support the creation of digital twins. The planned in-person event on digital twins has gone online in a series of webinars.

In last week’s video, Dr Brian Matthews, Project Lead for DAFNI explains:

  • What DAFNI is and what is a national digital twin
  • The challenges DAFNI is addressing in support of digital twins
  • How DAFNI is supporting the modelling and data curation to support the creation of digital twins

Watch the video here:

Parliamentary advisors on science and DAFNI

Professor Jim Hall, chair of the DAFNI Governance Board, has contributed to the UK Parliament’s POST Note on ‘Infrastructure and Climate Change’ published in March 2020, which looks at the main climate-related risks to the UK’s economic infrastructure, measures to reduce these risks and the main challenges to implementing resilience measures. DAFNI is highlighted as UKCRIC’s online platform to encourage sharing of infrastructure data between Government, industry and academia.

POST is the UK’s Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology, a body which bridges research and policy to provide reliable and up-to-date research evidence for the UK Parliament.

Find the report here

First DAFNI Champion!

We are pleased to announce that our first DAFNI Champion is Adrian Hickford of University of Southampton. Adrian is a research assistant in the Engineering and Physical Sciences Department.

Adrian is the first of a number of champions joining DAFNI to work with the DAFNI team and their home institutions to provide and explore use cases using the DAFNI facility, give feedback to the technical team on system requirements to meet researchers needs and disseminate and promote the DAFNI facility throughout their partner links.

Our recent Call for Champions resulted in a good number of high applications and we will soon be announcing more successful applicants.

Champions will be working with DAFNI on four important aspects for success:

  • Engaging with the research communities and building an enthusiastic community for DAFNI
  • Refining requirements and evaluation to help steer the ongoing DAFNI development with additional functionality
  • Integrating a range of infrastructure models and data to expand the DAFNI library
  • Building a central point for shared data, simulation and knowledge to bring the UK closer to providing a federated national digital twin.

Recent DAFNI enhancements

Now available: model uploads

The past weeks have seen an incredible amount of work on the modelling services in the platform. Researchers will now be able to upload their model, marking a very exciting development for the DAFNI facility.

We have currently 20 users on the facility who are trialling each aspect of the service and giving feedback to the team. In the current push, users are now building their models using the model user documentation and bringing their models onto the DAFNI platform. We hope that this will increase as the facility’s functionality is improved over time. In due course we will be providing training webinars on a number of aspects of using the DAFNI facility.

Upcoming sprints

The DAFNI development team is focusing working hard behind the scenes with a view to rolling out the following enhancements in the coming weeks:

  • Transition to new metadata schema for the data store, adhering to standards which comply with the DCAT v2 vocabulary. This will form the basis for long-term data curation, interoperability and search and discovery services
  • Updated search and discoverability service, incorporating the newly adopted metadata standards
  • Dataset versioning
  • Additional functionality for users’ dataset management, allowing them greater power to curate their datasets via the DAFNI web interface.

Don’t miss! DAFNI showcase roadshows via Zoom

Running during June and July 2020, DAFNI is offering demos of the DAFNI facility to researchers in 2 hour sessions on Zoom.

To register your interest, please email

Upcoming events

  • CDBB – Conceptualising Digital Twins webinar and video series. Running currently. Take part in a five-part series exploring how digital twins are defined and the overarching concepts around them a series of videos and discussions. View the full series and register here.
  • Bristol Urban Observatory – Virtual Hackathon. September 2020. We are working with Dr Theo Tryfonas and the team at Bristol’s Urban Observatory to bring city data onto DAFNI.
  • DAFNI Showcase Event Webinar. Planned for January 2021. As a newsletter recipient you’ll be the first to know when bookings are open; encourage your colleagues to be in the know – ask them to join our mailing list.

Funding calls

  • UK Climate Resilience Embedded Researcher scheme – Phase two: Embedded Researchers
  • Deadlines: the deadline for researchers to contact host organisations has been extended to 11 May 2020. The deadline for host organisations to confirm their preferred candidate has been extended to 18 May 2020.
  • UKRI recognises that the current situation may present additional challenges to those intending to apply. To help with that, the deadlines on all open funding opportunities will be extended to give applicants more time to submit their applications. The deadline for call has been extended by two weeks to 10 June 2020.

  • Virtual workshop: “Identifying challenges for a Sustainable Digital Society”.
    Closing date: 14 May 2020 at 16:00
    This is a call for expressions of interest to take part in a one-day scoping workshop to explore how research can tackle the challenges in establishing a Sustainable Digital Society. The outputs of the workshop will be used to scope a Digital Economy Theme call to be funded by EPSRC for up to £5m.
  • EPSRC NetworkPlus in Digitalised Surface Manufacturing.
    Deadline: 20 May 2020 at 16:00
    We have A flexible fund for fundamental research and feasibility studies as part of the EPSRC Digitalised Surface Manufacturing Network Plus award. Up to nine Fundamental Research and Feasibility Studies will be funded.

Funding calls cont…

  • Flexible Funding Call 2020 (Round 1) Supergen Energy Storage Network+ Deadline: 01 June 2020 at 17:00
    The Supergen Energy Storage Network+ serves stakeholders across the whole energy community, advancing and championing UK energy storage research and deployment.
  • Announcement of Opportunity: Climate and Environmental Risk Analytics for Resilient Finance (CERAF).
    Deadline: outline proposal: 16 June 2020 at 16:00
    Full Proposals deadline: w/c 1 November 2020
    Updated: 20 April 2020
    UKRI recognises that the current situation may present additional challenges to those intending to apply. To help with that, the deadline has been extended for 6 weeks to 16 June 2020 to give applicants more time to submit their applications.
  • Clean Air: Analysis & Solutions.
    Advance notice of 2021 intensive observing periods
    The partners in the Clean Air programme would like to encourage community participation in a co-ordinated UK observing intensive period in 2021. The aim of this early announcement is to facilitate a mobilisation of interested communities of researchers around two pre-defined periods. It is hoped that an early signposting of these dates will allow interested parties to seek funding, coordinate field and equipment deployments and align PhD projects.
    Winter observation period: Monday 20 January to Friday 28 February 2021
    Summer observation period: Monday 8 June to Friday 17 July 2021
11th May 2020