Review of the funding programme aims

Building a Secure and Resilient World

  • This funding aims to strengthen social and economic resilience, and enhance national security across virtual and physical spaces, by improving awareness of risks and threats; preparedness, decision making and response; and allowing change to be understood as a force for good
  • We are part of the ‘Strengthening resilience in natural and built environment’ sub theme
    • Mitigate impact of natural and anthropogenic hazards and risks on wider societal processes and operations in rural and urban contexts being responsive to particular requirements of place.

The DAFNI Programme and it’s Centre of Excellence is seeking to support feasibility studies, which explore scenarios in response to a particular short-term or long-term shock and develop appropriate solutions which demonstrate an aspect of resilience. Of particular interest are scenarios which can be transferred from one geographic region to another, can be scaled up to a national scale, or explore the interactions between different infrastructure systems and with environmental and societal features in a multidisciplinary approach.

Projects should include how to access, use, and combine data and computational models to evaluate and measure the impact of shocks, and propose appropriate responses and adaptations to further resist, absorb and recover from the shock event.

Here are some examples of areas we would seek to fund:

Transport:

  • Modelling of transport systems to identify pinch points which cause transport systems failures and explore mitigation strategies.
  • Digital twin of a transport system or operational systems to consider impact of failures and potential approaches to mitigation.
  • Simulating the impact of natural and human derived shocks onto transport systems and explore adaptation and mitigation strategies

Energy:

  • Modelling future energy security in response to global shocks in energy supply and analysing the transition risks as the economy adapts to the net zero carbon target.
  • Digital twin of an energy system to consider impact of failures resulting from unexpected events and potential approaches to mitigation.
  • Renewable Energy Sources: Diversifying to zero carbon energy sources – modelling of Energy demand and impact of climate on net zero energy sources

Department of Science, Innovation and Technology

DSIT are undertaking a pilot initiative to address barriers to data sharing (the Research Data Cloud Pilot project – RDCP). UKRI has been working closely with DSIT on the development of this £5.3M initiative.  The overall objective of this activity is to test and understand the need for a national research cloud through a series of interventions designed to remove data sharing barriers, in order to identify potential models and options for future national scale initiatives, and to build an investment case and set out the role of Government.

In August 2023, DSIT through the UKRI Digital Research Infrastructure programme solicited projects to work towards this objective.   Given the time scales, eligibility was limited to existing programmes able to quickly extend their activities.  DAFNI submitted a proposal, called DAFNI-Data Infrastructure for National Infrastructure (DINI), focussed on exploring the barriers and opportunities for data sharing in national infrastructure.  This has been accepted, with funding in FYs 2023-24 and 2024-25.

DINI has the following specific objectives: 

  1. Situation analysis: Identify the benefits and barriers to data sharing, exchange and reuse for infrastructure systems data and related domains – for example by enabling communities to connect across data platforms for multi-disciplinary research, to deliver impact across themes. 
  2. Data publication support: Recommend best practises to enable the FAIR publication of and access to infrastructure systems data, including data policy and data sharing agreement templates, and data annotation and terminology including ontologies and the use of Digital Object Identifiers. 
  3. Enabling services: Pilot data brokering services to catalogue and provide access to infrastructure data and make it available for interoperation and reuse in traceable analysis processes. 
  4. Benefits realisation: Demonstrate potential benefits via case studies on the use of interoperable data in cross-domain scenarios.

In line with this investigation, the Centre of Excellence objectives and DAFNI collaborative platform, we are interested in promoting access and integration of diverse data sources and overcoming the barriers associated with using data (such as data sharing agreements and making data FAIR).

We are therefore looking to fund feasibility case studies in Infrastructure resilience, looking specifically at the impact and mitigations to improve the resilience using computational modelling on the DAFNI platform, whilst highlighting the challenges and solutions that arise in identifying and accessing the data to solve the infrastructure resilience questions in the areas of Transport and Energy.

  • Projects should include a deliverable highlighting their use of data in the scenario, particularly discussing:
  • the availability, use and integration of diverse data sources
  • the organisational and technical barriers to accessing and using those data sources

Scoring Criteria and Benchmarks

Assessment Criteria
Scientific technical excellence
Is the research proposed original, timely, and innovative, taking into account the state of the art, and does it potentially contribute to the body of knowledge in the domain?
Contribution to the aims of the Building a Secure and Resilience World programme  and DSIT investigation
Is the proposed research aligned to the aims of the BSRW programme and DSIT Investigation?
Research design and methods, including feasibility of work-plan and suitability and sustainability of research within the DAFNI platform 
Does the workplan propose a realistic and achievable programme of work within the resources and timescales requested?
Is the programme of work feasible to be delivered and sustained within the DAFNI platform?
Anticipated outputs, dissemination and impact to wider stakeholders 
To what extent does the proposed outputs have an impact for wider stakeholders? Does the proposal present a realistic plan of activities to engage and promote the results of the project to wider stakeholders? Do they align their activities with the Centre?
Value for money

Are the resources requested justified and do they represent good value for money for the outputs proposed?

 

Scoring Benchmarks
5 The proposal is excellent; fundable
The proposed project is at the leading edge and addresses all of the assessment criteria to an exceptional level.   
The proposed project is timely and likely to have a significant impact on the field.   
The project is likely to deliver significant impacts and benefits to the economy, society and/or contribute to BSRW programme within DAFNI. 
All work is feasible within the time available. The project plan is robust and clear. Robust plans are in place to ensure these impacts are realised.  
The funding requested is fully justified, all costs are reasonable. The proposed project represents an attractive investment of public funds.  
You think that this project should be supported as a priority. 
4 The proposal is very good; fundable
The proposed project is of a highly competitive standard and meets the majority of the assessment criteria to a very high level.   
The proposed project is timely and will answer important questions and advance the field.   
The project is highly likely to deliver positive impacts and benefit on the economy, society and/or contribute to the BSRW Programme within DAFNI. 
All work is feasible within the time available. The project plan is robust and clear. Plans are in place to ensure these impacts are achieved.  
The funding requested is fully justified, all costs are reasonable and the project represents a good investment of public funds.  
You think that this project should be supported. 
3 The proposal is good; fundable
The proposed project has merit and meets the majority of the  
assessment criteria to an adequate level.   
The proposed project is timely and likely to advance the field. All work is feasible within the time available. 
The project is likely to have an impact on the economy, society and/or contribute to the BSRW Programme within DAFNI. 
The project plan is clear.  Some plans are identified to ensure these impacts will be realised.  
The funding requested has been justified, most costs are reasonable.  The project represents a fair investment of public funds.  
You think that this project should be supported, if funds are available. 
2 The proposal is poor; not fundable
The proposed project is potential of merit and meets some of the potential criteria. The project has potential of some merit and meets some of the assessment criteria to adequate level but is not competitive and is unlikely to advance the field significantly.
The proposed project maybe be feasible within the time available. The project plan lacks detail.
Some impact on the economy and society might be realised, no arrangement has been made to ensure this impact will be achieved. 
The funding requested is not well justified, some costs are unrealistic. The project does not represent good value for money.
You think that this project should not be supported. 
1 The proposal is unfundable; Not fundable 
The proposed project is flawed, or duplicative of other research and innovation, and does not meet the majority of the assessment criteria to an adequate level.    
The project is unlikely to advance the field or have real tangible impact or benefit outside of the project team. 
The funding requested is not justified, costs are unrealistic or the resources requested are unreasonable. The project is poor value for money.  
You think that this project should not be supported.