DAFNI Newsletter 15th December 2023

DAFNI Christmas Logo

DAFNI Newsletter, 15 December 2023

Man with glasses smiling at camera

Welcome to our last DAFNI newsletter of 2023!

I am delighted to announce that DAFNI has recently been awarded new funding from the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology to support the development and understanding of the need for a UK Research Data Cloud.  We are particularly interested in how to improve infrastructure resilience, understanding the impact and mitigation whilst highlighting the challenges and solutions that arise in identifying and accessing the data to support the research. We are including additional funds from this in the DAFNI Sandpits projects which we announced in our November newsletter. To get involved, register for our webinar event on the 10th January 2024 through our website.

2023 has been an exciting time for the DAFNI Community.  

Here are just some of the highlights:

  • Funding awarded from the Building a Secure and Resilient World Theme
  • The launch of the Centre of Excellence, bringing 8 projects’ models and data onto DAFNI
  • DAFNI Conference 2023
  • Launch of DAFNI Webinars 2024, starting January 10th!
  • Announcement of Opportunity for Infrastructure Resilience for Transport and Energy
  • OpenClim – Open Climate Framework completed, research paper is shortly due!
  • UCL’s Shipping Digital Twin completed
  • CReDo – Climate Resilience Demonstration Digital Twin completed and extended

Finally we would like to wish you all a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year in 2024.

Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Programme Lead

2024 DAFNI Conference

Book now for our 2024 DAFNI conference on the 10th of September 2024! 

We are holding early bird prices up until July 2024!

From August standard prices will rise from £45 to £60, student prices will rise from £20 to £30

Introducing our DAFNI Strategy Board Members

The DAFNI programme would like to thank the current Chair and Strategy board members for extending their term with us, continuing their commitment and dedication to developing the DAFNI platform and advising on DAFNI requirements as well as developing a community of researchers on the platform. 


Click here to find out more about our strategy board members 

New Funding Opportunity with DAFNI – Apply Now! 

A total fund of £240,000 is available across the two Sandpit events, funded at 80% full economic cost (FEC), between 6-to-12-month projects. We anticipate projects of up to £50,000 at 100% FEC. We are expecting to fund 3 projects in each focus area: Transport and Energy. 

  • Projects from the Transport sandpit will be expected to start on the 1st of April 2024 and finish before the 31st of March 2025.
  • Projects from the Energy sandpit will be expected to start 1st of May 2024 and finish before the 31st of March 2025.

This funding opportunity is now open. More information is available here


Applications should be received up to and including the deadline of: 17:00 on Friday 19th of January 2024.

Applicants are required to reserve the following dates for the sandpits, please note these sessions are mandatory.

Meeting Transport Energy
Session 1 – Initial Sandpit 05/02/2024 27/02/2024
Team confirmation to be emailed to DAFNI Programme 06/02/2024 28/02/2024
Session 2 – Sandpit Team Presentations 12/02/2024 05/03/2024


banner advertising webinar series

DAFNI is running monthly lunchtime webinar series throughout 2024, each month a different speaker will discuss their work using the DAFNI platform. The sessions will be one hour, with 40 minutes for the presentations and 20 minutes for questions.

Book now for the first in the DAFNI Webinar series on 10 January at 12-1pm, this webinar will cover the following:

  • Background on the purpose/aims of the sandpits
  • How the sandpits will work
  • Sandpit dates/times
  • Information on the announcement of opportunity
  • Q&A

Upcoming confirmed speakers

  • 28 February 2024 – Dr Robert Nicholls with a talk on ‘OpenCLIM: Open Climate Impacts Modelling Framework’
  • 27 March 2024 – Dr Jens Jensen with a talk on ‘The Climate Resilience Demonstrator’
  • April 2024 onwards to be revealed…

News from our central team

DAFNI hardware advances multi-sector infrastructure system research at University of Manchester.

DAFNI hardware funds have allowed the University of Manchester to purchase High Performance Computing equipment to power research in water and infrastructure system engineering. 

Professor Julien Harou explains, “We are using the DAFNI-funded hardware to speed up multi-sector research in developing nations and UK. We carry out simulations over 10- or 20-year timeframes, to assess how different groupings of development options could fare under future scenarios. 

“This requires significant computing power, and to power this we have purchased two 4-core machines and one 8-core computer with the DAFNI funds.

“We have already made significant use of the DAFNI equipment for specific research studies, including research in Ghana looking at combined energy and water systems – such as using hydropower to enable that country to take on more intermittent renewable energy sources like solar and wind into their supply system. Considering water and energy systems together reveals how hydropower impacts energy availability but also water availability, aquatic ecosystems and water for agricultural production.

“This multi-sector modelling is the kind of research for which the DAFNI equipment and tools are invaluable.”

Click to read the full blog

New DAFNI Platform Features

Our Technical Team have added the following new features to the platform:

  • Network Rail Data
  • Added new metadata fields [contact_point_name], [contact_point_email], [licence], and [rights] to Models and Workflows.
  • Released the DAFNI CLI python package
  • Reworked how Datasets are uploaded in DAFNI removing the 5GB limit on file sizes
  • Added an option to manually specify the Geojson for Dataset spatial coverage
DAFNI training graphic

DAFNI Technical Training

A great opportunity to get up to speed quickly on DAFNI and to ask our technical experts your burning questions. Highly recommended for those developing a research proposal and are thinking of including DAFNI as the platform of choice for the research.  

Our regular technical training events on DAFNI are available to book via Eventbrite. Next upcoming training events;

  • 24th January 2024
  • 20th March 2024
  • 15th May 2024

To attend the event you will need experience of entering code through a command line interface, for more information and to book, please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/dafni-31793198351

Man and laptop

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

Current users of DAFNI
Get updated on the latest technical updates and features, visit: https://dafni.mhp.ukri.org/dafnilogin/

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: www.dafni.ac.uk

STFC logo
EPSRC logo


Rutherford Appleton Laboratory



OX11 0QX

W: www.dafni.ac.uk

E: info@dafni.ac.uk

Twitter logo
Youtube icon
18th December 2023