Digital twin of Birmingham to support net zero drive

Work is underway on the creation of Birmingham’s digital twin, a virtual copy of the city that is expected to accelerate decarbonisation efforts. 

The DIATOMIC (Digital lnnovAtion TransfOrMatlve Change) project is set to receive £1 million this week from the Innovate UK West Midlands Innovation Accelerator.

Birmingham’s digital twin, which uses real world data to run simulations that can predict how an object or system will perform, will revolutionise how the council deals with planning, air pollution and traffic management. 

The virtual testbed will generate possible improvements in how the council runs its services, primarily in an effort to achieve net zero emissions. 

Cllr Jayne Francis, 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.

The digital twin project will also work towards creating a more effective procurement system to benefit local talent to support Birmingham-based businesses. 

Francis said this will unlock opportunities for local tech and social enterprises that traditionally attract people from more disadvantaged communities.

He 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.”

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