New £4m resilient infrastructure analysis centre announced

Tom Griffin, director of STFC Scientific Computing.

A new £4m centre ensuring the UK is prepared for the sudden impacts of floods, water and food shortages, energy failures and other challenges, has been announced.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced the investment via the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Scientific Computing Department to establish a national Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis.

The centre will help to tackle these challenges by bringing together the many strands of research needed to create more resilient cities and societies.

Starting in April 2023, it will support data analysis to foster research into resilience in the natural and built environment by providing a reliable, safe, and accessible online space to facilitate collaboration and sharing of knowledge and data.

Tom Griffin, director of STFC Scientific Computing, said: “We need to streamline the way in which research data is collected, stored, and made available to the people who need to use it to plan for, and respond to, dramatic events that affect people and their environments. 

“The DAFNI platform is able to do just that and, through the new Centre of Excellence, will enable government advisors, town planners and researchers to share and analyse data whenever it’s needed.”

Using the DAFNI platform, researchers in the Centre of Excellence will be able to collaborate online, scale research, integrate computational models, model workflows, and deposit and share models and data with the infrastructure research community in the UK and further afield.

Dr Brian Matthews, STFC DAFNI group leader, said: “The new Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis is an opportunity to move forward research on the resilience of our vital infrastructure. We have seen threats of energy price rises, issues on ensuring food supplies, and global pandemics, while in the long-term we face the threat of climate change.  

“Computer models help us understand how these threats might impact our society and environment, and how we might be better prepared. The Centre of Excellence will form a focus for the world-leading research that we have in the UK.”

The virtual centre is an extension of the UKRI-funded Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) platform and forms part of the UKRI Building a Secure and Resilient World strategic theme. 

An associated funding opportunity for research projects to support the Centre of Excellence will open to applications on 12 April 2023.

Researchers and academics active in infrastructure research as well as those working in multidisciplinary areas from across the UK are invited to apply for a total fund of £1.4m. 

The funding is split into three key areas: Supporting key models; developing a resilience framework and exploring resilience scenarios

Full information on the Centre of Excellence for Resilient Infrastructure Analysis and associated funding opportunities will be hosted on the DAFNI website and UKRI funding finder website.

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