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University ‘spin-out’ to lead smart cities project

Posted on 22 Jan 2021 and read 1048 times
University ‘spin-out’ to lead smart cities projectSlingshot Simulations, a University of Leeds spin-out which is backed by Mercia Asset Management – has been chosen to lead a Government-backed project which will make Yorkshire and Humber a global pioneer in the field of ‘smart cities’.

The Yorkshire Geospatial Twin partnership project, one of the largest of its type in the world, will use Slingshot’s ‘digital twin’ technology to improve the transport network in Leeds, York and Hull.

Slingshot’s platform will ‘auto-generate’ 3-D models of the three cities and surrounding areas, allowing planners to test different ways to boost the capacity of the existing network, reduce congestion and also air pollution. They will also investigate ways to improve logistics and deal with potential delays at the port of Hull – a particular concern in the wake of Brexit.

The project brings together Slingshot with the three city councils along with Arup and BT Group, and will be funded by Innovate UK and the Geospatial Commission. The project starts with immediate effect and lasts for 12 weeks. If successful, the technology has the potential to be adopted world-wide.

Slingshot Simulations was founded in 2019, and has been funded to date by the university and NPIF – Mercia Equity Finance, which is managed by Mercia and is part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund. It aims to make ‘digital twin’ technology accessible to businesses of all sizes, enabling them to use advanced computer simulations to test new ideas and make better decisions.

Dr David McKee, Slingshot Simulations CEO, said: “This project is the natural next step in Slingshot’s journey towards making digital twins accessible to anyone, anywhere.”

Stephen Blackburn, Leeds City Council data and innovation manager, said: “Digital twins are an important part of Leeds’s open data strategy. Linking and visualising multiple data sources from across the city can provide invaluable insight and lead to improved outcomes for our citizens.”

Dan Isaacs, CTO at the International Digital Twin Consortium, the global industry body, said: “This project will be one of the world’s largest digital twin projects ever seen with the potential to transform how cities and countries make decisions further substantiating how digital twins are a key enabler of digital transformation.”