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Infrastructure data tool ready to respond to 'catastrophic events'

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The Data & Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) has announced it is ready to help the UK respond to “catastrophic events”.  

DAFNI is a software tool that allows engineers to optimise the UK’s infrastructure projects by making them more resilient and effective using high-detail simulations.  

The simulations show a range of scenarios which can be used to make more informed decisions – such as where are the most appropriate places to build houses, mobile networks optimisation, and maximising protection from flooding. 

Now, after two years of additional development since its deployment in 2017, DAFNI developers claim that the software is now ready to help strengthen the resilience of UK infrastructure in the face of catastrophic events, with a host of successful pilot schemes already in place. 

DAFNI project leader Sam Chorlton said: “DAFNI has come so far in the two years since its inception, and it is already having a huge impact in making the country’s infrastructure more resilient and sustainable – as we can see with the already successful pilot projects.”  

National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) chair Sir John Armitt said the NIC would be using the DAFNI software to determine what recommendations are made in the next National Infrastructure Assessment.

“DAFNI gives us the opportunity to ensure that the recommendations made in the next National Infrastructure Assessment will be based on the best data and robust modelling,” he said. “It will, crucially, enable us to develop our understanding of how increasingly inter-connected infrastructure systems work together, and affect each other.”  

Chancellor Phillip Hammond has previously highlighted the software system as an example of how technology can improve the UK’s infrastructure resilience.

The DAFNI system was developed over four years in an Oxfordshire laboratory by the Science & Technology Facilities Council, and is funded with an £8M investment from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council, as part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities (UKCRIC). 

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