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2021 theme: How are you preparing for the arrival of your Digital Twin?

After a tumultuous 2020, “Black Swan” events are less of a surprise than before, though each individual one can have profound economic and social consequences. In 2020, AI, Big Data and Simulation have been among the most robust industries – all helping deal with black swans and better preparing us for future challenges heading towards us. 

While the question for IT²EC 2020 was “Are you ready for your Digital Twin?”, we have adapted the theme for 2021 to reflect the new global landscape.

Background information

Data, modelling, algorithms and simulations are now a part of our daily news cycles. What were potential plans for Digital Twins and other relevant technologies are now deemed as critical. Topics such as "Train, Reflect, Learn and Train Again", the Reality-Simulation-Reality cycle and the Digital Twin approach are now recognised as fundamental enablers for robust training systems and the only cost-effective way to train with the necessary degrees of reality.

2020 has seen rapid advances in training and simulation. IT²EC 2021 presenters will deliver the latest information in their subject areas, relevant for the super-charged thinking needed to respond to the post-pandemic world.


 

WATCH: Members of the IT²EC steering committee discuss the 2021 theme.

 

What to expect in Seville

Never has our field advanced so rapidly. With so many new and important ideas to share, we look forward to seeing you in Seville to show, consider and discuss face-to-face, to build and rekindle relationships, so we can all react better to evolving challenges. Discussions will focus around:

Agile decision-making

In the military domain, many nations are looking to change their posture and capabilities, with both grand designs and more focused approaches to achieving their goal.  The ubiquity of the technology available affords nearly every nation the ability to experiment with advances in training, simulation and education.  In the civil domain, with its agile decision-making processes, such innovation is very widely seen both as a capabilities amplifier and as a means to optimise limited training resources.

Train, Reflect, Learn and Train Again (TRLTA)

Armed forces around the world have recognised past deficiencies and a lack of agility to address the broadening range of threats and challenges the modern security environment presents.Through targeted collective training of partner nations, the industry is seeking a “surrogate for warfare” in order to cement international partnerships and to better support notice-to-effect in Europe. This requires a flexible training system, responsive to operational demands - training designed around the person and the team, and thereby enabling a cycle of Train, Reflect, Learn and Train Again (TRLTA).

Reality-Simulation-Reality cycle

To meet demanding training system objectives requires the TRLTA cycle to revolve at high speed across defence. What is widely emerging as a TRLTA enabler is the technology-supported Reality-Simulation-Reality (R-S-R) cycle, which near-seamlessly fuses simulation and training with real-life operations and assets.  Compared with most established training systems, a fast-revolving R-S-R cycle requires far greater technology interoperability, far greater fidelity of complexity and far quicker fielding of updates in hours or days, not in years.  It is openly recognised that many of today’s existing tools and techniques in simulation are no longer fit for purpose and do not lend themselves to a rapidly looping R-S-R cycle.

The Digital Twin approach

Embedded inside the R-S-R cycle, the concept of the ‘Digital Twin’ or ‘Digital Thread’ has come to the fore. As a digital replica of a living or non-living physical entity, Digital Twins have the potential to accelerate and de-risk activities such as design, procurement, manufacturing, mission planning and training, and better enable enterprises to take a whole life approach to projects.

The Digital Twin approach is developing rapidly in non-defence sectors such as the automotive industry and there are examples in the military sector such as the F-35 fighter. For the F-35, ‘lessons learned’ from real missions become embedded into a simulation tactical training world integrated into the aircraft.  The Digital Twin broadly includes any elements of AI/Machine Learning, Big Data, Robotics, Human-Computer Interaction, performance assessment, authoring, sensors and instrumentation and learning science/learning engineering. 

The Digital Twin construct can extend to include synthetic representations of human teammates and is also complementary to the growing application of Industry 4.0, the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.

EU DRIVER+ Project

As part of our offering to the Civil First Responder and Crisis Management communities, IT²EC is committed to raising awareness of the opportunities offered by the EU DRIVER+ project.

The project brings together dedicated practitioners from across Europe to help the emergency services to manage critical situations more effectively and efficiently. Using an objective methodology to assess new software, new training approaches and new equipment, DRIVER+ is designed to aid collaboration and interoperability among practitioners and solutions providers.

Watch the video below for more information on the project.