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World-leading computer project to ensure safer roads and flood protection


World-leading computer project to ensure safer roads and flood protection

A world-leading computing project that can simulate various situations to ensure houses are built in the right places, mobile network access is better for all and we are protected from flooding has been showcased this week.

DAFNI – the Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure – was created in 2017 to provide world-leading research capabilities to help improve the nation’s infrastructure systems, by making them more resilient and effective.

With an ever-increasing population, it is vital for the country’s growth to be sustainable. DAFNI can help ensure this by running highly-detailed simulations that show a range of scenarios and outcomes, which will allow important decisions about infrastructure such as creating safer roads.

DAFNI is being designed by UK Research and Innovation’s Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Scientific Computing Department (SCD), the UK facility that provides large scale high performance computing facilities, computing data services and infrastructure. DAFNI is funded thanks to an £8 million investment from UKRI’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as part of the UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities.

DAFNI is a national computational resource available to academia and industry, allowing this essential research to be undertaken to ensure stability for the UK’s long-term planning and investment in energy, transport, digital communications, water supply, flood protection, wastewater and solid waste collection, and waste treatment and disposal.

After two years of development, the DAFNI team are ready to start making a difference to the resilience of UK infrastructure in the face of catastrophic events, with a host of successful pilot schemes already in place.

SCD’s Sam Chorlton, project lead for DAFNI, 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.

“DAFNI is the tool that the infrastructure industry has been waiting for and it has the power to make a real difference to people’s everyday lives. The team and I are looking forward to working with some of the country’s top planners and policy-makers to ensure we are getting the best systems in place for the future of the UK.”

One such recent project saw the DAFNI team working with economists at the Bank of England to discover how different external factors can affect the housing market and how DAFNI can help to test these scenarios before planning decisions are made, to help to bring stability to the economy and create sustainable housing growth.

DAFNI was showcased at an event which demonstrated results from DAFNI pilot projects. 

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