Adapt researchers tap into data and digital twins for a sustainable, smart Dublin

14 Jul 2022

Image: © ian heard/EyeEm/

As part of the Smart Dublin initiative, the Digital Twin and Smart D8 projects will explore how data can be used to address social and environmental issues.

Researchers from the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) Adapt centre are working on two projects to create more inclusive, sustainable and citizen-focused services in Dublin.

Adapt has partnered with Dublin City Council on the Digital Twin project and the Smart D8 project. These two-year projects will explore how data can be used to address a range of social and environmental issues.

A digital twin is a virtual representation using real-time data, which can be used to simulate relationships between factors such as people, traffic and the environment.

The Adapt researchers will explore different types of Dublin data using digital twin technology, such as air quality, traffic flows, energy use and flooding. The project aims to engage with the community, enterprise and other stakeholders of Dublin.

“Digital twin technology such as 3D models, augmented, virtual and mixed reality, holographic and tactile technology all present new opportunities for citizens and visitors to visualise, sense and interact with the environment around us,” said Prof Aphra Kerr, said Adapt co-principal investigator at Maynooth University.

Meanwhile, the Smart D8 project aims to turn Dublin 8 into a testbed of innovation. It will focus on the health and wellbeing of citizens and will offer the opportunity for R&D where citizens can test products and services locally.

These research projects are part of the Smart Dublin initiative, which aims to future-proof Dublin’s regions by trialling technology to address a wide range of local challenges.

For example, the Smart Dublin team had an event last month to showcase the potential of drones in areas such as civil defence, emergency response, public safety and environmental monitoring.

Dublin City Council’s smart city lead, Jamie Cudden, said the Adapt centre’s extensive expertise in AI and public engagement will provide the foundation for “innovative solutions” with this new partnership.

“These ambitious projects present an enormous opportunity to transform the way we plan, build and operate infrastructure within our cities,” Cudden added.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic