Skip to main content Skip to footer

UK’s ‘digital blueprint’ receives £1.2m funding boost

The UK’s ability to respond to global challenges has been enhanced with a £1.2m investment in a digital platform that helps scientists analyse problems and model infrastructure improvements.

The funding, from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will further develop the Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI) facility, which was officially launched in summer 2021.

Climate change, increased energy demands, and infrastructure growth will be among the challenges that can be analysed by DAFNI. The investment will help scientists’ ability to analyse and model the challenges by building

  • New roads
  • New housing
  • Other infrastructure improvements

The new funding will enable DAFNI to increase its user base across current and additional universities, encourage multidisciplinary research and develop the next generation of infrastructure engineers through centres for doctoral training and other opportunities.

‘Digital blueprint’

These activities would underpin the development of a digital blueprint of the UK’s infrastructure services, for example, transport, water, energy, environment, and digital communications

DAFNI, created in partnership with UKCRIC (UK Collaboratorium for Research on Infrastructure and Cities) Universities is located at the Scientific Computing Department, Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire. The facility is specially designed computational platform hosted and managed by STFC that enables researchers to collaborate and gain faster results using:

  • different data sources
  • high performance computing
  • data analytics
  • data visualisations
  • the ability to link results from different computer models.

Dr Brian Matthews, DAFNI Lead, STFC Scientific Computing Department and DAFNI lead, said:

“The DAFNI platform offers UK researchers a place to share their work and collaborate to study rich scenarios where changes in one area affect other areas. “

“This might be the impact of climate change on the flooding in cities, or how new railways might affect where people live and work.”

“We are looking forward to the opportunity in this new grant, to expand the number of researchers who are able to use the platform in new and innovative ways, and to extend the functionality we can offer to those researchers.”

Separately, the UK government recently announced an investment of £17m to enable researchers to harness the full power of modern digital platforms, tools and techniques, including net zero computing.

Further information about DAFNI can be found at:

If you would like to be involved in DAFNI, please email: