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Eastpoint wins Innovate UK funding for 5G Digital Twin development 

By Amy, Eastpoint Software on 04 January 2021

Innovation partnerships are a major part of Eastpoint’s expertise and growth. 

And now our amazing team has been selected to develop a digital twin enabled solution funded by Innovate UK. 

The aim of the project is ambitious – to reduce maintenance costs on critical assets (such as pipes) for energy sectors affected by corrosion, while improving automated decision making that leads to improved safety and operational efficiency. 

The three company consortium will achieve this by developing 5G-enabled structural health monitoring hardware dedicated to detecting corrosion, and continuously integrating sensory data with a Digital Twin platform developed by Eastpoint.

This platform provides automated Fitness For Service (FFS) assessments and various reporting features to the maintenance team of the asset owners.  

The project lead is Innerspec Technologies UK Ltd, part of a global manufacturer and service provider of NDT (non-destructive testing) equipment and solutions. Innerspec UK are working in collaboration with us and Brunel Innovation Centre (Brunel University London)

It is our second project working with Innerspec and this partnership represents our commitment to innovation that makes a difference.  

Extending the life of critical infrastructure 

The annual cost of corrosion is estimated to be between €1.3-1.4 trillion globally, according to the World Corrosion Organization. To put this into perspective, this is 3.1-3.5% of the world GDP. It’s a hugely challenging problem that continues to affect various infrastructures around the world. 

With the economic pressures resulting from COVID-19, it is expected that in the UK there will be severe spending cuts to operations and maintenance budgets. Rystad Energy predict that spending will fall to the lowest level since 1990

This creates an additional need for technology solutions to help extend the life of critical infrastructure; ideally by also enabling remote working and sustaining or improving performance operationally. 

Our digital twin enabled solution aims to provide, amongs other things, a digitally interactive asset integrity management platform, providing value to asset owners looking to extending the life of critical assets for both renewable energy and the oil and gas sector.  

The proposed technology will help move this sector forward as it seeks to decarbonise and move towards offshore renewables. 

How a Digital Twin will help 

'Digital Twin' has many definitions in our industry. For this project it is a platform that represents each physical asset we will be monitoring with a digital counter part (aka the ‘digital twin’) along with up-to-date sensory information collected from the hardware available in real-time – and generate business value for the users. 

The business value add of this project is in the context of asset integrity management, and by providing that as a 5G-enabled digital twin platform, we can remotely, and continually, monitor the assets, predict risk and detect degradation. 

Sustainability funding from Innovate UK 

The funding was awarded via the Sustainable Innovation Fund.  

For this competition, Innovate UK was looking to help all sectors of the UK recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. All proposals had to consider the impact on climate change and/or environmental sustainability. 

Want to collaborate with us? 

Funding from Innovate UK is hugely important for organisations to pursue and realise novel and bold ideas that drive productivity and economic growth, and improve people’s lives. 

We are an SME with significant R&D experience. We have been part of two funded consortiums and led our own successful Innovate UK proposal. 

Please contact us on 01223 690164 to discuss a collaboration.