Can computer scientists improve Oxfordshire infrastructure?

23 October 2018

A team of STFC scientists will soon be using cutting edge computer simulations to see if Oxfordshire’s transport and healthcare infrastructures could run more efficiently.

STFC’s Scientific Computing Department (SCD), at the Harwell Campus, has signed an agreement with Oxfordshire County Council, which will give the council access to SCD’s data analysis expertise. This means that the council will share their infrastructure data with SCD, who will use advanced computer simulations to analyse it and find possible improvements to its traffic management planning and healthcare systems.

The council will be using DAFNI (Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure), which is managed by SCD, to ensure the county’s network of infrastructure is able to meet the needs of its growing population.

Sam Chorlton, Leader of DAFNI at STFC, said: “Oxfordshire County Council is pioneering methods to provide improved mobility and economic diversity to Oxfordshire. This will enable Oxfordshire to provide an efficient and effective service that can adapt to evolving environmental challenges and a volatile technological landscape.”

Oxfordshire County Council is the education, public health, emergency planning, consumer protection and highways authority in Oxfordshire, managing billions of pounds worth of assets. As with other local authorities, however, it has a limited budget – but as DAFNI is primarily a research tool, the council can utilise its complex architecture and expertise to analyse its assets fully without having to pay commercial fees.

Laura Peacock, Innovation Hub Manager for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “From a local authority perspective, there is an urgent need to store, organise and curate the vast amounts of data generated locally, in order to improve the value delivered to the community.

“Collaborating with DAFNI enables Oxfordshire County Council to explore, share and gain actionable insights on its operations, deliver value in healthcare and traffic management as well as to make better decision and reduce risk in future infrastructure investments.”

DAFNI will help decision-makers to analyse the performance of the current infrastructure and will make available independent analysis to inform wise investments to meet their ever-changing technological needs.

Tom Griffin, Director of SCD, said: “Given our location in Oxfordshire, this agreement will act as a  base from which to develop a number of collaborations between SCD and Oxfordshire County Council.  We see this as a first step towards working with other Local Authorities and helping to leverage data for the public good.”

More information is available on the DAFNI website.

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