The UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) is a collaboration of seven universities and over 55 partners from infrastructure policy and practice.
ITRC’s research provides concepts, models and evidence to inform the analysis, planning and design of national infrastructure (NI).
We investigate infrastructure and its interdependencies in energy, digital communications, solid waste, transport, waste water, water supply and infrastructure governance.
We have developed the world’s first national infrastructure system-of-systems model, NISMOD, which has been used to analyse long-term investment strategies as well as risk and vulnerability in infrastructure networks nationally and globally.
ITRC-MISTRAL will provide decision-makers with insights that hitherto have not been available to inform crucial questions.
- How will infrastructure systems perform in the context of major future changes like population growth, technological change and climate change?
- What would be the benefits of investing in new infrastructure capacity or of endeavouring to manage demand for infrastructure services?
- Where are the most vulnerable points in infrastructure networks?
- How much is it worth investing to reduce the risk of catastrophic failure?
Strategic aims and objective
We aim to change how strategic infrastructure planning, investment and design decisions are made.
- Our national infrastructure system analytics will inform decisions by governments, utilities and regulators at a range of scales in the UK, and will be used in infrastructure planning and design around the world
- Our national infrastructure database will become a shared national resource and a focal point for research and industrial collaboration
- We will engage a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, in understanding infrastructure performance and choices.
Challenge 1: The local complexity of national infrastructure
Our system-of-systems modelling will be developed to cover communities and buildings to allow analysis of the implications of radical technological change, and to enable a transition to resilient infrastructure systems.
Challenge 2: National infrastructure in an inter-connected world
UK infrastructure is embedded in global networks of transport, energy and digital communications. Our research will explore the risks and opportunities of this interconnectivity, simulating the links between the UK’s infrastructure and networks at continental and global scales to identify ways in which global network resilience can be enhanced.
Challenge 3: Transforming national infrastructure choices worldwide
We are developing our approach for use with national infrastructure assessments in countries worldwide, demonstrating this methodology in partnership with researchers and decision-makers.
Challenge 4: Quantifying the economic roles of infrastructure
To understand better the benefits and risks of infrastructure investment, we will combine engineering systems modelling with economic thinking to quantify the relationships between infrastructure investment and regional/national economic growth.
The UK national infrastructure database and simulation platform
New visual analytics tools will be integrated into ITRC’s database (NISMOD-DB) to allow further investigation and interaction with the data. We will ‘open up’ the database to become a national hub for infrastructure systems research, taking into account licencing restrictions and security concerns.