The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), along with other leading organisations in the manufacturing, tech and built environment sectors, have published a paper calling for a common language across digital twins – which currently doesn’t exist and means sectors are working in silos.

The paper sets out how this could be rectified with the creation of a new forum, which will develop solutions and cross-sector learning and write the protocol for cross sector digital twins.

Currently, the manufacturing and built environment sectors are developing digital twins separately using different language and business models, yet many of our challenges, such as net zero, require them to work together.

The paper, The Apollo Protocol, details the need for a common framework for developing digital twins so that each sector can unlock their potential. This will be delivered by a new Apollo Forum which will explore four key themes that the manufacturing and built environment sectors share, developing solutions and encouraging cross-sector learning.

Rick Hartwig, IET Built Environment Lead, said: “Digital Twins offer huge benefits for society but only a coordinated approach to the language used will allow those benefits to be realised.

“There are many steps to improving information management, for example, from the manufacturers and their product information and frameworks to technology companies producing in the Digital Twin space who need the availability of data to construct models.

“It goes much further than just the manufacturing, built environment and technology industries – policy makers will only meet their sustainability goals if they can provide clarity during procurement for the market to respond effectively, so it will take a whole system approach.”

This work represents the combined efforts of the IET, The Construction Leadership Council (CLC), The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), The High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB), The Construction Innovation Hub, The Digital Twin Hub, TechUK and the Alan Turing Institute. The project has the support of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

To find out more information and to download the White Paper please visit or contact

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