Slingshot Simulations Win Government Funding for COVID-19 Project

Slingshot’s Breathing Cities: A Living Model for People and Place project has received government funding as part of Innovate UK’s (the UK’s innovation agency) £40 million Business-led innovation in response to global disruption competition.

Slingshot is one of only 9% of applicants who were awarded funding out of a total of 8,600 applicants.

This project will build upon the Digital Twins for a Breathing City Project with ODI (supported by the Lloyds Register Foundation) and Leeds City Council as a second phase looking specifically at finding sustainable methods of increasing and maintaining resilience to the influx of traffic and people returning to work following the coronavirus pandemic. By the end of the project we will be showcasing a 3D animated Digital Twin that will inform future decisions on the Clean Air Strategy.

“Digital Twins provide a unique opportunity for helping us make better informed decisions quickly. This is especially vital during Covid-19! This Digital Twins for a Breathing City partnership will help us observe and understand the release of lockdown and the impact on the local community and our city’s pollution.”

CEO Slingshot Simulations, Dr David McKee

The Breathing Cities: A Living Model for People and Place project is also supported by the University of Leeds VirtuoCity Centre for City Simulation, Leeds City Council, and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council.

The Project

Our Vision

The vision for this project is in the name: Breathing Cities. “The Covid-19 lockdown has led to cleaner air but will do little to address the issue of air pollution in the long run [and] world leaders now have a chance to plot a different, cleaner future” [1]. Slingshot Simulations plans to use this project to help city councils to not only develop their resilience to the influx of traffic and people returning to work but help them find sustainable methods of positively impacting people working and living in cities. Our mission would be to use the data we have as a society and maximizing its potential through our Simulation-as-a-service platform to encourage healthier, breathing cities coming out of Covid-19.

The Objective

Our main objective is to brace city councils for the impact on, and as a result of, the traffic and people flow as we return to work following the pandemic. By using existing data to forecast and then iteratively, in real-time, update those forecasts, we want to support councils by informing them of the Pandemic situation from multiple environmental and economic angles thus helping them monitor developments and adapt their strategies in an agile manner.

The Focus

We will be working to significantly accelerate our existing partnership with Leeds City Council to find solutions surrounding, transport (including couriers and delivery) and people, specifically how transport and citizens will move around the city following the wake of COVID-19 with the aim for councils to view all possible “what-if” scenarios of traffic and people flows and plan accordingly. For example, helping them with their Clean Air Zone Strategy [2], which is due to be enforced from mid-2020 and could have a further impact on local business, particularly couriers and delivery systems.

A True Original

Our unique Simulation-as-a-Service platform, has been developed over seven years of R&D at the University of Leeds, is truly an original platform:

  • It runs in real-time, allowing businesses and organisations to act immediately
  • It can produce results within days not months using just flowcharts
  • And most importantly it uses a “no-coding” approach that both accelerates and democratises the benefits of high-end simulation for businesses big and small.

This fresh approach of interactive forecasting, multi-objective optimisations, and “what-if” analysis could lead to a world first: A real “Digital Twin”.