Insight: Supporting Delivery of Government Priorities and the National Infrastructure Strategy
UKCRIC's systemic approach is essential to de-risking the UK’s planned £600Bn 10-year investment in infrastructure
After three years in the planning, the twice postponed, and long overdue, seventh symposium in the International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure series - ISNGI 2022, took place on the 7th September in the Netherlands at the Rotterdam World Trade Centre.
Attended by academics, industry practitioners and government representatives, the programme provides a platform for showcasing innovative infrastructure projects and academic research results, as well as opportunity for interaction, dialogue and exchange of knowledge and experience across disciplines and across infrastructure sectors.
This year’s symposium focused on three interdependent themes closely aligned with the aspirational priorities and focus of UKCRIC’s Scientific Missions. These themes were: Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure Systems; Smart and Integrated Infrastructure Systems; and Societal Values and Infrastructure Governance.
The symposium featured insights from 35 researchers and 14 keynote speakers drawn from infrastructure organisations, intergovernmental bodies, national governments, city governments and academia. There were opportunities for discussion and reflection in 6 special sessions; and the symposium offered demonstrations of a number of approaches to infrastructure modelling, visualisation and simulation.
UKCRIC was well represented at the symposium through keynote presentations organised by members of UKCRIC. Links to these sessions can be found at the bottom of this page.
The strength of ISNGI is its ability to bring together international inter-disciplinary perspectives and I always return from ISNGI inspired by the sessions I attend and the conversations I have had. With this is mind, I have picked out what I hope are 5 useful reflections.
For me there was a common theme that can be traced through these key messages emerging from ISNGI 2022.
A bold intergenerational vision of the positive societal, economic and environmental outcomes that infrastructure systems are expected to enable, (and just as significantly, the negative outcomes infrastructure systems must initially avoid exacerbating, and ultimately help transform) is urgently needed.
The diagram below attempts to capture this succinctly.
My research is focussed on complex infrastructure systems as enablers of societally beneficial outcomes and I returned from ISNGI 2022 feeling really enthused that this core message was at the forefront of my fellow delegates thinking.
We must now collaborate (academics, practitioners and policy makers) to formulate, champion and put into practise a bold intergenerational vision of the societal and economic purpose(s) and value of Infrastructure Systems.
Inputs organised by UKCRIC
A full list of presentations from the symposium are available on the ISNGI 2022 Website.