“Standard & Poor’s (S&P) and McKinsey estimate that $57 trillion, or $3.2 trillion a year, will be needed to finance infrastructure development around the world over the next 15 years. Based on this demand, S&P estimates that the gap between investment needs and available funds could be $500 billion annually.” Unlocking investment in infrastructure, June 2014
The UK Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) is developing a new generation of infrastructure system simulation models and tools to inform the analysis, planning and design of National Infrastructure (NI). Working with partners in government and industry, our research examines energy, transport, water, waste, and information and communication technologies (ICT) systems at a national scale to:
- Develop new methods for analysing performance, risks and interdependencies
- Provide a virtual environment in which to test strategies for long-term investment
- Understand how alternative strategies perform under constraints such as reliability and security of supply, cost, carbon emissions, and adaptability to demographic and climate change.
- Develop risk analysis models to test NI’s ability to withstand extreme weather shock events, and so inform long-term risk assessment and adaptation planning.
“The ITRC interim report on future infrastructure provision is an authoritative source of information explaining future challenges and possible policy responses.” Dawn Cameron, Head of Infrastructure policy & delivery, UK Treasury.
Our ambition is to provide a basis for cross-sectoral and long-term decision-making for infrastructure planning, design and operation, with our models and tools being taken up in the UK and adapted internationally.
More broadly, we see our systems-of-systems approach shaping thinking and decision-making in complex infrastructure systems.
Our models and tools are aimed at:
- Government departments and agencies involved in infrastructure planning, regulation and provision
- Infrastructure owners and utility companies
- Engineering and multi-disciplinary consultants
David Alderson from Newcastle University worked with artist Terry Wiley to create a chilled-out image showing infrastructure and its interdependencies:
More science-related comics can be found on the Newcastle Science Comic Posters website.