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Consortium To Drive Digital Twin Technology Consistency

“Digital Twin” has been listed as an emerging technology during past years and more and more companies offer Digital Twin as part of a foundation for their digital offerings. However, there has not been consensus on what a Digital Twin is and what characteristics it should have. Some refer the origin of Digital Twin to an academic paper, where Digital Twin was defined as a combination of physical product, virtual product and their connections. One could observe that lack of a common definition for Digital Twin has led to many flavors of this concept, sometimes making readers wonder whether Digital Twin is more than just a buzzword at all.

The Digital Twin Consortium (DTC) recently announced an open-source collaboration community to accelerate the adoption of digital twin-enabling technologies and solutions. Consortium members and non-members can collaborate on open-source projects, code, and collateral and become part of the DTC ecosystem.

The recently formed Digital Twin Consortium coalesces industry, government and academia to drive consistency in vocabulary, architecture, security and interoperability of digital twin technology. It advances the use of digital twin technology from aerospace to natural resources.

The Digital Twin Consortium is a global ecosystem of users who are accelerating the digital twin market and demonstrating the value of digital twin technology. Members set de facto technical guidelines and taxonomies, publish reference frameworks, develop requirements for new standards and share use cases to maximize the benefits of digital twins.

To contribute to the new open-source collaboration community, candidates complete a project application, which the DTC Technical Advisory Committee reviews. If approved, contributors upload their project or related content to the DTC Open-Source Collaboration GitHub site. GitHub is an open-source repository hosting service, which contains project files and revision history, and enables participants to share and collaborate on digital twin-related content and projects.

Digital Twin Consortium is open to any business, organization or entity with an interest in digital twins. Its global membership is committed to using digital twins throughout their operations and supply chains and capturing best practices and standards requirements for themselves and their clients.

“Open-source collaboration will encourage innovation in digital twin solutions,” said Dr. Said Tabet, Distinguished Engineer, Chief Architect Emerging Technology & Ecosystems, CTO Office, DELL Technologies, and DTC Steering Committee member. “Our Open-Source Collaboration Community will also accelerate the adoption of digital twins and drive business transformation.”

“Open-source projects produce high-quality software,” said David McKee, CEO, CTO & Founder, Slingshot Simulations, and co-chair of DTC Technology, Terminology, and Taxonomy, and Open Source, Standards, and Platform Stacks Working Groups. “The open-source knowledge pool is orders of magnitude larger with communities of interest coming together to solve common challenges and contributing a diversity of ideas.”

“Open-source projects are more flexible and respond more rapidly to market demands than closed counterparts,” said Dan Isaacs, CTO, DTC. “Our Open-Source Collaboration Community initiative will substantially expand the DTC ecosystem and facilitate the adoption of digital twin and digital twin enabling technologies.”

Contributor Quotes:

Dr. David McKee, CEO, CTO, and founder of Slingshot Simulations
“The DTC open-source collaboration initiative brings together three vital areas of open-source, open data, and open content that have typically existed independently. By doing so, I believe that we have got a unique opportunity to develop revolutionary new standards, technologies, and approaches for digital twins, their interoperability and stakeholder collaboration to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our world today.”

Bert Van Hoof, Partner Group Program Manager, Azure IoT, Microsoft
“Open-source enables products and services to bring choice, technology, and community to our customers. Microsoft has published open-source GitHub repositories for smart building, smart city, and smart grid ontologies for digital twins, expressed in the open Digital Twins Definition Language (DTDL). We are excited to share this work with the Digital Twin Consortium’s s Open-Source Collaboration community. It’s our goal to partner with industry experts and provides ontologies which learn from, build on, and/or use industry standards, meet the needs of developers, and are adopted by the industry.”

Juanjo Hierro, CTO, FIWARE
“Towards materialization of our collaboration agreement, we are exploring together with DTC how existing FIWARE open-source projects, as well as the smart data models initiative, can be made visible under the DTC Open-source Collaboration program. This would help to accelerate the definition and adoption of standards for digital twins, following an open-source implementation-driven approach.”

Pieter van Schalkwyk, CEO, XMPro
“Building a library of open-source digital twin resources will help lower the barriers to entry for many companies who want to get started with digital twins. We’re excited to be part of this collaborative initiative by the Digital Twin Consortium and look forward to contributing IEC 61400-25 based DTDL models for wind turbines and wind farms.”

Johan Stokking, Co-Founder and CTO of The Things Industries
“We hypothesize that the Internet of Things can only be successful if a lot of parties can work together. We believe there is no better collaboration form than open-source. It allows parties to fork existing ideas, experiment with them in an agile way, and commit the good parts back that help the common ecosystem objectives, of which the Digital Twin Consortium’s Open-Source Collaboration Initiative will catalyze like-minded community expansion.”

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