Virtual worlds addressing real-life issues


From space exploration to protecting the world’s rainforests, the benefits of creating virtual models of real-life scenarios are limitless.

And as the world faces unprecedented challenges, the application and availability of this technology – known as digital twinning – becomes increasingly important.

To help drive this globally significant sector, Nexus, the University of Leeds’ innovation community, is joining forces with long-standing member, Slingshot Simulations, to host the next Digital Twin Consortium member meeting.

The first conference of its kind to be held outside the US in its 30-year history, the meeting takes place from 27-29 September, bringing together international experts from global tech corporations.

The conference will be opened by Professor Jeff Grabill, University of Leeds Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Student Education.

He said: “Digital innovation is at the heart of our efforts to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, well-being and equality.

“And collaboration is the key to do this. By bringing together experts at this international event in Nexus, we are able to use truly ground-breaking technology to build better futures on a global scale.”

Digital innovation

At Slingshot, digital innovation includes the Compass: EngineTM platform, which, working with the Rainforest Trust, helps to prioritise saving areas of land that result in more animal habitats being protected from deforestation.

David McKee, Slingshot Simulations founder and CEO said: “As the UK Regional Branch Organiser, we are incredibly proud to showcase to the world, through the Digital Twin Consortium, the amazing work going on and the talent available not just in the Leeds City Region, but the UK and Europe as a whole.”

Taking place during Leeds Digital Festival, the Digital Twin Consortium member meeting will include technical presentations, collaboration and training for members, finishing with an open-to-the-public event on Thursday, 29 September.

Nexus Director Dr Martin Stow said: “It’s an honour to be the first organisation to host this event outside of the US.

“This momentous occasion for Leeds is a testament to the hard work of our long-standing member, Slingshot Simulations.

“They have already demonstrated ground-breaking work within the field and have been instrumental to bringing this conference to Leeds, presenting a fantastic opportunity to showcase the Leeds City Region to an international audience.”

The three-day event finishes on 29 September with a Sustainable Digital Twin Open Day, which is open to businesses and innovators across the Leeds region. Registration is now open to join global industry leaders at the open day.

Further information

Main image: Virtual duplicates of urban areas can be created using digital twin technology. Credit: Slingshot Simulations.

For further details about the Digital Twin Consortium, contact For further details about Nexus, contact Megan McElroy via or Ian Rosser in the University of Leeds press office via