Data Trusts and Delivering Places Digitally

Posted: 15/12/2023

At our recent Data Trusts SIG meeting, we welcomed Richard Ford, Head of Planning & Environment and Energy & Infrastructure at Pinsent Masons. With vast experience in data trust setup, he delivered a presentation on ‘Data Trusts for Digital Projects.’

At our most recent Data Trusts SIG meeting, we hosted Richard Ford, Head of the Planning & Environment and Energy & Infrastructure practice at global law firm Pinsent Masons. Richard has extensive experience advising on the establishment of data trusts, and gave a fascinating presentation entitled: ‘Data Trusts and Delivering Places and Projects Digitally’.


Richard’s core message was about the power of data & digital tools to improve built environment developments and their on-going management. He stated that the key ingredients for unlocking these improvements are a data trust, parent & connected daughter digital twins, and a common data platform. By deploying these tools from the very inception of a development project or scheme, datasets from all stakeholders can be pooled and shared, enabling developers to save time and money on project delivery, operate assets more effectively and efficiently, and generate new income streams.


Real Estate Developers are at the vanguard of extracting value from data: Architects and engineers routinely use digital design tools which create base datasets (Building Information Models), which can form the skeleton of a digital twin. Inevitably, multiple partners and stakeholders are involved in bringing any development project to fruition. With all partners contributing data and using the digital twin in real-time, project planning and delivery can be made much more efficient and happen faster.


Once the asset is in operation, the digital twin has new uses, such as optimising asset performance, offering new data-based services for income generation, as well as supporting activities such as ESG reporting and place-based stewardship.


Richard shared numerous examples of successful digital/real world developments with the SIG, and is keen to explore the opportunities for Jersey data trust structures in this sector.

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