Bentley Systems invests in digital twins for water networks
Digital Water Works, a creator of digital twin solutions for smart wet infrastructure, has announced a strategic investment in the firm by Bentley Systems. The investment allows Digital Water Works and Bentley to expand their roles in bringing infrastructure digital twin solutions to municipal and investor-owned water and wastewater utilities worldwide — solutions to enhance their operational visibility, improve efficiency, optimise capital spending and lower total cost of ownership of their wet infrastructure.
Digital Water Works’ strategy is to implement its own integrating applications around commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software such as Bentley Systems’ OpenFlows and iTwin offerings, which Bentley will license directly to Digital Water Works’ customers. The software partnership is not exclusive; Digital Water Works will continue to collaborate with leading software vendors and engineering and technology consulting firms to best serve the water industry. By virtue of the investment, Bentley will be entitled to appoint two directors to the Digital Water Works board.
Digital Water Works is well positioned to help water and wastewater utilities deploy a scalable, flexible and holistic digital twin geospatial infrastructure platform based on industry standards and COTS software. Its geospatial platform enables utilities to operate and sustain more resilient wet infrastructure while maintaining compliance, meeting appropriate levels of service at the lowest total life cycle cost, and increasing customer satisfaction.
Combining real-time intelligence with spatial analytics, digital twins enable pervasive simulation of water distribution and sewer collection systems with immersive visualisation and analytics visibility of decision support results for operational performance monitoring and efficiency optimisation, powered by artificial intelligence. Digital twins also enable work and asset management (both discrete and linear assets); reliability centred maintenance with bad actor and root cause analysis; and risk-based strategic life cycle asset management to optimise life cycle costs, extend infrastructure useful life, and prioritise, manage and deliver capital improvement projects.
“We’re pleased and honoured to receive this strategic investment from Bentley,” said Digital Water Works founder and CEO Paul F Boulos. “Their global footprint and product leadership in infrastructure digital twins for the power, oil and gas, transportation and mining sectors are extensive, and our collaboration for the broadened application of their experience and solutions portfolio will greatly benefit the water industry and deliver tremendous value to our customers.”
Boulos said that the infrastructure digital twin product suite would be rolled out in phases during the next 5–10 months. “Next month,” he said, “we will launch an early-adopter program for progressive water and wastewater utilities and engineering firms who want to help with the product design plans and then beta test the software.”
Bentley Systems CEO Greg Bentley said, “Bentley Systems’ investment in Digital Water Works signifies our recognition that a specialist ‘digital integrator’ entity will play an indispensable role in helping infrastructure owners to take full advantage of digital twins’ potential. We believe that our industry-leading OpenFlows modelling software and iTwin Services offerings can advantageously anchor water and wastewater utilities’ advancements in going digital. But we believe even more strongly that an open approach, supported by an independent integrator leveraging our unprecedented open-source solution environment, can achieve the greatest benefits for each utility, while accelerating the learning curve for all.
“And given his track record towards digital advancement for the world’s wet infrastructure utilities already, there could be no one more effective than Dr Paul Boulos in leading their engineers and engineering firms, through Digital Water Works, to realise the unlimited opportunities now opened up by digital twins.”
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