Beyond Brunel podcast on digital & data as infrastructure

The Beyond Brunel podcast series brings together industry leaders and experts to talk about the role of infrastructure in a net zero future for the South West.

Is data infrastructure? Is there a digital divide in the South West? And how close are we to creating ‘smart’ rural communities in the region?

These questions and more are tackled in the latest episode of the Beyond Brunel podcast, released on Thursday 2 March 2023.

Beyond Brunel is a new podcast series exploring the role of infrastructure in the South West’s ongoing transition to net zero carbon by 2050. The series also explores the part infrastructure can play in protecting nature and the environment, improving people’s lives and helping the region become more productive and resilient.

Commissioned and devised by the South West Infrastructure Partnership (SWIP) with funding from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) South West, Beyond Brunel brings together infrastructure leaders and industry experts for wide-ranging discussions on the transformation of the region’s infrastructure systems.

In Episode 2 on Digital and Data, the special guests are:

  • Kate Doodson, Joint Chief Executive and Digital Transformation Consultant and Coach at Cosmic UK
  • Lucy Knight, Data Lead at The Data Place
  • Helen Scholes, Marketing Manager for Co Cars Limited
  • Katharine Willis, Professor of Smart Cities and Communities at the University of Plymouth.

The series is presented by Christopher Ackland, a civil engineer with WSP and vice chair of the ICE South West Regional Committee.

From smart cities to connected communities, the podcast guests delve into the use of digital and data technologies to improve the region’s infrastructure and decarbonise infrastructure systems and sectors. They share insights and knowledge on the latest advancements and opportunities in this field, as well as highlighting some of the projects that are already driving change, such as Superfast Cornwall, the UNESCO Biosphere and Green Minds project in Plymouth. Some of these examples are featured in a free Digital and Data Case Studies download to accompany the series.

The podcast discussions also form the basis of a new report by SWIP and ICE South West, which seeks to determine what the region needs to do to achieve an effective, future-facing infrastructure system. The South West Vision 2050 identifies four areas for action, three key asks of political leaders and five big questions for defining future needs.

A new episode of the Beyond Brunel podcast will be available each month along with a set of case studies showing examples of infrastructure innovations and projects already underway across the South West.