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12 March 2019

Mott MacDonald and Microsoft form strategic partnership to deliver smart infrastructure

In the first partnership of its kind, Mott MacDonald and Microsoft are teaming up to create a cloud-based smart infrastructure platform to help asset owners, cities and governments deliver public services that are sustainable and bring value to everyone. The new platform will use asset performance modelling, advanced analytics and artificial intelligence.

The effects of population growth on resource use, social and economic welfare, and the environment, means infrastructure owners need to become more creative, efficient and socially responsible when it comes to managing their assets. They need to target investment with care and precision. And with rapid advances in digital technology, organisations need to assess how it can assist decision-making and asset management, and better understand where resources and investments should be made.

Oliver Hawes, Mott MacDonald’s head of smart infrastructure says: “Smart infrastructure combines deep domain knowledge, digital technology and outcomes-based thinking to turn data into meaningful information that reveals new insights and empowers decision-making to generate much better results. It is vital that smart infrastructure delivers social, economic and environmental benefits for society, as well as investment return for businesses.”

Mott MacDonald and Microsoft will collaborate on projects for current and prospective clients that enable them to fulfil their core purpose and realise their objectives more effectively. The collaboration between Mott MacDonald and Microsoft will use technology and cloud computing capability, with Azure’s continuous multi-layered security, to enable benefits to be realised and shared at scale (over 1 billion data points per day and counting). Data science and artificial intelligence enable unprecedented insights into the technical and financial performance of infrastructure, leading to better decision-making, enhanced operation, improved resilience and responsiveness, and capital and operational cost-efficiency.

As part of the partnership, Mott MacDonald will move its cloud-based analytics and digital twin platform – named Moata – to Microsoft’s Azure. The platform is already helping Auckland City Council in New Zealand better engage with their customers by improving the accuracy of water quality predictions and the associated public health risk from less than 20% to greater than 80%. The city-scale digital twin represents the real time interaction between atmospheric conditions, the urban stormwater and wastewater networks and the marine environment.

By combining engineering principles with modern artificial intelligence Moata helps Auckland City Council increase levels of engagement with the public and make better informed decision driving improved outcomes for the community across the entire £2.6 billion stormwater asset base.

“Both our organisations believe that smart solutions have a positive impact on cities and asset owners, and improve design, delivery and through-life performance of infrastructure. Cities, government, asset owners, investors and society can all benefit hugely,” Oliver added.

Trudy Norris-Grey, global managing director of local and regional government and CityNext at Microsoft, said: “This is the first time Microsoft has partnered with a company like Mott MacDonald which is not only leading the way in developing smart infrastructure but is actually implementing that technology to improve people’s lives through better decision making today.

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