The BioDT consortium adheres to the following definition of a digital twin (DT), released by the Digital Twin Consortium:
A digital twin is a virtual representation of real-world entities and processes, synchronized at a specified frequency and fidelity.
Here, fidelity refers to the level of precision captured by the DT in comparison with its physical counterpart. Digital twinning refers to the process itself of designing and developing DTs. The general goal of a DT is to serve as a digital replica that is sufficiently representative of its real-world counterpart (in terms of frequency and fidelity, and the scope and application of the DT) to take action for a specific purpose. A digital twin is typically composed of:
- A model that is the representation in terms of behaviour and
- An application that connects the data and model in a way that makes the outputs of the model relevant, given the specific purpose of the DT
Since different scopes require different behaviour and fidelity, there cannot be a single twin answering all possible questions. This creates a need for multiple twins to co-operate.
A typical purpose of industrial DTs is to facilitate the creation of a product or the operation of machinery (assets). In BioDT, DTs are used to mimic behaviour observed in nature, with the purpose of developing an improved understanding of biodiversity dynamics in response to diverse human pressures, including climate change. To address this objective, BioDT will develop digital twins designed to meet the requirements of several BioDT Use Cases. To maximise their usability and contribute toward the European Commission's goal of devising a full digital twin of the Earth, the created twins can then be linked with twins developed as part of other DT initiatives.