Research and Innovation Grant Newsletter.

Issue date: 14 June 2023

In collaboration with University of Leceister & Loughborough University

AI-Driven Digital Twin of UK for Net Zero Target, Backed by UK Research and Innovation Grant


The University of Leicester is leading a new research project to develop a digital ‘twin’ of the UK that harnesses artificial intelligence and big data to meet its net zero target.

This artificial intelligence will be used to inform more environmentally-friendly land use in the UK and has received £2.5 million research grant from UK Research and Innovation.

Project Partners include software giant CGI, who are working with clients in over 400 locations worldwide to support net zero, Software Developer FNK Designs, information provider Geospatial Insight, the leading global satellite companies MAXAR and Planet Labs. The team will work with the Cattle Information Service on dairy cattle, and Silvasheep will provide their enterprise on regenerative agroforestry farming.

FNK Designs will be focusing on a strategic shift to offer complete IoT technology value propositions specialized in vertical applications and tailoring IoT projects inline with the Net Zero initiative. FNK Designs will focus mainly on smart sensors that will facilitate the monitoring of environmental parameters and transmit via Wireless sensor networks feeding the control hub.

Emissions from cattle and sheep farming and degraded peatlands together contribute about 10% of the UK’s emissions. The researchers will work together with industry leaders and the farming community to deliver intelligent computer code that can produce advice how to reduce these emissions.


Notes to editors:

For further information and interview requests, please contact the University of Leicester press office on 0116 252 2160 or

Prof. Heiko Balzter, Director of the Institute for Environmental Futures, University of Leicester, and staff member in the National Centre for Earth Observation:

Further information:

UKRI - Net Zero Target Intelligence Research

Building a green future

Environmental Future

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