Ubiquitous Connectivity

IMIC Prototype Digital Twin

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Development of a prototype digital twin of a proposed Innovation Centre (IMIC) at Fawley Waterside, on the site of the former power station near Southampton, to help investors visualise the development, inform the business case and ultimately secure investor funding to deliver the IMIC.

The Story so Far

Fawley Waterside is a strategic site in the Solent Freeport and is one of the locations that has had Freeport tax and levelling-up status bestowed upon it by HM Government.

Since 2018, Fawley Waterside and the Satellite Applications Catapult have developed the concept of an advanced large-scale (30,000 sqm) International Maritime Innovation Centre (IMIC), equipped with the latest in manufacturing and innovation technology, attracting industry to deliver a step-change in skills development and capacity for new product and service solutions across the maritime sector.

Fawley Waterside has identified the IMIC as a catalyst for growth and the gateway to creating the £1bn Fawley Maritime Innovation Business Park. It will play a vital role in the Solent Freeport ecosystem providing much-needed expertise and accessible facilities to businesses who are, or want to be part of, the expanding “green” maritime global agenda.


As a first step, Satellite Applications Catapult is developing an IMIC Digital Twin prototype. This will help investors visualise the IMIC £395m development, inform the Business Case, and provide the confidence for them to commit funding for this game-changing opportunity.

Digital Twins are used in construction projects to create exact replicas of real-world spaces. These 3D models allow construction teams to interact virtually with the physical property during the design and planning stages.

Leading with the Digital Twin will enable Fawley to engage a breadth of stakeholders in shaping requirements, designing out risk, and optimising the design of IMIC’s extensive commercial operation. Such stakeholders will include investors, maritime operators, industry, academia, and government.


By testing and modelling concepts and requirements, the Digital Twin will accelerate development of the design, optimise cost effectiveness, utilisation, and functionality. The Digital Twin will maximise the long-term impact and value-for-money of IMIC, while future-proofing its development by enabling continual simulation, test, and validation in the virtual world.

The Digital Twin will be further developed during the operational life of the IMIC. Continuous development of this capability will ensure IMIC keeps pace with evolving market needs and is able to model and optimise proposed design changes before they are implemented in the real world.

Project Objectives

The overall objectives of the project are to deliver a roadmap for the ongoing development of the IMIC Digital Twin through to RIBA stages 0-4 in addition to building a prototype of the IMIC Digital Twin that can be demonstrated to investors in order to secure funding for the next phase of the programme of work.

Secondary objectives include upskilling Satellite Applications Catapult staff in digital twin capabilities and the production of outreach materials showcasing the role of Digital Twins in engaging the Investor Community and lessons learned that will be shared with the Digital Twin Hub community.

Alignment with the National Space Strategy

  • Fight climate change with space technology
  • Unleash innovation across the space sector
  • Develop our world-class space clusters
  • Lead the global effort to make space more sustainable
  • Use space to modernise and transform our transport system
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