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Resources Observatory (RO)

The Resources Observatory (RO) aims to develop and maintain a digital twin of the physical economy, and to use this quantitative evidence base to inform policy-making and business strategy that relate to emerging resource issues (e.g. 2021 semiconductor chip shortage, rare earth crisis) and transitions (e.g. internal combustion to electric vehicles).

The digital twin relies on Element Tracker, a novel material flow analysis model. Element Tracker is built on Bayesian principles and can account for poor data availability. Element Tracker also builds on a novel database architecture designed to assimilate resource flow data across economic scales.

RO will deliver a step change in methodology, improved understanding of the effects of technology, businesses, behaviour, and policies on systemic resource, social, environmental, and economic issues and boosts to society’s (particularly for national policy-making) and business capabilities to address these issues.

This year Dr Myers has become Co-I on a new grant, and the postdoc employed in his department is developing methodology (Bayesian Material Flow Analysis) and code that will underpin a significant chunk of I-X related work. Dr Myers also secured add-on funding so that grant with other colleagues from that UKRI CE Centre (UCL, British Geological Survey) from the Office of National Statistics, which over an 8-month period (May-December) will apply this new methodology to uncover insights about how the UK can mitigate supply risk, deliver on upcoming infrastructure/building programs, and reduce environmental impacts towards a circular economy.

Led by Dr Rupert Myers, Dr Yves Plancherel, Dr Pablo Brito-Parada and Dr Kolyan Ray.

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