Strategic Research Agenda
ENCORE are delighted to deliver the Strategic Research Agenda which is the final deliverable of the project which draws on the work of a network of over 150 leading academics and industrial collaborators. The remit of ENCORE is to define and structure the challenge of how we can improve the resilience of complex systems such as our national infrastructure, cities and digital networks.
When ENCORE was established, we defined the man-made technically complex systems under investigation as Complex Engineering Systems. The ENCORE White Paper - Challenges of Complexity and Resilience in Complex Engineering Systems - developed an important distinction between the people, processes, tools, methods, knowledge and policies, which can be considered to be the Capability Systems that constitute Complex Engineering Systems (CEgS) and the products they develop that can be considered as Complex Engineered Systems (CEdS).
This distinction will become important as resource demand increases and our ability to optimise resource and energy flows across scales and sectors improves, supporting the pursuit of whole system rather than sub-system optimisation. Complexity science suggests that this will further compromise systemic resilience, as the capability of society to invest in our CEES is reducing relative to the rate of increase in size and complexity of the functions that they need to support. The SRA provides a method to expose critical questions such as what is the relationship between optimal and resilient performance? How does this vary as the heterogeneity of systems of systems expands? How do we explore how solutions that might be performance-optimised work under various degrees of stress/scenarios of shocks?
It has been suggested that the task of developing resilience science for complex engineered and engineering systems (CEES) is currently as mature as early science of climate change before the development of initial large scale models that began, to a small degree, to reflect the complexity of the system under investigation. The scientists were aware that this was a pertinent issue but did not have the tools and data to be able to demonstrate it to a reluctant political class and largely unaware general public.
The SRA was led by a group of eminent industrialists in collaboration with the ENCORE team, all of whom have decades of experience designing and managing complex engineering systems. This document is structured as both a review of how the needs of resilience of CEES are determined and a framework and plan to support communities in addressing individual topics.
We hope you find this useful.
ENCORE Management Team
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