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Rolls-Royce joins Bristol Is Open to launch UK’s first interactive Data Dome

Trent XWB-97 A.Doumenjou

Press release issued: 18 November 2015

Bristol Is Open announced today [Wednesday 18 November] Rolls-Royce, the power systems company, as a Project Partner in the UK’s first interactive Data Dome.

Rolls-Royce will investigate the use of the fully immersive hemispherical display system in the 100-seat facility, for high-end visualisation of its products and associated big data. The first visualisation is of the Trent XWB, the world’s most efficient aero engine. 

Housed inside At-Bristol Science Centre’s Planetarium, the Bristol Data Dome is the only projection environment in the world connected to a city-scale high performance network and a high performance computer and is one of the highest definition digital projection environments in the UK today.   

The network and computing environment that connects the Data Dome to the rest of the city is managed by Bristol Is Open, and hosted in the University of Bristol’s Faculty of Engineering

A preview of the variety of content capable of being displayed will be shown at this evening’s launch event, including global environmental data, a prototype of open city-data visualised onto a 3D map of the City, a 3D Rolls-Royce Trent engine,  a trip to Mars, and the Dome’s own interactive artificial intelligence voice controller. 

The project was initiated by Bristol City Council’s City Innovation team, and funded by the Department for Culture Media and Sport. The Bristol Data Dome has come about through numerous collaborations and partnerships across the city, and is the culmination of a year of planning. A wide variety of businesses are being encouraged to make use of the Data Dome, which is available most evenings, and bookable online.  

Paul Stein, Chief Scientific Officer, Rolls-Royce, said: “Visualising and creating value from a wealth of data is really important to us, and this partnership provides us with a great opportunity to tap into the Bristol and Bath area’s rapidly growing innovative digital media capabilities.  It’s also a great opportunity to engage and inspire young people with immersive sound and vision experiences of our products and show them how exciting engineering can be.”

Paul Wilson, Managing Director of Bristol Is Open, said: “Our world is overwhelmed by data, making a lot of it inaccessible and unintelligible. Visualising data in a shared environment like the Bristol Data Dome enables people to identify new patterns, and jointly examine new ways of seeing the world, the city, and products and services. 

“Rolls-Royce has understood this, and been quick to spot the opportunity the Data Dome provides.  We’re very pleased to announce this partnership with them, and to exploring similar partnerships with others.”

Phil Winfield, Chief Executive of At-Bristol Science Centre, added: “We are proud to host Rolls-Royce, a company known worldwide, in our 3D Data Dome and are thrilled to be contributing towards the work of one of Bristol’s best-known manufacturers. 

“We are also very grateful for their advice and support during the build up to tonight’s VIP launch of the Data Dome and look forward to working together in the future.”

The Data Dome offers a unique setting for companies, research groups and many other organisations to visualise their products and research in a 3D, ultra-high definition environment, provide new approaches to product development and further research and design across a range of fields.

Further information

About At-Bristol Science Centre
At-Bristol is a leading science centre in the UK and a major player in the worldwide science centre movement with over 277,000 visitors a year, including over 60,000 school visits.

About Bristol Is Open
How cities work is changing. Bristol Is Open, a joint venture between Bristol City Council and the University of Bristol, is a research infrastructure to explore developments in software, hardware and telecom networks that enable more interaction between people and places and more machine-to-machine communication. The project uses a high performance software defined network as the city operating system, then internet of things platforms and big data analytics feed an emerging number of smart city applications. This is giving people more ability to interact, work and play with the city that they live in, and will help cities address some of the biggest challenges of modern urban life. 

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc
Rolls-Royce’s vision is to create better power for a changing world via two main business divisions, Aerospace and Land & Sea.   Annual underlying revenue was £14.6 billion in 2014, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. Rolls-Royce employs over 54,000 people in more than 50 countries. Over 15,500 of these are engineers.  The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. Globally we have over 1,000 Rolls-Royce STEM ambassadors who are actively involved in education programmes and activities; we have set ourselves a target to reach 6 million people through our STEM outreach activities by 2020.


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