Overview

All around the world people rely on critical infrastructures to survive, stay safe and maintain a good quality of life. Much of this infrastructure, for example food and water supply, healthcare, housing, transportation and communication, is made up of complex systems.

Engineering X, a collaboration between the Academy and Lloyd’s Register Foundation (LRF), has launched a £5 million, 5-year programme, Safer Complex Systems, to increase safety in the design, management and governance of complex systems. The programme will achieve this by supporting the most impactful interventions where they are most needed, globally.

The Safer Complex Systems programme is governed through a board chaired by Dame Judith Hackitt DBE FREng, former Chair of the Health and Safety Executive and leader of the UK Government's Independent Review on Building a Safer Future conducted after the tragic Grenfell Tower fire in London.

 

Objectives

  • To deliver innovative, practical solutions that increase safety in the design, management and governance of complex systems globally
  • To build a diverse, global complex systems community
  • To engage and influence key stakeholder groups, including members of the public, to empower them to make complex systems safer

 

Current activities

Global Foresight Review on the Safety of Complex Systems

The University of York has been commissioned to undertake an initial review of safety in the design, management and governance of complex systems. This Review will develop conceptual clarity; identify methods for the design, management and governance of complex systems; and outline emerging challenges and opportunities with regard to the safety of complex systems.

The University of York study will include findings from stakeholder workshops, informal meetings, and an online questionnaire. The study will consider the published literature on complexity, safety engineering and management, and analyse reports on accidents and incidents with complex systems. From this, a framework will be developed for the design, management and governance of complex systems. A final report and recommendations for future work will be published in mid-2020.

 

Upcoming opportunities

Call for Ideas

This is an opportunity for stakeholders located anywhere globally to input into the strategy of the Safer Complex Systems programme. Your response will help determine the countries and activities that receive funding through this programme.

 

Call for Case Studies

The Call for Case Studies aims to promote knowledge sharing across sectors, disciplines and international boundaries to inspire safer approaches to the design, management and governance of complex systems globally. Please visit the below page for more information.

Call for Case Studies Page

 

Advocacy Programme, 2020

More information to follow shortly.

 

Global Foresight Review on the Safety of Complex Systems (Phase II)

More information to follow shortly.

 

Global Workshop on Safer Complex Systems, January 2021

More information to follow shortly.

 

Contact

If you have any questions or if you are interested in joining the Academy’s complex system community please contact Shelley Stromdale, Programme Officer.