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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/M018865/1
Title: The Nexus Game
Principal Investigator: Savic, Professor D
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Engineering Computer Science and Maths
Organisation: University of Exeter
Scheme: Standard Research - NR1
Starts: 31 March 2015 Ends: 30 September 2017 Value (£): 251,493
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Coastal & Waterway Engineering Water Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Energy Water
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
18 Jun 2014 Bright IDEAS Awards:The Big Pitch: Civ Eng: Outline Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
The worldwide use of decision games, or often called Serious Games ('games that do not have entertainment as their primary purpose'), is becoming more popular and allows players/stakeholders to experience situations that are impossible in the real world for reasons of safety, cost, time or their rare occurrence. Examples of Serious Gaming applications include domains as diverse as healthcare, public policy, defence, training and education. In contrast to traditional Game Theory or Operations Research where scenarios or problems are typically well structured, serious gaming can simulate more complex, dynamic, uncertain, socially-coupled scenarios, referred to as "wicked problems" that are prevalent in the real world.

Water supply and demand, food production and energy provision and consumption are intimately linked physically, socially and economically, forming the Water-Food-Energy Nexus, an interconnected system that is increasingly a cause for concern due to projected demand growth. Strategic decision making for planning and management of infrastructure supporting the Water-Food-Energy the Nexus is an example of such wicked problems. It can, therefore, benefit from leveraging the technical strengths of simulation models and the social strengths of multi-player/stakeholder engagement in a game execution.

The Serious Gaming approach offers potentially transformative capabilities to strategic decision-support tools to provide better management of complex infrastructure systems compared to purely technical simulation or optimisation methods that have difficulty in capturing the socio-technical challenges of complex systems. The Nexus Game will simulate the evolution of the Nexus system with player(s) interfering in a system's dynamics through various choice variables/interventions. This represents a paradigm shift not only from the approaches that focus solely on technical issues, but also a shift from policy and regulatory regimes that concentrate on individual Nexus components separately.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.ex.ac.uk