In a session of the EU Industry Days 2019 the question of how to increase European capacity to extract knowledge from materials and manufacturing data was discussed.
Delivering on the opportunities of Materials and Manufacturing within Industry 4.0 requires adding meaning to data (semantics), enabling interoperability and linking up silos. The huge benefits of structured data, common knowledge frameworks and interoperability were demonstrated and the importance of supporting uptake of such digital technologies in industry was emphasised. Benefits include higher efficiency of materials use, improved manufacturing value chain interactions and new business model opportunities. Current lack of semantics and interoperability are key barriers to accessing the value hidden in raw data (estimated to be 36 billion Euros) and to improved decision making. Ontologies are a core element of a set of solutions proposed by the panel and endorsed by audience contributions. All stakeholders are encouraged to collaborate and create a harmonised semantic knowledge framework open to everyone. Investments in a workforce trained in digital skills including semantic technologies is needed. The importance of overcoming ‘non-technical’ challenges such as legal, regulatory, security, data-sovereignty was highlighted. Building a system of trust and rewards for data sharing is required. Such a system, together with widely agreed ontology would enable Digital Marketplaces as an efficient way of realising Industry Commons. An audience poll showed a big gap between the need for and current capability in data interoperability and semantic technologies. It confirms the need for action in this important field underpinning successful digitalisation of materials and manufacturing. Strong interest was expressed in working across domains in an alliance for digital materials and manufacturing.
A recording of the session is available.