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A new international Task Group on Materials Ontologies was launched at the Research Data Alliance’s 13th Plenary Meeting in Philadelphia on 4th April 2019. The Task Group is part of the remit of the RDA/CODATA Interest Group on Materials Data. It recognises the growing importance of ontologies in the Materials Science domain for delivering on the objectives and opportunities connected with digitalisation and “Materials 4.0”, in particular interoperability, information transparency, decision support based on data plus models and artificial intelligence.
There is an impressive and growing body of work on materials ontologies, in particular concerning database integration. with recent applications including a metallic materials ontology derived from the semantic knowledge base YAGO and a catalyst materials ontology including an integration of a database of computational data and one consisting of experimental data. Furthermore, the European Materials Modelling Council has been spearheading the development of a general materials science ontology framework, the European Materials & Modelling Ontology EMMO. Furthermore, there is a rich body of work related to chemicals and nanoparticles and nanomaterials safety, as well as analytical chemistry/characterisation.
The scope of the Task Group includes any type of materials/substance in any state at any scale and any ontology about materials or directly linked to materials, e.g. characterisation, modelling, processing, safety etc.
The Task Group initial topics and objectives include:
- Creating awareness of pertinent RDA recommendations and reports concerning ontologies.
- Networking of groups around the world with an interest in Materials Ontologies and mapping the field.
- Making materials ontologies FAIR.
- Collecting use cases and requirements.
- Developing recommendations on governance of materials ontologies.
- Discussion on upper level ontologies in the context of materials science needs.
- Interoperability of materials ontologies and interfacing with ontology developments in adjacent fields such a manufacturing.
- Ontology Alignment.
Communication about the Task Group will be carried out via the RDA/CODATA IG on Materials Data (so please join!).
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.
European Materials Characterisation Council: new challenges for advanced materials characterisation in Europe
The European Materials Characterisation Council (EMCC) will discuss new challenges for advanced materials characterisation in Europe at a pre-conference workshop of Industrial Technologies 2018 on 29 October 2018 in Vienna. Topics of the workshop include harmonised advanced characterisation in Europe, next generation materials characterisation; improved access for industry to advanced characterisation and materials informatics, ontology and data management (Presentation by Gerhard Goldbeck).
Goldbeck Consulting is pleased to be a partner in the EU H2020 project OYSTER, supporting the development of an “Open characterisation and modelling environment to drive innovation in advanced nano-architectured and bio-inspired hard/soft interfaces”. OYSTER brings together leading European laboratories and industrial partners to take existing nanoscale characterisation technologies towards widespread utilisation in process optimisation and model validation. OYSTER achieves this by sharing metadata in an Open Innovation Environment, where new paradigms of multi-scale contact mechanics are validated on selected application oriented reference materials through continuous interaction with the European Materials Characterisation Council (EMCC). Goldbeck Consulting supports in particular the development of metadata schema and taxonomies as well as standardisation of documentation, following the example of the successful CEN Workshop Agreement on materials modelling terminology, classification and metadata.
The draft CEN Workshop Agreement (CWA) “Materials modelling – terminology, classification and metadata” has been published by CEN for public consultation.
The document includes definitions of fundamental terms for the field of materials modelling and simulation. The definitions enable a classification of materials models into a relatively small number of distinct materials models, replacing the current situation of opacity that make the field hard to access for outsiders.
The CWA also provides a systematic description and documentation of simulations including the user case, model, solver and post-processor: the “materials MOdelling DAta tables” (MODA).
The CWA will be a foundation for improved communication, integration, data mining and interoperability across the many sub-disciplines of materials modelling.
The European Materials Modelling Council EMMC will hold its first International Workshop 2017 in Vienna, 5-7 April 2017. The invitation-only event will welcome close to 100 European and International Experts to discuss and contribute to setting a common direction among stakeholders in areas ranging from materials model development, interoperability, metadata, repositories and marketplaces, software development and industrial deployment, best practices for business decision support tools, to articulating economic impact.The outcome of this event will be integrated within the EMMC Roadmap 2017.