graph of a material science research data platform

Source: Fraunhofer IWM

How should scientific process creation and product development evolve in the future? How will we provide new insights to colleagues, who might work on the other side of the planet? Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the joint project "Innovation Platform MaterialDigitial" has been established with the goal of paving the way towards a digital infrastructure for material science research data. The objective is to create a virtual material data space that helps with explicitly systematizing material data handling.

It’s already the case today that digitalization provides a new playing field for virtually every scientific discipline, promising to make acquired information freely accessible to everyone and thereby strongly accelerating the gain of knowledge. Appropriate data spaces are not only able to thoroughly organize knowledge and thus query it more efficiently, but also allow for the addition of input to the data space through modern statistical methods, thereby generating new insights.

Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research, the Innovation Platform MaterialDigital will pioneer in the digital standardization of materials data and materials information. Within the joint project between the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung (BAM), the Fraunhofer Institute für Mechanics of Materials IWM, the Helmholtz-Association (represented by the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology KIT), the Leibniz Institute for Materials Engineering - IWT, and the Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung the partners will develop initial approaches for the necessary complex data management. To this end, contributions from all sectors working with materials data, such as companies, non-university research institutes and universities will all be included.

To create a data platform, a number of questions must be addressed: for example, a shared infrastructure does not only rely on IT and server management, standardization and universal expressions and ontologies but also on defining the rights of authors, data sovereignty and data protection. With the go ahead on 1st of July, 2019 the project partners intend to specify the above-mentioned and other challenges and develop initial approaches for these. Close ties to the materials science community act as a guarantee that these solutions are helpful in meeting practical requirements – and ensuring their subsequent application by the target groups. Because a transformation as fundamental as digitalization is only manageable by the material science community as a whole.

„The Platform MaterialDigital aims to significantly contribute to digitalization in the field of materials science and engineering”, declares Dr. Pedro Portella, head of the department Materials Engineering at the BAM. „Based on a solid scientific fundament, it will establish ties to the different materials-driven sectors in our economy. The role of the BAM in this project is ultimately twofold. On the one hand, its long tradition in characterizing engineering materials will be essential for the reliability of the Platform. In addition, the BAM will be able to broaden the project scope through contact with different stakeholders both in academia and the private sector.”

About BAM

BAM promotes safety in technology and chemistry.
As a BMWi departmental research institute, BAM performs research, testing and offers advisory support to protect people, the environment and material goods. Its activity in the fields of materials science, materials engineering and chemistry is focussed on the technical safety of products and processes.

BAM’s research is directed towards substances, materials, building elements, components and facilities as well as natural and technical systems important for the national economy and relevant to society. It also tests and assesses their safe handling and operation. BAM develops and validates analysis procedures and assessment methods, models and necessary standards and provides science-based services for the German industry in a European and international framework.

Safety creates markets.
BAM sets and represents high standards for safety in technology and chemistry for Germany and its global markets to further develop the successful German quality culture "Made in Germany“.