Since industrialization, our social and economic progress depends on the mastery of materials. From the very beginning, materials science and materials engineering – in German: Materialwissenschaft und Werkstofftechnik = MatWerk – have been key technologies of their time. Due to their versatility, these two interdisciplinary fields hold a wealth of innovative solutions to meet societal challenges in the future fields of energy, mobility, environment, etc., thus making a significant contribution to the sustainable use of our finite resources. One challenge here is the many structural scales and thus the various experimental and numerical methods. In turn, materials’ mechanical and functional properties are determined by their microstructure and thus also by likely changes due to their process and load histories. The development of a database infrastructure is a community-driven process. To this end, NFDI-MatWerk aims to seamlessly integrate decentralized data and metadata, experimental and numerical workflows, and a materials ontology to maximize interoperability and reproducibility of research data processing. To this end, data use profiles of Participant Projects (PP) from different sub-disciplines are analyzed to identify the most relevant scientific scenarios within MatWerk. The resulting Infrastructure Use Cases (IUCs) help in the continuous community-driven development and review of the infrastructure.

The most important objectives of NFDI-MatWerk are represented by Task Areas (TAs) and are as follows:

  1. To place the individual materials scientist into the center of our efforts by integration and inclusion of all stakeholders, including in the decision-making processes, and the vivid exchange of opinions, ideas and experience within our community. It further comprises important education and training aspects. This will be realized amongst others through the creation of collaborative platforms, a large number of interactive workshops and an annual conference. Task Area Community Interaction (TA-CI) focuses on these objectives.
  2. To provide a reliable digital platform enabling the digital representation of materials data and MSE-specific metadata: the Digital Materials Environment (DME); and to provide services to easily store, share, search, and analyze data and metadata while ensuring data integrity, provenance, and authorship. This will be achieved by Task Area Materials Data Infrastructure (TA-MDI).  
  3. To develop a software framework of the DME that allows the users to easily share workflows in processing environments, to implement automated protocols for experimental and modelling studies with widespread MSE tools and, therewith, to unite workflows with the underlying materials data. This is the domain of our Task Area Workflows and Software Development (TA-WSD).
  4. To provide and integrate a unified materials ontology, including private materials ontologies for homegrown tools; to implement a MSE knowledge graph by which data characterized via their metadata becomes findable, accessible, as well as reusable. We have dedicated the Task Area Ontologies for Materials Sciences (TA-OMS) to this objective.
  5. To allow for a community-driven strategic development towards a digital transformation of MSE: This requires continuously analyzing the state, drawing conclusions, developing strategies, shaping respective measures, and by controlling the effectiveness of the implementations. This will be realized in our Task Area Strategy Development (TA-SD).

Funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) under the National Research Data Infrastructure – NFDI 38/1 – 460247524

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