ASM International Convenes Discussion to Advance the Goals of the Materials Genome Initiative


A workshop report released by ASM International, Materials Park, Ohio through its Computational Materials Data Network outlined actions that professional societies can take to convene the materials community to drive the development of a materials data infrastructure aimed at transforming the way the materials community collaborates on materials and manufacturing innovation. By focusing on the development of a series of materials community workshops, the report offers an approach that can bring the community one step closer to the overall goal of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI): a future where materials are created and implemented twice as fast an at a fraction of the cost that they are today.

ASM International convened the workshop that resulted in the Building the Materials Data Infrastructure: A Materials Community Planning Workshop report in January, which brought together representatives from more than a dozen professional societies to address the December 2014 Materials Genome Initiative Strategic Plan objective to “Identify Best Practices for Implementation of a Materials Data Infrastructure.” The specific focus of the workshop was to identify a series of multiagency workshops that could engage the different components of the materials community to establish needs, identify barriers, and define methods to overcome them.

“This timely workshop provided valuable engagement across disparate materials communities into how to identify and overcome the challenges recently laid out in the 2014 Materials Genome Initiative Strategic Plan,” said Dr. James A Warren, Technical Program Director for Materials Genomics at the Material Measurement Laboratory of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Participants at the workshop built on an analysis of previous workshop results and studies to identify needs and outline a four-year timeline for future workshop-type activities that could address these needs. These activities fall into three broad categories—data management; data sharing; and education, training, and outreach—and include the following:

Data Management

  • Establish a materials data quality roadmap by convening a broad scoping workshop supplemented by other subsequent workshops on specific data quality topics such as quality standards, uncertainty quantification, curation practices, and data gathering “codification.”
  • Develop a materials community data registry—a listing of databases—by leveraging experience with existing data registries in other fields, such as the Virtual Astronomical Observatory (VAO) Registry, through a series of working group activities.

Data Sharing

  • Develop business models to encourage participation in the materials data infrastructure by conducting a series of forums with disparate materials communities.
  • Identify connections between publishing articles and data through a series of publishing forums involving publishers, data generators, and other stakeholders.

Education, Training, and Outreach

  • Develop data management workforce training through a robust set of workshop-type efforts, including communication and training in current tools and capabilities as well as curriculum development for both current materials professionals and those in undergraduate and graduate programs in universities in new and emerging areas.

Professional societies are uniquely positioned to lead many of these initiatives, as their ability to convene a range of materials experts across industry, academia, and national and federal laboratories is critical to bringing the Materials Innovation Infrastructure to fruition.

“The role of professional societies in supporting the development of the materials data infrastructure is a conversation that needs to continue in order to build a robust and effective system,” said Scott D. Henry, Director of Content and Knowledge-Based Solutions at ASM International. “With access to a broad range of expertise as well as the ability to work across traditional boundaries, professional societies will continue to be a driving force toward a future of rapid and more efficient materials and manufacturing innovation.”

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