Newsletter 14

Platform-News - 10.10.2023


Dear colleagues in the MaterialDigital community,

MaterialDigital General Assembly - A Great Success

Thank you for being there!

A glimpse of the MaterialDigital General Assembly 2023:

  • 140 participants:
    • 70 participants from 13 MaterialDigital1 projects
    • 20 participants from 8 MaterialDigital2 projects
    • 30 external participants, e.g. from industry
    • 20 PMD Core colleagues
  • Numerous contributions, including over 30 posters and 20 demonstrators
  • and many personal discussions.

We thank all participants for their inspiring contributions and valuable discussions. The joint discussion of the objectives in the MaterialDigital Initiative has brought our community even closer together. The substantive progress of the projects from the first phase was also outstanding. From the structuring of data based on project-related application ontologies, through comprehensible workflows to cross-project data spaces, a vast number of applicable solutions have emerged. These solutions are to be published in the next step, thus accelerating digitalization in our material communities.

Presentations and posters from the general assembly will soon be available on our website (collected in the download area and individually on the project pages). At this point, we would like to warmly congratulate the DiProMag project for the best poster and the DIGITRUBBER project for the best demonstrator.

During the general assembly, we conducted a brief live survey, including which topics the MaterialDigital platform (PMD) should focus on in the future. You can view the results of this survey here. We are incorporating this valuable feedback into our working groups.

Conclusion of the PMD | Main Focus Areas

The focus of the general assembly was on direct exchange about the results achieved so far and future strategies in MaterialDigital with the entire community. Through intensive discussions, numerous results and insights were gained. In the following sections, you have the opportunity to learn more about the main conclusions from the different focus areas.

Community Interaction

The community group discussed intensively during the general assembly, and especially in the two-hour workshop, about the sustainable and active exchange of knowledge within the community. Together, they deliberated on how knowledge can be shared better and project results made permanently available for the community. It became clear that various knowledge transfer and communication channels of the PMD should be communicated regularly to keep them known. Specific areas, like the project pages on the website, should be improved and enriched with further content. The forum as a platform for knowledge exchange was also discussed: it was decided for the time being to keep the forum as a channel. Especially the final work of MaterialDigital 1 could provide assurance for more intensive exchange in the community. How the forum can become a sustainably used exchange platform still needs to be considered further.

The community group has already started optimizations, such as on the project pages on the website, and will address the larger topics in the working areas, in PMD meetings, and with the initiative.

Sustainable knowledge transfer for the MSE community and industry will continue to be a significant issue, discussed collectively in the community and in exchange with other initiatives such as NFDI-MatWerk.


Satellite meeting of the workflow group on September 20th Prior to the general assembly, a satellite meeting took place at KIT, where challenges and solutions were mainly discussed to ensure the sustainability of developed concepts, solutions, and workflows. The focus was on improving the functionality and documentation of the Workflow-Store. To implement this, various hackathons and the drafting of a position paper are planned, which should form the basis for continuously updated and expanding documentation.

Introduction to the Workflow Frameworks pyiron and SimStack During the general assembly, the Workflow Group conducted an introductory workshop on the Workflow Frameworks SimStack and pyiron. The main focuses were the demonstration of user scenarios in SimStack and the integration of software tools into pyiron. This event was attended by participants from many projects, and a growing interest in both frameworks was noted. The discussion revealed a particular need to use these frameworks for experimental processes.

Current Status and Roadmap Discussion In a second workshop, concepts for further collaboration in the Workflow Group were discussed. A wide range of topics was identified that will be the focus of the group's future work. Central to this was the organizational design of the weekly meetings and the thematic orientation of sub-groups, which, for example, focus on experimental processes or semantic descriptions of workflows.

Semantic Interoperability

Interactive workshop on the use of the PMD Core Ontology

Presentations during Semantic Interoperability We thank both speakers for their exciting insights and all participants for their contributions and discussions:

  • Talk 1: Materials Modeling based on Industrial Data Ontology – OntOMat; Speaker: Dr. Maja Milicic Brandt (Siemens AG)
  • Talk 2: Large Language Models for Knowledge Graph Engineering; Speaker: Kiril Bulert (InfAI)

Conclusion: Continuation and intensification in an upcoming hackathon around the PMDco.

Architecture & IT Infrastructure

Open exchange on IT infrastructure for efficient and sustainable material data management In this workshop, the architecture round informed MaterialDigital projects about the current status and planned developments in this area. A specialized community will be established. First interested parties from the projects have already registered for participation in this community. Through the contact form you can be added to the list and thus stay informed about future events.

PMD Demonstrator Q&A The focus of the presented PMD demonstrator was the interaction between apps for workflows, apps for ontologies, and apps for the PMD architecture, using tensile test data as an example. In a workshop, the technical basics for this were shown by the PMD Demonstrator team using Python scripts for SPARQL queries, as well as pyiron and SimStack workflows. These tools are available to all PMD members through the Workflow Store so they can be tested individually and used as templates for your own work.

Discussion round with representatives from the industry "Digital materials / Added value for the industry - when and how?"

The industry round started with four keynote presentations. Prof. Gumbsch introduced the MaterialDigital platform. Dr. Lechmann (Robert Bosch GmbH) emphasized efficiency gains, CO2 footprint reduction, and the importance of material data as a basis for AI applications. Dr. Koerdel (Siemens AG) pointed out that material data plays a significant role in Product Design, Product Manufacturing, Product Traceability, and Sustainability and Circular Economy. Dr. Berger (Festo SE & Co. KG) explained that material knowledge is continuously essential throughout the process chain, e.g., when using recyclates/polymer components and processing high-strength steels. This was followed by a lively discussion characterized by:

  • MaterialDigital should expand its perspective from materials to products,
  • The design department is often overwhelmed and needs assistance to meet all product requirements - e.g., through digital tools, and
  • Standard formats for exchanging (simulation) data are crucial and indispensable.

The discussion included recommendations to:

  • Create interfaces to other platforms, like Catena-X. Will it be possible to transfer information about materials and their production from PMD to Catena-X in the future?
  • Establish contact with major software houses (ANSYS, ABAQUS, LS-DYNA, ...) and coordinate interfaces,
  • Facilitate the interplay between PMD and Industry 4.0 standards,
  • Offer digital tools as black-box solutions so as not to overwhelm specialists and suppliers.

The consensus among all industry representatives was that material questions (also from PMD) should always be considered from the product's perspective (value creation).

Take home messages

At the end of the general assembly, the following take-home messages were identified:

  • Great progress: The initiative has made significant advances. There was talk of a "large delta" compared to the last general assembly.
  • Sense of community: It's becoming increasingly clear how the individual contributions of the involved people and projects fit into a larger vision, strengthening community cohesion.
  • Valuable insights: Contributions and discussions during the meeting provided valuable insights into digitization concepts.
  • It remains a crucial task to ensure synergies between the projects and the long-term usability of the prototype solutions. Especially the collaboration with the industry will need to be intensified in the current projects.

Conclusion: We are shaping a forward-looking, new development and can be proud of what we have achieved so far!

What's next?

We take the individual insights and discussion points into our work areas and look forward to discussing them further with you in the team. We take overarching points and your feedback into the executive office, in the Community Interaction area and in strategy meetings for our continued journey.

Thank you for your input!

News from the Initiative

Current Publications in the MaterialDigital Initiative

can be found here on our website and on the individual project pages.

Show & Tell Events | YouTube

The Show & Tell series, hosted by the Ontology Playground, has started. Three projects have already presented exciting contributions and insights from their projects. A separate playlist on the YouTube channel has been set up; follow the YouTube channel and you will be automatically notified about new videos. You can see the next lectures under Events.

Ontology Playground

On LinkedIn, we announce upcoming lectures. Of course, you are still warmly invited to follow the lectures live in the Ontology Playground and to join the discussion.

We Welcome More MaterialDigital2 Projects

We are excited about the launch of DaMaSte, InSuKa and AnAttAl. Warm welcome!

We Support

Part-time Master's program: Material Informatics How wonderful that there is a dedicated course of study that deals with both the fields of applied material science and materials engineering as well as computer science and data analysis. Find out everything about the course here, which is offered part-time over five semesters. On October 26, there will be an online information event.

Women@DGM: International Professional Women's Network Initiated by the German Society for Materials Science (DGM), Woman@DGM promotes professional exchange and networking between female DGM members and experts from science and industry at both national and international levels. Since the first DGM Lunch-Talk in 2021, regular events for women have been held - initiated, moderated, and regularly accompanied by Prof. Dr. Martina Zimmermann (former DGM President). Find out more here and join in!

Past Events

NFDI MatWerk 1st Conference

The first conference of the NFDI Consortium MatWerk in late June this year provided exciting and interesting insights into the work of the consortium and its role in advancing materials science research through new and innovative research data management strategies. Many members of the community were present and were able to exchange ideas. Here is a summary of the MatWerk Conference. Thank you for the great conference.


The FEMS EUROMAT 2023 took place from September 4th to 7th, 2023. Numerous contributions were made from the MaterialDigital initiative. The symposium "D08: Digital Materials: Experiments, Simulation Workflows, Ontologies, and Interoperability" was largely organized by representatives of the PMD. These were intensive, interesting days on the beautiful campus of Goethe University in Frankfurt. Many thanks to the DGM for the organization!

Current and Upcoming Events

QI-Digital Forum in Berlin, 10./11.10.23

This year's forum is titled "QI-Digital, Digital Product Passport & Co. - Together for the Quality of the Future". The QI-Digital initiative is shaping the quality assurance of the future. What is needed is the coming together of a multitude of actors, initiatives, and tools. We are very pleased that we as the MaterialDigital initiative were invited to be there. Mr. Pedro Portella will present the MaterialDigital initiative in a short lecture and the PMD will be on-site with a booth as a meeting point for exchange and networking on both days. We cordially invite you to join us; further information on interesting workshops can be found here. The event is free of charge.

ADIS2023 Workshop on Digitization and Workflows

The ADIS2023 Workshop organized by PMD members will take place from 29.10.-03.11.2023. It focuses on the latest advances in the development and application of chemically complex materials such as steels, superalloys, and high entropy alloys. The main topics of this (9th) ADIS workshop will be digitization and workflows, including machine learning approaches. Registration should preferably be completed by 15.10.2023.

Save the Date MSE2024

Make a note of the date for the MSE conference next year! The MSE2024 will take place from September 24th to 26th in Darmstadt. More information can be found here, we will keep you updated.

Advanced Materials, One of the EU's Top Priorities for 2024

The European Commission defines "Advanced materials for industrial leadership" as one of the top priorities for 2024. The "Innovative Materials for EU (I'M FOR EU)" initiative is among the proposed partnerships within the second strategic plan of Horizon Europe. The complete draft of the concept paper published by the Directorate-General for Research and Development (DG-RTD) addresses the digitization of materials development as one of the greatest challenges:

"3. Digitalisation of materials development. Innovation in digital tools such as modelling, data spaces, data analytics, and AI has the potential to exponentially accelerate the research and design of new innovative materials and thus strengthen Europe’s competitiveness. Germany (MaterialDigital) and France (DIADEM) have already launched major national initiatives offering data spaces to accelerate materials design using AI and modelling techniques. Initiatives at the national and EU levels need coordination to exploit the full potential of digitalization."

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter! Look forward to future news and updates from the MaterialDigital initiative!

We are working together on the fundamentals to tackle major challenges. We are delighted about the community that has been formed so far!

Feel free to reach out to us with feedback at (

Sincerely, MaterialDigital Team

The PMD team