On November 6-7, 2018, the EMMC organised the “IntOP2018: EMMC-CSA Workshop on Marketplaces and Interoperability”. This workshop took place at Fraunhofer IWM in Freiburg, Germany.
The goal of the workshop is to bring together main actors developing next generation online materials science collaboration platforms including calculated and measured data repositories to foster discussions and collaboration.
For more information on the workshop – please visit the event-page!
Please find below the report on this workshop compiled by Gerhard Goldbeck and Alexandra Simperler (Goldbeck Consulting Limited):
Successful software for materials modelling has an expected lifetime of many decades. This long-term nature requires a sound legal and business foundation: the ownership of software must be clearly established and the license models need to be carefully thought through to ensure a sustainable development and maintenance of the software and impactful exploitation by both academic and industrial end-users. Different business models carefully need to be considered when developing a strategy for long term sustainability of software and sustainment of the operation.
As background, the White Paper provides an overview of materials modelling software market, considering different segmentations (by value chain and by type of modelling) and briefly discusses market dynamics. It is, however, not an extensive market analysis.
Furthermore, the fundamental aspects of software sustainability and sustainment are described, based on literature and previous reports published by the Research Data Alliance and Software Sustainability Institute. In that context, Business Models are discussed, with a detailed analysis of different Revenue Models.
Based on the above background analysis, the status of materials modelling software is presented with respect to different sustainment attributes (Users and Communities, Product Management, Software development and maintenance, Revenue Generation). The findings are based on a workshop and surveys carried out by the EMMC during 2018. Finally, the thoughts and recommendations shared by Software Owners (SWOs) during the evidence gathering are summarised.
The main findings of the White Paper are:
- A variety of business models are used by SWOs, mostly based on a hybrid software and services approach. The revenue percentage share of services varies greatly; it is typically higher in the initial development phase of a software to enable industrial take-up.
- Software sales as well as subscription licenses in combination with a range of services (from initial implementation to contract research) are the predominant revenue mix.
- Services play a significant role, with income ranging from 20-80% in many cases. Target software to services ratio is in the range of 70-80 / 30-20. Services are not as scalable but a substantial amount seems required due to the complexity of the software and science. However, there are also exceptions, with some SWO running a successful business with a pure software (and some training etc.) focus.
- SaaS is still in its infancy. Ways of overcoming industry reservations with SaaS (e.g. security concerns) should be found since SaaS can greatly reduce software maintenance costs and provide a faster route for new features to get to users. Also, SaaS would help to reach small and medium enterprises.
- There is some skepticism but also opportunity for Marketplaces. The added value of the marketplace needs to be demonstrated to SWOs as well, in particular regarding the relation to customers. A concern is that the relation could become more distant rather than closer.
- New businesses developing services or SaaS based on proprietary software is somewhat hindered by the lack of business and licensing models between SWO and SaaS provider as SWO tend to focus on licensing to end users directly.
- Sustainability of software requires a change in education and better recognition of the persons in charge.
- Lifecycle of software requires substantial rethinking and a vision for the future as software’s age reaches decades.
- Working with customers (via services and consortia etc.) is important to uncover why they are using your software and what it takes to retain them as well as to fund new developments.
- Government funded projects are also important to most SWOs for development.
- Most software represented is proprietary but there are a range of involvements with open-source. There is a lot of complementarity (e.g. pre- post- processing and materials relations for open source codes) and SWOs can profit from the collaborative opportunities it brings.
- It is important to engage with the academic community, find ways to make software engineering more exciting and bring in new standards to make software sustainable and maintainable.
More information on the “White paper for business models and sustainability for materials modelling software”
Also published on Zenodo: https://zenodo.org/record/2541723#.XD9CwFzdvtQ
The EMMC releases the EMMC Roadmap 2018 for Materials Modelling and Informatics.
This roadmap originated from the outcome of the EMMC International Workshop 2017 and
several EMMC events like focused workshops, expert group meetings and surveys
by collecting views on what materials modelling developments are required in order
to respond to the application needs of the European industry.
This EMMC-CSA White Paper provides a basis for the standards of modelling software development and addresses areas such as method description, assumptions, accuracy and limitations; testing requirements; issue resolution; version control; user documentation and continuous support and resolution of issues.
The document is based on the work already carried out in the context of the EMMC to drive the adoption of software quality measures, and to ensure sustainable implementation of this EMMC initiative. Given the high level of sophistication of each of the developments which solve particular aspects of the multi-physics/chemistry spectrum of materials modelling, the industrial usefulness of individual achievements requires integration into larger software systems. Thus, guidelines and standards are needed, which will enable the exploitation of these codes.
The major outcome are guidelines for academic software developers creating materials modelling codes. In many cases, design decisions taken at an early stage have unforeseeable consequences for many years ahead. In this context, the white paper gives academic researchers a framework, which paves the way for successful integration and industrial deployment of materials modelling. This goal is achieved by addressing a range of topics including model descriptions and software architectures, implementation, programming languages and deployment, intellectual property and license considerations, verification, testing, validation, and robustness, organization of software development, metadata, user documentation, and support.
In version 2.0 an appendix with “Online resources to development of scientific software” has been added.
More information on the White Paper for standards of modelling software development 2.0
We created a FORUM which is dedicated to the “White Paper for standards of modelling software development”
Your contribution and a lively discussion is highly appreciated!
The “Workshop on Interoperability in Materials Modelling” took place in Cambridge on November 7-8, 2017 and presented a wide range of stakeholder communities, including academic and commercial materials modelling software owners, manufacturing industry , modellers covering different types of models and applications, repository owners , academic and commercial data and science/informatics software owners/consultants . It also brought together a number of current EU projects, the three DGCNECT COEs in the materials modelling field (NOMAD, MAX, E-CAM) and EUDAT .
The objective of the workshop was for EMMC to seek the support of and endorsement by the wider materials modelling community for the European Materials Modelling Ontology (EMMO). EMMC is also gathering requirements and outlining plans for interoperability between data repositories and marketplaces.
The major outcome of the workshop was the wide agreement on the need for ontologies in materials modelling. Moreover, there was a call for an integrated effort to develop ontologies for the whole field, including materials characterisation and modelling all the way to chemicals and materials development in industry. Such a development is regarded as key to success in digitalisation. The draft EMMO was well received and its current development was widely endorsed. The status, requirements, expectations, benefits, as well as potential pitfalls of ontologies were discussed in detail. The need for a common semantic basis and hence ontologies that drive the marketplace platform that will link all stakeholders (providers and buyers) and integrate translation and decision support was highlighted. There is good evidence that the Use of the RoMM terminology during communication about modelling and simulation is spreading well beyond EU projects. Finally, there is good evidence that the Documentation of simulations using MODA is now widely endorsed and is supporting communication and the development of the MODA portal.
Within the first horizontal workshop – also called EMMC International Workshop 2017 (Vienna, April 5-7, 2017) – one plenary presentation and three discussion sessions have been organised by members of EMMC-CSA WP2 – Interoperability and Integration.
The plenary presentation was given by Emanuele Ghedini, University of Bologna, Italy, entitled: MODA, a common ground for MOdeling DAta generalization: introduction, use case and possible improvements. The three session topics were:
- Vocabulary and taxonomy for improved community integration, communication and interoperability (Session2)
- Ontologies and metadata schema and their implementations (Session 5)
- Pragmatic approaches to interoperability: implementations, realisations and scenarios of practical relevance (Session 8)
Discussion Notes were prepared and circulated to all participants in advance of the workshop. The questions in the Discussion Notes were also circulated via an online survey, enabling stakeholder feedback before and following the workshop.
The document provides an overview of the WP2 sessions and the feedback received from stakeholders answering the survey. Recommendations for the next edition of the EMMC Roadmap are given.
The Interoperability and Repositories Advisory Group (IRAG) has been formed and a Charter for the work of the group drawn up and discussed with members.
The Charter document is the subject of this deliverable.
The EMMC, supported by the EMMC-CSA Project, aims to strengthen the integration of the field of materials modelling across its many sub-disciplines. It is recognised that integration will be strongly aided by establishing a common vocabulary and terminology, and a standardised classification of materials models and related metadata. Also, in order to facilitate a more efficient and effective way of carrying out materials modelling and developing the necessary software, the EMMC supports efforts to achieve interoperability and develop an open simulation platform, i.e. an environment which provides open standards for integration and interoperability of materials models. Furthermore, it is recognised that data, be it experimental or modelling derived, form a key part of materials modelling workflows and provide the crucial link between modelling and experimentation. Therefore, the integration with data repositories and achieving interoperability with repository systems is equally crucial in order to guarantee industrial impact.
- Review, analyse, provide feedback and make recommendations regarding updates to the Review of Materials Modelling including the MODA.
- Review, analyse, provide feedback and make recommendations regarding the metadata, interoperability standards and open simulation platform design proposed by the EMMC CSA.
- Review, analyse, provide feedback and make recommendations regarding the design requirements for concerted interoperable databases for materials modelling data covering all relevant models, all industrial application fields and all materials and all databases etc.
- Build collaborations and interactions with national and international standards organizations such as DIN, IUPAC, ISO, ASM and NIST.
Charter of the EMMC Interoperability and Repositories Advisory Group (IRAG)
Version V4, May 9 2018
Materials science and engineering is experiencing a major drive towards a stronger integration of data, models, and experiments into advanced workflows for the design of materials targeting specific industrial needs. The EMMC, supported by the EMMC-CSA Project, engages in actions that promote, enable, and strengthen such integration of materials modelling across its many sub-disciplines. Integration is strongly aided by establishing a common “language” based on ontologies covering various communities and sub-disciplines. Ontology facilitates a common understanding of a domain, provides a reference terminology, and a standardised classification of materials models and related metadata.
Also, in order to facilitate a more efficient and effective way of carrying out materials modelling workflows and developing the necessary software, the EMMC supports efforts to achieve interoperability of materials models and by establishing open standards for the integration of different codes, referred to as the Open Simulation Platform (OSP).
OSP requires standards for the basic communication (metadata) between the varieties of models and software tools, supplemented by a standardised file exchange. The communication and file exchange standards can then be used to develop an open simulation platform. The platform in this context essentially is understood as the tool orchestrating different codes from different vendors, but it does not contain the codes themselves. The “Open” in “Open Platforms” does not refer to “free” integrated tools, nor to open source software, but rather to the openness of the metadata, which is a prerequisite for integration.
Furthermore, it is recognised that data, be it experimental or modelling derived, form a key part of materials modelling workflows and provide the crucial link between modelling and experimentation. Therefore, the integration with data repositories and achieving interoperability with repository systems is equally crucial in order to guarantee industrial impact.
- Review, analyse, provide feedback and make recommendations regarding:
- Updates to the Review of Materials Modelling including the MODA templates.
- Materials modelling taxonomy, ontology and interoperability standards.
- Open Simulation Platform “reference designs”, i.e. guidance and implementation examples for data formats and software wrappers which are compatible with EMMO.
- Design requirements for concerted interoperable databases for materials modelling data covering all relevant models, all industrial application fields and all materials and all databases etc.
- Build collaborations and interactions with national and international standards organizations such as CEN, IUPAC, ISO, ASM and NIST.
- Provide help to current and new research projects in putting together accurate MODA for their projects (including the MODA online portal).
- Provide advice and guidance regarding the development of Materials Modelling Marketplaces to achieve common interoperability and promote a common Marketplace for Europe.
IRAG should represent all different types of materials modelling, modelling software, data providers and repositories, translation and industrial applications.
- Materials Modelling Terminology, Classification and Metadata (incl MODA)
- European Materials Modelling Ontology (EMMO) for semantic interoperability
- Open Simulation Platform (OSP) enabling the integration of all types of models on the basis of EMMO.
- Community requirements for common Materials Modelling Marketplace providing modelling, data, and collaboration services to all stakeholders
- Community requirements for concerted interoperable databases for materials modelling data
- Promote and provide guidelines for sharing information in the different subfields so that a catalogue can be built of available data for all industrial application fields and materials and models in the repositories scattered across Europe building on top what already exists.
- Discuss and propose solutions to barriers against sharing and collaboration: help the EMMC to out through the barriers of various sub-communities.
Governance and structure of IRAG
- IRAG membership is subject to invitation by the EMMC OMB (Organisational Management Board)
- EMMC-CSA participants are not IRAG members
- Membership should cover all stakeholders
- IRAG members may propose new members to the EMMC OMB
Leadership and management
IRAG is run by a leadership team with support of EMMC-CSA members (acting as Secretariat). A leadership team will be chosen by IRAG members on an annual basis.
Tasks for the leadership team are:
- Support communication between EMMC and IRAG members
- Support IRAG workshops
- Support communication with European Commission and other external bodies
- Represent the EMMC IRAG and its objectives at external event and conferences
Communication within IRAG
A collaboration environment for IRAG members is available on the EMMC Forum.
Interactions between IRAG and EMMC-CSA
Regular interactions are facilitated by
• Online calls
• IRAG groups on EMMC Forum on emmc.info
In addition, physical meetings focussed on the issues of IRAG are planned annually.
EMMC-CSA project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under Grant Agreement No.723867.