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International Materials Ontology Interest Group

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Gerhard 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #8455


    In June 2018, EC DG RTD organised a workshop for a wide range of stakeholders to discuss Materials Ontologies. Following a wide-ranging invitation, 130 people expressed an interest and 73 experts from 15 countries got together on 29th June. Stakeholders included:

    • EMMC representing academia and industry and all types of modelling
    • Characterisation experts
    • Processing experts
    • Manufacturing experts
    • Ontology experts from different communities (cheminformatics, nanosafety, design and manufacturing, etc)
    • Philosophers

    The key conclusion was that data management with ontologies will allow the materials field to harvest the value of data in the eminent digital era. In particular, a wide range of reasons for and benefits of ontologies was gathered including common understanding, data interpretation, source linking, establishing and enforcing rules, inferencing capabilities reasoning also across data sources. The power of ontologies has been demonstrated in a number of application examples, including data-mining, data-base linking as well as reasoning and addressing a number of challenges in engineering. The need for ontologies to support AI was discussed and clarified: Ontologies support the intermediate structuring and meaningful storage of data, enabling and speeding up AI.

    A key outcome of the workshop was a clear endorsement of the need for one common ontology across the materials field to enable knowledge extraction and exchange. Delegates showed a strong interest and motivation to get organised and collaborate on integration, which was expressed both during the workshop and in a number of emails after the workshop. The Workshop discussion already included a number of suggestions on how to work together to further gather information, define use cases, review and document existing ontologies as well as tools, review existing collaborations and collaboration models and integrate all efforts.

    It was confirmed that expressions of interest to take an active part in an International Materials Ontology Interest Group (IMO-IG) will be solicited in September 2018 and that the formation and affiliation of IMO-IG should then subsequently decided in October 2018.

    As a starting point, the European Materials Modelling Council (EMMC) is able to host and coordinate the IMO-IG, for example providing a means to register, a Forum for discussion and a structured means to collect information on existing pertinent initiatives, existing list of keywords, taxonomies and ontologies. Regarding the latter, it is noted that in the meantime a “Semantic Assets for Materials Science” task group has been formed within the framework of the Research Data Alliance (part of the RDA Vocabulary Services Interest Group ). The Task Group is concerned with data management for Materials Science – in particular, regarding semantic assets of all kinds:  vocabularies, ontologies , metadata schemes, glossaries, lists of common terms. It is therefore proposed to align the aspect of semantic assets collection with the efforts of this task group.

    As next steps, EMMC will

    • Create a Forum dedicated to the Materials Ontology Interest Group. In the meantime, please reply to this topic for discussion!
    • Provide a registration mechanism for Interest Group Members
    • Provide links and file sharing.
    • Set up a  kick-off online meeting in October to discuss basic terms and governance, including potential links to Research Data Alliance.


  • #8729


    Hi Gerhard, a simple registration is provided by the groups feature, interested members need simply to click on the Groups menu above, choose the Ontology Interest Group, and click “request to join”, done! then we have a forum automatically as well as a communication platform.

  • #8999


    Regarding the setup and governance of the group, we are discussing with relevant RDA groups, in particular the Semantic Assets for Materials Task Group and the RDA/CODATA Materials Data, Infrastructure & Interoperability IG. Vasily Bunakov, co-chair of the Semantic Assets Task Group will join IntOp 2018 in Freiburg. If you have not already done so, please register for the workshop: .

    In order for the community to get an overview of existing efforts, please contribute by entering any semantic asset on the EMMC site where we made a form called Taxonda (Taxonomy Metadata):

    The assets classification is done in 6 levels, following a scheme (attached) contributed by colleagues from

    For background, please see : Leo Obrst, “Ontological Architectures” in Roberto Poli, Michael Healy, Achilles Kameas “Theory and Applications of Ontology: Computer Applications”. Springer Netherlands, 17 Sep 2010.

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