Newsletter 16

Platform-News - 21.03.2024


Dear colleagues in the MaterialDigital community,

We welcome you to the first newsletter of the year and invite you to catch up on the latest news from the MaterialDigital initiative.

We are delighted that the MaterialDigital community has grown and moved further towards industry with the launch of all the MaterialDigital2 projects. As the funding periods of the MaterialDigital1 projects slowly come to an end, we are eagerly awaiting the MaterialDigital3 projects. We have come a long way together and would like to thank the first projects in particular for their valuable work. Stay involved in shaping the digitalisation of materials science and engineering by participating in the MaterialDigital initiative! Keep using our channels and meetings.

We hope you all enjoy reading the newsletter!

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Image 1: Participants at the BMBF kick-off for the MaterialDigital projects of the second call for proposals


Discover our new film

Interviews and impressions from the community were recorded during the last General Assembly in Karlsruhe. The result is a short film that shows how our platform and project teams have successfully worked together over the last three years and how the valuable work and results of the first phase will be integrated into the upcoming MaterialDigital projects. Thanks to all involved and have fun watching! Subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you don't miss any new videos (e.g. Ontology Playground recordings).

Meet us at ACHEMA 2024

We will be presenting the initiative again at ACHEMA - this year from 10 to 14 June in Frankfurt am Main. Come and visit us in exhibition hall 6.0 at the BMBF booth D32. Don't miss the MaterialDigital presentations: On Tuesday, 11 June, starting at 4 p.m., the platform and the DIGITRUBBER, SensoTwin, DigiBatMat and KupferDigital projects will give presentations at the Siemens Digital Innovation Stage - 11.0. There will also be other exciting presentations related to the #digital innovation topic. After the presentations there will be a get-together at the booth. More details can be found here.

Time Title Speaker
16:00 Initiative MaterialDigital - Usable approaches for sustainable digitalization in Materials Science and Engineering Dr. Alexander Straumal
16:15 Supporting the European Green and Digital Transition by Digitalization of Innovative Advanced Materials Dr. Natalia Konchakova, Dr. Peter Klein
16:30 Digitalization of Rubber Processing on the Example of Extrusion Dr. Heike Wittek
16:45 Digitalization from Small Specimens to Large Rotor Blades - Insights from the MaterialDigital Project SensoTwin Alexander Seidel
17:00 Combining process, material and analytical data across production scales and involved comapnies in the area of battery research Marcel Mutz
17:15 KupferDigital - Development of an ontology-based data-ecosystem Dr. Miriam Eisenbart
You are also welcome to invite interested project partners to ACHEMA. Free tickets can be arranged through us, please contact us ( Please also contact us to arrange meetings with colleagues from PMD at the booth.

Stay up to date with MSE 2024

This year's edition of the MSE Conference is taking shape - with more than 1,100 contributions, MSE 2024 will provide a broad overview of the diverse activities in the field of materials science and engineering, not only in Germany but also on an international scale. Together with the NFDI-MatWerk consortium, the MaterialDigital initiative is actively organising the symposium "Digital Materials: Experiments, simulation workflows, ontologies, and interoperability" (D03). The detailed programme of the symposium will be available soon.

Save the date for the 2024 General Assembly

If you haven't already added the General Assembly to your calendar, now is the time to do so: 18-19 September 2024, at the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und -prüfung Berlin, Unter den Eichen. As in previous years, the projects of the initiative will meet at the MaterialDigital General Assembly to discuss current topics from their areas of work, exchange results and experiences, and establish new contacts and potential collaborations. All those interested in the further development of digitalisation approaches in the creation and use of material data are cordially invited to attend.

Insights into PMD | Focus areas

We have started another year with many exciting tasks to accomplish for the four fokus areas of the MaterialDigital platform. We are pleased that the opportunity to participate in our working groups continues to be used so actively and productively and that we can work together with you to realise the goals of the initiative. In the following sections, we will inform you about the current topics and activities of the four focus areas.

Community Interaction

We would like to introduce you to the great people behind the MaterialDigital initiative. Check out our latest interviews! In the last few months we had the pleasure to interview Heike Wittek from DIGITRUBBER, Ebrahim Norouzi from the Core Team and Ursula Pähler from SensoTwin. Are you interested in telling us about yourself, your work and your project? Then don't hesitate to contact us at We are looking forward to hearing from you.

Another MaterialDigital2 project started in January 2024: Welcome DigitalModelling to the MaterialDigital community! There are now 11 projects funded in the MaterialDigital2 round. Details of all projects can be found on our website.

The MaterialDigital community meeting takes place every second Tuesday of the month. Representatives from all projects are welcome to attend. If you have not yet nominated a representative for your project, please do so as soon as possible so that we can invite your representative to the next meeting on 9 April. Please contact us at


The main focus this year in the workflow area is the joint work on an overview publication on workflows in the MaterialDigital initiative. Thanks to Deutsche Bahn, the workshop planned for January 2024 was particularly sustainable (due to a strike, we had to avoid travelling completely this time). The concept for the article was designed and discussed in this workshop. In addition to describing the general framework and challenges of workflows and the importance of the workflow store for the standardisation and dissemination of developed workflows, the current outline also includes the perspective of 13 projects from MaterialDigital1 and 2 on workflow solutions, thus providing a broad picture of the topic.

Semantic Interoperability

Earlier this year we were delighted to publish the open access publication on the PMD Core Ontology (PMDco) in the journal Materials & Design. This is the first of an exciting series of papers on semantic interoperability that our team will be publishing in the near future. This will include work on the Tensile Test Ontology and various demonstrators that extend our prototype ontological framework and illustrate its application in combination with workflows on materials science topics. We will of course keep you up to date with all the latest news.

But together we can achieve more, and together we can have more fun. True to this motto, our Ontology Playground is celebrating its 3rd anniversary this year. We cordially invite you to subscribe to our mailing list to participate in our bi-weekly, public and interactive exchange format on ontology usage and modelling. We are currently presenting the results of the MD1 projects in our Show & Tell series in the Ontology Playground.

After the end of the Show & Tell series, we will refocus the Ontology Playground on collaborative work on the PMDco. Together we want to work on improvements and further developments. At last year's Hackathon in Berlin at BAM on the topic of PMDco v3.0 we decided to use the Basic Formal Ontology as a standardised top level and to work together on the future structure and modularisation. Take this opportunity to be involved from the very beginning and help us lay the foundations for interoperability across the boundaries of materials science and engineering.

Architecture & IT Infrastructure

Nowadays it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with new developments. Unfortunately, this is also true for the PMD Deployment Guide. To address this, the architecture group met for a hackathon in Berlin in February 2024. The existing documentation was reviewed to ensure it was up to date, and the necessary modifications were initiated. The revisions will be gradually incorporated into the official Deployment Guide after an internal review, so that PMD-S can continue to be set up smoothly. In this context, a section on the integration of the PMD-S into the PMD Mesh will be made publicly available to all interested parties in the near future.

Current publications of the MaterialDigital initiative

On our website and on the individual project subpages you will find the latest publications from the initiative. Today we would like to draw your attention to the new paper from the LeBeDigital project: From concrete mixture to structural design - a holistic optimization procedure in the presence of uncertainties.

PMD Core Ontology: Achieving semantic interoperability in materials science

Have you already discovered the latest paper on the PMD Core Ontology? It describes very comprehensibly the approach to achieving semantic interoperability in materials science and engineering (Image 2). Relevant material information across the entire value chain is made available through consistent process representations based on the Platform MaterialDigital Core Ontology (PMDco), so that informed decisions can be made at any time. The paper provides informative insights for both new and experienced members of the community.

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Image 2: Making material and process data that is generated and stored along entire value chains interoperable.

Special issue "Digitalisation in Materials Science and Engineering" in Advanced Engineering Materials (AEM)

With the announcement of the first phase of the initiative for the digitalisation of materials research in Germany (MaterialDigital) on 20 August 2019, the BMBF has drawn great interest from the broad materials science and engineering community. The aim of the initiative is to "fundamentally and sustainably support materials research, development and production as well as the processing of materials all the way to the component and beyond with innovative digital methods, concepts and processes and thus ultimately to place product development in Germany on a more solid foundation". A total of 13 projects were funded in this first call, covering a broad portfolio from battery materials to glass, rubber and steel.

These projects are now in their final stages - we at the MaterialDigital platform are impressed by the variety of innovative results these groups have produced. The editors of Advanced Engineering Materials (AEM) have accepted our proposal to provide a synoptic view of these results with a special issue on "Digitalisation in Materials Science and Engineering". We are currently working on more than 20 manuscripts from the various project groups, which will be accompanied by two review articles on semantic interoperability and workflows, and categorised in relation to the overall initiative.

The individual papers will initially be published online (Advanced Engineering Materials - Wiley Online Library) and will be freely available to members of German research institutions. The printed version with all contributions will be published later, we will keep you up to date.

We are looking for new team members

Four new positions are available in the core team of the MaterialDigital platform! Would you like to join us in driving digitalisation in materials science and engineering? A great team, spread across Germany, is looking for new colleagues. We need team players who want to work on exciting projects. See the job descriptions for details.

  • The Executive Office of the Platform is looking for two Business Scientists or Business Information Scientists to support the Platform in coordinating all internal and external activities, as well as in supporting its sustainability and scaling activities. The job announcement will be published shortly on the KIT website, the PMD website and LinkedIn. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Alexander Straumal.
  • Technical*r Employee*in with advanced expertise and experience to support the core team in the work areas Workflows and/or Architecture and IT Infrastructure and/or Ontologies and Knowledge Graphs. The job announcement will be published shortly on the KIT website, the PMD website and LinkedIn. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Jörg Schaarschmidt.
  • PhD/Junior Researcher or PostDoc/Senior Researcher for research on new topics in the field of Ontologies and Knowledge Graphs for materials science and engineering. The job announcement is published by FIZ-Kalsruhe.

By our community for our community

Join the MPA Seminar 2024

From 8 to 10 October 2024, the "Materials for future" seminar will take place at the Materialprüfungsanstalt (MPA) in Stuttgart (the language of the event is English). MPA Stuttgart is a consortium partner in the MaterialDigital1 project DiStAl and in the MaterialDigital2 project AnAttAl. The six one-day sessions will focus on the links between materials, processes and applications.

  • 08.10.: Hydrogen - Advanced Manufacturing
  • 09.10.: German Energy Revolution - Big Data & AI
  • 10.10.: Structural Materials Modelling - NDT of Complex Materials

For further information and registration please visit the event page.

Take part in the IWM workshop »StahlDigital meets Industry«

The MaterialDigital1 project StahlDigital is offering a workshop »StahlDigital meets Industry« for participants from industry on 25 April 2024 at the Fraunhofer IWM in Freiburg. The target group are participants from industry who are interested in modern data and workflow management concepts. No technical knowledge of data management is required. For further information and registration please visit the IWM event page.

Sign up for the KupferDigital workshop

The MaterialDigital1 project KupferDigital is organising the free Workshop »Digital Data Space for Copper-based Materials - application in alloy development« based on its project results on 18 June 2024 at the Fraunhofer IWM.

In addition to training on the methodology behind semantic/networked data, the digitalisation tools developed in the KupferDigital project will be presented. They can be tested and learned in hands-on sessions. The results of the project will be made available for the first time in this way and demonstrated live. Places are limited.

Past Events

BMBF Kick-Off MaterialDigital2 Projects

The BMBF Kick-Off took place on 29 February at BAM in Berlin Adlershof. Half of the 70 participants were from the MaterialDigital2 round project teams, which have now been officially welcomed by the BMBF and the MaterialDigital community. The MaterialDigital platform team provided information on working methods, news from their areas and joint activities. Some synergies between the projects were already identified in a networking session. There was an active interaction, which will be very valuable for further collaboration. We are pleased that the focus on industry is increasing and that our community is growing with this focus. We plan to bring all project teams together at the next General Assembly.

Our visit to the NFDI-MatWerk »All hands on deck«

On the 12th and 13th of April the »All Hands on Deck« of our sister initiative NFDI-MatWerk took place in Siegburg, where PMD was also represented. The presentations of the infrastructure use cases from NFDI-MatWerk, the working sessions on the rollout of the use cases and the subsequent discussions resulted in an exchange of important concepts between the two initiatives. It became clear how important a continuous and targeted dialogue between the initiatives is at all levels in order to create compatible solutions for the materials science community - both with regard to the technical and structural developments to be established. Through this exchange, the ecosystem of science and industry can be addressed jointly, despite the different stakeholders of the two initiatives, and mutually benefit from contacts with other international initiatives.

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Image 3: Team members of the MaterialDigital initiative at the NFDI-MatWerk-»All hands on deck«

Thank you for your interest in our newsletter! Look forward to future news and events and please stay in touch with us. Follow us on LinkedIn and check out our website from time to time.

We wish you all the best and will be back with more news in the summer.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

The PMD team