Digitalisation & Interoperability

HomeFocus Areas

Digitalisation refers to the process of making use of digitised information (i.e., data in a digital form) to formulate and to create new knowledge enabling the extraction of insight out of such digital data. Interoperability is key to making digitalisation work in practice.

We define interoperability as the ability of two or more systems to exchange information through a common representational system to perform complex tasks that cannot be done by each single system alone.

In the context of materials science, digitalisation and interoperability encompass aspects of representing, managing, accessing and utilising digital information about products, components, materials, their behaviour and their processing to gain knowledge and insight about the intricate structure-processing-form-properties relations along the entire value chains and life cycles of the material or a component and across multiple granularity levels.

Digitalisation rests on the ability to integrate all aspects of materials development including Data-Based and Physics-Based Modelling, Characterisation and post and pre-processing to enable digitisation along the entire value chain. Moreover, digitalisation requires the integration of other tangible components including data and knowledge bases. Such an integration demands in turn FAIR data and strong interoperability foundations based on ontologies as well as facilitating tools and platforms such as digital marketplaces and Open Simulation Platforms.

The overarching goal of this Focus Area is to create a vibrant digital materials development eco-system in Europe that encompasses all the above activities.


  • Promote the establishment of a sustainable digitalisation eco-system for the benefit of industry and academy.
  • Foster interoperability based on ontology between models, data repositories, and communities to enhance and facilitate integration and digitalisation.
  • Ensure the success of digital platforms for collaboration and exchange (Market Places, Open Innovation Platforms etc) by:
    • Awareness raising, highlighting the benefits and impact of interoperability and widely agreed terminology, taxonomy and ontology standards
    • Supporting and governing the development of the Elementary Multiperspective Material Ontology (EMMO) as a foundation for interoperability
    • Making materials models and related data more accessible and usable to industry by means of a range of actions such as
      • Supporting FAIR data by coordinating standardised data documentation
      • Supporting and coordinating the development of systems and applications based on interoperability standards, e.g. Open Simulation Platforms

Leading Team

Chair: Jesper Friis (SINTEF, Norway) & Adham Hashibon (UCL, United Kingdom)

Co-Chairs:  Marzena Olszewska (QWED, Poland), Davide di Stefano (Ansys/Granta, United Kingdom), Martin Thomas Horsch (NMBU, Norway)

Task Groups

Related activities