The Joint Science Conference (GWK) of German federal and state governments decided on 2 July 2021 to award funding to ten consortia in the second round of funding as part of the establishment of the German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). This follows the recommendation by a group of experts which selected these proposals for funding as part of a comprehensive evaluation process carried out by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
The University of Stuttgart is involved in two of these ten new consortia. These include MaRDI – the Mathematical Research Data Initiative and NFDI-MatWerk – the National Research Data Infrastructure for Materials Science & Engineering. The funding will last for a period of five years and each consortium will receive funding of between EUR 2 million and EUR 5 million per year.
Baden-Württemberg's Minister for Science, Research and the Arts Theresia Bauer congratulated all the speakers and all participating institutions from Baden-Württemberg on this great success. She emphasized that “We want to continue on this path: data-driven research today lays the foundations for innovations and value-added potential in the future, whether it’s in AI, medical research or mobility.”
The University of Stuttgart is a co-applicant institution of the MaRDI consortium, and Prof. Dominik Göddeke is its co-speaker. The University of Stuttgart is also an associate institution of NFDI-MatWerk, where Prof. Felix Fritzen is a participating researcher and member of the core team. This is all the more gratifying, since both researchers are part of the Cluster of Excellence EXC 2075 "Data-integrated Simulation Science (SimTech)", and another SimTech researcher, Prof. Bernd Flemisch, is already a co-speaker of a consortium which was approved in the first round of funding (NFDI4Ing, National Research Data Infrastructure for Engineering Sciences). This means that our extremely successful Cluster of Excellence is directly involved in 3 out of the 19 NFDI consortia to receive funding, in addition to the close ties it enjoys with the NFDI4Chem consortium.
MaRDI aims to develop methods and tools together with the mathematical community to implement the FAIR principles for mathematical research data. With the MaRDI portal, an infrastructure will be created that enables the systematic back-up, indexing and utilization of mathematical research data via decentralized and interconnected knowledge and data repositories. MaRDI will thus not only inspire research in mathematics, but will also have a broad impact in other scientific fields. Prof. Göddeke co-leads a task area with the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Mathematics which is exclusively dedicated to cooperation across disciplines. The existing close cooperation between consortia with which the University of Stuttgart is involved in the SimTech Cluster of Excellence serves as a nucleus for establishing an interdisciplinary national research data infrastructure.
NFDI-MatWerk envisages a digital data space which can map the various highly complex dependencies between materials data, and which needs to be as easy to use as possible in order to enable synergy effects. Data from the different research groups across Germany should be accessible via a so-called knowledge-graph-based infrastructure, which will allow fast, complex search queries and evaluations. A technical achievement of this nature will also provide an excellent basis for next-generation artificial intelligence in the field of materials engineering. NFDI-MatWerk offers researchers in the field of materials science and engineering a unique opportunity to bundle the various activities in the field of research data management and thereby increase the scientific productivity of researchers.
The University of Stuttgart, and in particular the Cluster of Excellence EXC 2075 “Data-integrated Simulation Science”, is delighted about the success of its researchers, and will continue to emphasize the importance of the research data management system. Both researchers look forward to making a contribution to MaRDI and NFDI-MatWerk. “We want to provide the inspiration to integrate the most innovative data-integrated simulation technology and support the development of ontology”, says Heisenberg Professor Felix Fritzen from the Stuttgart Center for Simulation Science (SC SimTech). “Since mathematics is the common language of a number of different scientific disciplines, integrating it across disciplines when establishing the NFDI is essential”, adds his SimTech colleague Prof. Dominik Göddeke from the Institute of Applied Analysis and Numerical Simulation.
In DaRUS, the University of Stuttgart already offers researchers a repository where they can archive, share and publish research data regardless of their discipline, and which thanks to the University of Stuttgart’s strong involvement in the NFDI consortia will be integrated into the National Research Data Infrastructure which is currently being built.
In keeping with the so-called FAIR principles, research data should be findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable in order for research to be transparent and efficient. However, this data is currently often only available in local, project-related, or temporary form. The National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) aims to systematically index, interconnect and permanently make available the valuable stock of data from science and research for the entire German research system. German federal and state governments provide funding for consortia which develop strategies tailored to different scientific disciplines in order to establish a research data management system based on FAIR principles.
Overview of the University Stuttgart's involvement in NFDI consortia
- NFDI4Ing: University of Stuttgart co-applicant institution,
Bernd Flemisch co-speaker
- NFDI4Cat: University of Stuttgart HLRS co-applicant institution,
Michael M. Resch co-speaker
- MaRDI: University of Stuttgart co-applicant institution,
Dominik Göddeke co-speaker
- NFDI-MatWerk: University of Stuttgart associate institution,
Felix Fritzen participating researcher