MaRDA, the Materials Research Data Alliance, is an exciting community-driven effort that’s open to anyone interested in building connections to link the varied stakeholders of the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI). MaRDA coalesced from discussions and working sessions at the NSF’s 2019 Summit on Big Data and Materials Cyberinfrastructure. The Summit brought together 80 leaders from across the materials data landscape and their discussions made it clear that we have a community with similar values and goals. The challenges discussed need collaborative work so we can put the pieces together and build a culture of data sharing and the kind of work it enables.
That focus on networking drives MaRDA’s central goal to connect and develop the community needed for integrated understanding and sharing of materials research data to foster a materials data infrastructure combining software, hardware, and community-wide standards for access, interoperation, and use of materials data. That’s a big goal, but that’s why it takes a community effort. In fact, a central outcome of the 2019 Summit was agreement that there are shared incentives that spans academia, industry, national labs, beamlines, publishers, funders, and anyone interested in materials research and associated data.
So where does it go from here? We’re still building content, but the initial focus is on getting practical Working Groups up and running. Our priorities are simple, the topics people think are important enough to actual work on will be worked on. We hope you’ll join us and start building ideas and solutions with other MaRDA members. Join a Working Group or reach out to others and propose a new one!