NCCR MARVEL-led Swiss consortium wins ETH Board funding for ORD practices project

This was published on November 24, 2022

A consortium led by Dr. Giovanni Pizzi, project leader of NCCR MARVEL’s Pillar 3, “Digital Infrastructure of Open Simulations and Data,” and Group leader of the “Materials Software and Data” group at the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI), has won funding of almost CHF1.3 million for a three-year project dubbed PREMISE: “Open and reproducible materials science research”.  

by Carey Sargent, EPFL, NCCR MARVEL

A group of researchers from PSI, Empa and ETH Zurich has won ETH Board funding of 1.292 million Swiss francs for an “Establish” project meant to further develop existing Open Research Data (ORD) practices.  

The three-year project, dubbed PREMISE, aims to establish, promote and facilitate the adoption of ORD practices that adhere to FAIR data principles in the field of materials science. During the course of the project, they will provide the missing critical components to enable open and reproducible research in an accessible format that is shareable with the broad scientific community. They will place a particular focus on addressing interoperability between data from simulations and experiments, because there are currently no established research data management practices for  combining them.

During their project, the researchers will draw on the existing platforms openBIS, an open-source data management platform developed at ETH Zurich, and AiiDA, an open-source workflow management system mainly developed at EPFL and PSI as part of NCCR MARVEL. The two platforms focus on different parts of the data life cycle—experiments and simulations, respectively.

“We believe that the synergy and connection between the two will also provide the missing link to enable the automation of complete experimental and analysis processes towards the establishment of FAIR-by-design autonomous laboratories; such a link is a crucial step for which ORD practices are missing,” the researchers said in a statement.

The funding for the project is linked to the ETH Board’s ORD initiative. PREMISE is an “Establish” project, meant to allow the establishment of ORD practices that already exist, bringing them to the next level, improving their scope, raising their level of quality and anchoring them as community standards.   

In addition to Dr. Pizzi, the consortium consists of Dr. Carlo Pignedoli, deputy group leader of the “Atomistic simulations group” at Empa, and project leader of Pillar 4, “Long-term Integration in the Swiss Scientific Landscape” at NCCR MARVEL; Dr. Corsin Battaglia, laboratory head of the “Materials for Energy Conversion lab” at Empa; Dr. Bernd Rinn, section head at the ID Scientific IT Services group at ETH Zurich; Dr. Caterina Barillari, RDM service manager in the ID Scientific IT Services group at ETH Zurich; Dr. Henry Lütcke, scientific computing lead in the ID Scientific IT Services group and ETH Zurich and Dr. Peter Kraus, scientist in the “Materials for Energy Conversion lab” at Empa.  

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