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News 06 November 2020

EERAdata preparatory workshop: The Low Carbon Energy Research Community needs a common and machine-actionable metadata tongue

The EERAdata workshop on the 5th of November discussed metadata approaches for the energy domain. The purpose was furthermore to prepare and brief attendees on how to co-author the planned community paper to be written in the upcoming hackathon hosted between the 30th November and the 7th December 2020. Valeria Jana Schwanitz, Professor at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL) and EERAdata Project Leader, heartily invites interested researchers to join. 

The workshop “FAIR and Open Metadata for Low Carbon Energy Research”, to which more than 40 participants joined, featured presentations from August Wierling (HVL); Wolfgang Süß, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT); and Massimo Celino, Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), followed by a panel discussion.

In his presentation “Advancing Metadata Standards for Low Carbon Energy Research”, August Wierling stressed the role of metadata for putting data into context. The research community faces the need of setting up new data infrastructures to support machines running and operating the energy system.  Metadata are key to ensuring FAIR (findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data processed in the energy sector. Being a highly multidisciplinary community, energy researchers are, however, confronted with a “Babylonian confusion of tongues”, as framed by August Wierling, due to the existing plethora of technical terminologies and metadata concepts. The objective of the EERAdata consortium is to connect already existing metadata models, align their elements, and propose standards for the low carbon energy community.

Wolfgang Süß (KIT) provided attendees with an overview of the Helmholtz metadata collaboration platform, highlighting challenges and success factors in its implementation. Massimo Celino (ENEA) emphasized the prospect of automated material design, as an enabling technology for the clean energy transition. Machine readable metadata are a prerequisite for this. He presented different projects and future plans in the field, such as the IEMAP (Italian Energy Materials Acceleration Platform) and the EoCoE (European Energy oriented Centre of Excellence).

Key takeaways from the panel debate were the need to involve the broad research community to agree on common data standards, to organize  “Metadata for Machines” workshops, and to find the ‘Esperanto’ for the energy domain. The EERAdata project will continue to pave the road for this new research avenue. The next possibility for researchers to join this effort is offered by the hackathon that will take place between the 30th November and the 7th of December.

Starting with a commented and revised draft for the envisaged community paper on energy metadata, collaborative work will continue in different writing teams. In addition, three different workshops are held to explore content in-depth. The topics include “Energy efficiency in buildings” (led by Efe Biresselioglu, Izmir University of Economics, Turkey); “Linking policy taxonomies and energy research taxonomies” (led by Maria Bałazińska, Central Mining Institute, Poland); and “User stories for data search and work-flow support” (led by Manfred Paier, Austrian Institute for Technology, Austria).  A candy in form of a collaborative art-project is also planned.

To learn more about the hackathon and the connected workshops, researchers are invited to check out the dedicated page at the EERAdata website. A link to the draft for the Community Paper "Advancing metadata standards for low carbon energy research" and information on the modalities to join the writing teams can be found in the EERAdata wiki.

Post-Preparatory Workshop Materials: