The Materials R&D today still depends primarily on scientific intuitions, experiences, as well as trial-and-error experiments. This process is traditionally costly, time-consuming, and increasingly becoming the bottleneck for the technological and social advancement. Material genome engineering (MGE) is a new approach enabling the discovery and development of new materials and new processes at faster pace and lower cost via integrating computation, experiment and material informatics technology. The work model of MGE can be roughly categorized as experiment-driven, computation-driven and data-driven, respectively. Taking advantage of unprecedented computing power and large collection of data, the data-driven mode uses artificial intelligence to bring about the paradigm shift so that the composition-structure-process-performance relationship can be extracted out of massive data, adding new capabilities to the conventional materials research tool-box. To support such a whole new routine of data-driven materials science, a data-centric materials innovation infrastructure must be established, which consists of facilities of data, high-throughput experiment and high-throughput computation to cover both data generation and utilization. The data facility includes database, library of AI-based modelling tools, and integrated platform. Ideally, the data should be produced (rather than collected) through “Data Foundry”, a centralized or virtually linked high-throughput experiment and/or computation platform capable of batch production to ensure the data being highly integrated, systematic, consistent and comprehensive. Many new computational and experimental methods need to be developed to meet the new demand of mass production of high quality data. In addition, appropriate data standards need to be set to affirm the data being in conformity with FAIR principles, namely “Findable”, “Accessible”, “Interoperable” and “Reusable”. Altogether, they lay the foundation for the future materials science.
Dr. Hong Wang is a “Zhiyuan” Chair Professor and Director, Materials Genome Initiative Center, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Earning a B.S. in Geophysics from Peking University and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he worked in industrial R & D field for 16 years with global companies such as SONY, Panasonic and Guardian Industries Corp. in the United States before joining China Building Materials Academy, Beijing, in 2010 as the Chief Scientist for the National Research Center for Glass Processing and Associate Director of the State Key Laboratory of Green Building Materials. Since 2012, he’s been actively promoting the Material Genome Initiative, a new paradigm for acceleration from materials discovery to deployment, in China. He served in several MGI related committees and work groups with Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chinese Academy of Science. He was also one of the guest editors for special issues on MGE with journals such as “Engineering” and “Science and Technology Review”. His current research interest is on data-driven materials science, high-throughput material synthesis and characterization, as well as in development of coated glass and smart windows for energy efficient buildings, and solar heat conversion coatings.