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How FAIRmat, FAIR-DI, NOMAD Lab, and NOMAD CoE are connected


The NOMAD (Novel Materials Discovery) project began with the NOMAD Repository, founded by Claudia Draxl (HU Berlin) and Matthias Scheffler (FHI Berlin) within a bilateral project funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin. It was made publicly available in 2014 in cooperation with the Max Planck Computing and Data Facility, which has been running the NOMAD infrastructure since then.

Between 2015 and 2018, NOMAD was substantially extended within the HORIZON 2020 European Center of Excellence, The NOMAD Laboratory CoE, with 13 partners, led by Matthias Scheffler. Since then, it supports more than 40 computer codes, and provides services such as the NOMAD Encyclopedia and the NOMAD AI Toolkit [1].
In 2020, the HORIZON 2020 European Center of Excellence, NOMAD CoE, continued with a different focus. The aims of the CoE are to bring ab initio codes and AI tools to exascale performance and handling extreme-scale data. It is currently coordinated by spokesperson Claudia Draxl, Matthias Scheffler was the Spokesperson and joint coordinator until January 2023.

In 2017, the non-profit association FAIR-DI was established as an initiative between Germany and the Netherlands, and quickly became a more international endeavor. The aims were to establish an international research data infrastructure  extending beyond theory, and to seek long-term funding, e.g. to allow NOMAD to become a permanent institution. Claudia Draxl is the current chairperson of FAIR-DI, Matthias Scheffler is a member of the executive board.

Since October 2021, the main developments for the NOMAD Lab have been happening in the NOMAD HUB, the NOMAD Data Center at HU Berlin. This center was established to host FAIRmat, the NFDI consortium for condensed matter and the chemical physics of solids. FAIRmat is led by Claudia Draxl, and co-led by Christoph Koch. Matthias Scheffler was deputy chair until March 2022. 

FAIRmat widens the scope of NOMAD to include experiment and sample synthesis data.

The NOMAD Laboratory at the FHI is the research group of Matthias Scheffler, with a strong focus on thermal and electrical transport from first principles and the development and application of artificial intelligence methods. Scheffler and his group have also office space at IRIS Adlershof at the HU Berlin, attached to Claudia Draxl’s research group. Both groups jointly supervise PhD students; they individually and jointly contribute to the developments of the NOMAD Laboratory.

[1] C. Draxl and M. Scheffler, The NOMAD Laboratory: From Data Sharing to Artificial Intelligence, J. Phys. Mater. 2, 036001 (2019).