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IDTechEx Explains the Pillars of Success in Materials Informatics

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BOSTON, May 16, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The impact of machine learning and data science techniques on the materials industry has grown exponentially since IDTechEx started covering the field of materials informatics in 2020, impacting the real world from lightweight alloys to new battery chemistries. However, the keys to project success here have changed remarkably little in this time, as outlined in IDTechEx’s report, “Materials Informatics 2024-2034: Markets, Strategies, Players”. What, then, are the essential areas of focus for an organization looking to deploy a materials informatics strategy, whether as an end-user or as a provider of software?

“Garbage in, garbage out” – the problem of sourcing good data
Machine learning models can only ever be as good as the data they are trained on. The major choices consist of performing your own experiments, computational simulation, pulling data from public or private repositories, or scraping data from patents and scientific literature.
Predictably, experimentation is the gold standard in terms of accuracy and will almost universally be needed at the verification stage of a materials informatics project, but the high costs can limit data volume significantly. Simulation is cheaper, but the financial and monetary expense of computation remains significant, and accuracy to reality can be dubious.
On the other hand, if data repositories and scraped data cover the right problem space, they can yield higher data volumes, but bias is likely to be a significant issue, including the non-inclusion of negative results. Often, limited information is available about the full experimental conditions. Some larger end-users of materials informatics have told IDTechEx that the limitations of external data have led them to reject it entirely, but this is not an option for players without such deep pockets.
Japanese player Preferred Computational Chemistry (PFCC) have approached the challenge of speeding up data gathering with their Matlantis software, which trains a graph neural network surrogate model for potential energy surfaces on density functional theory (DFT) data. By taking millions of DFT simulation results and performing it’s on unstable structures close to the stable structures in the pre-existing data, PFCC’s model has a much fuller picture of the infinite combinatorial space, allowing it to model first-principles results more closely. The end product reduces the time needed to get results to seconds, compared to DFT simulations, which can take hours to months. The model will only ever be as good as the DFT data it’s trained on, but being able to produce more results will offset much of this disadvantage.
Pulling information together
Managing data is typically the key stumbling block for a materials firm seeking digital transformation in its R&D efforts, especially given the conservative nature of this industry. Electronic lab notebook and laboratory information management (ELN/LIMS) software generally form the easiest off-the-shelf tools for moving away from disparate Excel files or even paper notebooks. Problems arise when different business units take different approaches here, which can lead to data siloing and overspending.
Fortunately, most materials informatics software is designed to interface with the APIs of common ELN/LIMS software. Indeed, the offerings of some materials informatics providers, including Uncountable Inc., MaterialsZone, and Albert Invent, focus heavily on managing information in the lab while integrating advanced machine learning features. For end-users looking for a one-stop shop, opting for an integrated platform may make a lot of sense.
Applying AI requires creative approaches
There are opportunities to use machine learning at every stage of the materials informatics process, from scraping data to using large language models to help design an experimental process. However, the process commonly of most interest is modeling the behavior of a class of materials to suggest candidates that meet a desired set of properties.
This inverse design process will typically use high-dimensional data that often has many missing values and may be pulled from many data sources, offering a substantially different challenge from “big data” problems. Active or sequential learning, where the performance of suggested candidates is verified and the underlying model retrained, is a common approach pursued by players like Citrine Informatics to forming an optimal experimental strategy. Advanced AI approaches abound: a cherry-picked example from UK player Intellegens modifies the input/output structure of neural networks to allow missing properties to be estimated iteratively. The peculiarity of this class of problem to materials science is why materials companies have, in general, been founded to focus on materials R&D instead of pivoting from another class of AI problem.
Usability is key
The role of a materials informatics provider is to link the expertise of data and materials scientists, who will typically have significantly different expertise. Interfaces need to be accessible to users who have no coding experience while offering more powerful code inputs to those with programming and machine-learning skills. Visualization of results should be flexible and intuitive to allow users to get the most out of the platform. The materials informatics SaaS companies that have seen the most success so far have tended to excel in making the software easy to use while offering more advanced tools for power users, allowing end users to get enthusiastic about the platform long before its use on a full-scale commercial project. Putting usability front and center should be a top priority for anyone looking to enter this industry.
Further insights
IDTechEx’s recent report, “Materials Informatics 2024-2034: Markets, Strategies, Players”, is now in its fourth edition. Informed by first-hand interviews with the industry’s major players, the report provides market forecasts, player profiles, investments, roadmaps, and comprehensive company lists, making this essential reading for anyone wanting to get ahead in this field.
To find out more about this report, including downloadable sample pages, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/materialsinformatics.
For the full portfolio of advanced materials and critical minerals market research from IDTechEx, please visit www.IDTechEx.com/Research/AM.
About IDTechEx:
IDTechEx provides trusted independent research on emerging technologies and their markets. Since 1999, we have been helping our clients to understand new technologies, their supply chains, market requirements, opportunities and forecasts. For more information, contact [email protected] or visit www.IDTechEx.com. 
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Media Contact:Lucy RogersSales and Marketing [email protected] +44(0)1223 812300
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Metabolon Now Includes Spectral Data Files for All Global Discovery Panel Projects

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MORRISVILLE, N.C., May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Metabolon, Inc., the global leader in providing metabolomics solutions advancing a wide variety of life science research, diagnostic, therapeutic development, and precision medicine applications, today announced the availability of spectral data files as an option for Global Discovery Panel projects, providing clients with an enhanced level of detail and transparency in metabolomics analysis. The addition of spectral data further complements Metabolon’s robust suite of metabolomics offerings, including the largest Level 1 library of metabolites, an advanced bioinformatics platform, and expert scientific support.

Spectral data is the initial data generated during a mass spectrometry (MS)- based metabolomic analysis. Spectral data contains a wealth of information about the metabolites present in a sample, including their chemical structure, concentration, and interactions with other molecules. Metabolon facilitates further exploration of the dark metabolome and validation of findings by offering spectral data files as an option with Global Discovery Panel projects. These data should enable the discovery of unique metabolites and biomarkers.
“The availability of spectral data enhancement not only provides clients with a more comprehensive view of their metabolomics data but also reinforces our commitment to transparency and delivering unparalleled value to our clients,” said Ro Hastie, CEO at Metabolon.
This significant update underscores Metabolon’s commitment to providing comprehensive and actionable insights to empower scientific discoveries and drive advancements in healthcare and multiomics research. Visit https://www.metabolon.com/ to learn more about how Metabolon deciphers thousands of discrete chemical signals to discover biomarkers and reveal biological pathways.
About Metabolon Metabolon, Inc. is the global leader in metabolomics, with a mission to deliver biochemical data and insights that expand and accelerate the impact of life sciences research and complement other ‘omics’ technologies. With more than 20 years, 10,000+ projects, 3,000+ publications, and ISO 9001:2015, CLIA, and CAP certifications, Metabolon has developed industry-leading scientific, technology, and bioinformatics techniques.  Metabolon’s Global Discovery Panel is enabled by the world’s largest proprietary metabolomics reference library. Metabolon’s industry-leading data and translational science expertise help customers and partners address some of the most challenging and pressing questions in the life sciences, accelerating research and enhancing development success. The company offers scalable, customizable multiomics solutions, including metabolomics and lipidomics supporting customer needs from discovery through clinical trials and product life-cycle management. For more information, please visit www.metabolon.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
About MetabolomicsMetabolomics, the large-scale study of all small molecules in a biological system, is the only ‘omics technology that provides a complete current-state functional readout of a biological system. Metabolomics helps researchers see beyond the genetic variation of individuals, capturing the combined impact of genetic as well as external factors such as the effect of drugs, diet, lifestyle, and the microbiome on human health. By measuring thousands of discrete chemical signals that form biological pathways in the body, metabolomics can reveal important biomarkers enabling a better understanding of a drug’s mechanism of action, pharmacodynamics, and safety profile, as well as individual responses to therapy.
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Caseware Introduces AiDA: The AI-Powered Digital Assistant Changing the Face of Accounting and Audit

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TORONTO, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Caseware International, a global leader in cloud-enabled audit, financial reporting and data analytics solutions, is delighted to announce the pre-launch availability of Caseware AiDA, its Artificial Intelligence digital assistant. As the latest enhancement to the industry-leading Caseware Cloud platform, AiDA complements Caseware’s comprehensive suite of solutions created with accounting, audit and finance professionals in mind.

AiDA is designed to enhance efficiency, ensure compliance and provide precise, context-aware responses to profession-specific enquiries enabling accounting, audit and finance experts to work more efficiently, collaborate with greater effectiveness and gain deeper insights.
Whether providing timely responses to methodology or compliance questions, supporting the processing and analysis of audit evidence, or assisting with the production of key audit workpapers and deliverables, AiDA empowers professional users to achieve more with less effort. This will, in turn, drive practice growth and power the financial success of clients.
David Osborne, Chief Executive Officer at Caseware International remarked, “Caseware AiDA is the future. Our vision is to place powerful tools in the hands of our clients, enabling them to do their work better than they have ever done before. This release is just the beginning of a wave of innovation in AI and it demonstrates the focus we have on our accelerated roadmap to build out our offering on the Caseware Cloud platform. Caseware AiDA offers powerful digital assistance to accountants and is further proof of the ways in which Caseware is underpinning the relevance of the profession.”
Some of the benefits to be gained from Caseware AiDA include:
Enhanced workflow efficiency with precision and relevance – whether summarizing lengthy PDFs or providing informed answers about your documentation in the moment, AiDA helps you work smarter, not harder.Reassurance around security and compliance – with AiDA, no prompts are stored or fed back into the model. Users can trust AiDA to maintain the highest data security and compliance standards that Caseware has always delivered for the profession.Assistance with routine tasks – AiDA assists with mundane tasks, enabling professionals to focus on strategic decision-making.Focus on quality output – AiDA delivers a safe and fit-for-purpose resource which ensures efficient workflows for clients.Feedback on AiDA has underscored the demand for tailored, secure AI solutions in professional environments. Danielle Supkis Cheek, VP, Head of Analytics and AI at Caseware International commented, “We recently showcased AiDA to a number of clients beyond our beta phase community at Caseware’s 2024 North American User Group. The response was phenomenal and, in line with our roadmap, we’re excited to continue to enhance AiDA based on user feedback and technological advancements.”
Currently available to Caseware Cloud customers in the United States for early access, AiDA will ultimately be available across the globe and, specifically, in Australia, Canada and Europe later this year. Soon, AiDA will be a core component of all cloud-enabled solutions, across all regions. AiDA’s capabilities are constantly evolving, including better context awareness in document interactions and more extensive support for multilingual queries. AiDA is set to transform how professionals in the accounting and audit fields manage their tasks, offering unparalleled support and efficiency.
Caseware AiDA (pronounced AY-duh) draws inspiration from Ada Lovelace, whose impact on scientific computing continues to influence generations of technologists and mathematicians around the world.
Caseware encourages users to explore AiDA’s features and experience the future of digital assistance. To see AiDA in action, join us at ENGAGE at the ARIA Resort & Casino from June 3-6 or sign up to hear more from Danielle Supkis Cheek at the Streamlining Audits with AI: Efficiency and Quality Gains webinar taking place at 11:00 AM ET on July, 18.
About Caseware InternationalCaseware is the leading global provider of desktop and cloud-enabled solutions for audit, assurance, financial reporting and data analytics for accounting firms, corporations, and government regulators. Caseware’s innovative tools and platforms help more than half a million customers in 130 countries work smarter, dig deeper and see further as they transform insights into impact. For more information, visit www.caseware.com.
 
Notes to editorsIn the event of media enquiries, please contact:Jill QuinnDirector of Corporate CommunicationsCaseware [email protected]
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LONGi announces the “Lighthouse Project” to expand the agile intelligent manufacturing to more of its own production bases across the globe

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JIAXING, China, May 28, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — On May 23rd, LONGi Green Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “LONGi “), a global leader in solar technology, officially announced the “Lighthouse Project”, which will continue to rapidly expand the agile intelligent manufacturing model of LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory to more production and manufacturing bases, achieving a comprehensive upgrade of production intelligent manufacturing capabilities. This sets a digitalization benchmark for high-quality development in the PV industry and leads the way forward.

The first “Lighthouse Factory” in the global PV industry – LONGi’s Jiaxing Production Base, lifted the mysterious veil for the public. An experience group composed of industry experts, customer representatives, and media journalists became the first visitors to LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory, immersing themselves in the production line and experiencing the charm of “Lighthouse Factory” intelligent manufacturing.
Established in 2020, LONGi’s Jiaxing Production Base mainly produces LONGi’s BC (Back-Contact) series of high-efficiency solar modules. It has Phase I, II, and III factories, covering a total area of more than 1,300 acres, with 51 intelligent production lines and an overall module production capacity exceeding 35GW, making it one of the largest industrial clusters in the industry.
On December 14, 2023, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a new batch of “Lighthouse Network” lists, and LONGi’s Jiaxing Production Base was the only factory in the global PV industry to be included. This signifies that LONGi’s achievements in intelligent manufacturing and digitalization are leading globally, becoming a representative of advanced manufacturing, and the first global “Lighthouse Factory” in the PV industry has attracted much attention.
During this close-up experience at LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory, all members of the experience group expressed their shock and unprecedentedly felt the disruptive upgrade of AI intelligence to traditional industry. The innovation of LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory is not only in the transformation of production line automation and intelligence but also in the reconstruction of production relations. AI intelligence has become the brain of production management, continuously innovating autonomously based on big data models, achieving a truly meaningful intelligent manufacturing upgrade and self-driving force, and safeguarding quality and efficiency.
LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory has built over 30 digital use cases, achieving a 43% increase in product quality reliability, an 84% reduction in product production and delivery cycle, and a 20% reduction in overall unit energy consumption at the base, becoming a model of high-quality development in the photovoltaic industry.
The most core aspect of LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory is the five major coolest technologies. AI intelligent distribution of solar cells realizes precise delivery of customer needs, ensuring efficient production by intelligently optimizing daily production plans. More flexible automation in production ensures the standardization of each link in the module production process, fully meeting the customized scene requirements of customers. AI quality inspection throughout the entire life cycle of product production leaves no place for quality hazards, ensuring the quality of the product is as solid as a rock. The end-to-end delivery system has reconstructed the intelligent management of order production and delivery cycles, achieving rapid and high-quality satisfaction of customer product needs. Intelligent human resource management has greatly improved production efficiency while enhancing the innovation of employees, transforming each excellent skill and experience into data, continuously optimizing skills and management autonomously, ensuring the optimal arrangement of order demands and human resources, and effectively guaranteeing high-quality product output.
The combination of artificial intelligence, big data, cloud platforms, and industrial muscles is the four elements that make LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory successful, and also the core of LONGi’s intelligent manufacturing. LONGi’s BC (Back-Contact) full-scene products have also reached a new level under the support of LONGi’s intelligent manufacturing. The reason why TaiRay silicon wafers, HPBC2.0, Hi-MO 9, Hi-MO X6 Max, and other major products have concentrated on explosions this year is due to LONGi’s intelligent manufacturing’s absolute satisfaction in understanding customer needs.
LONGi’s Vice President Zhang Haimeng said in his keynote speech: Since the official announcement of BC (Back-Contact) technology last September, LONGi has released multiple new scene-based module products. Whether it is anti-dust accumulation or heat and humidity resistance, the core purpose is to meet the customized needs of customers through differentiated innovation. All of this is inseparable from the confidence in production strength brought by LONGi’s intelligent manufacturing, and it is also the strong support of LONGi’s intelligent manufacturing that has truly implemented “customer-centric.”
During the panel session of the day, Hu Zhifeng, Head of Intelligent Manufacturing Department, Module Manufacturing Center of LONGi, revealed that the newly launched Hi-MO X6 Max modules will be officially put into production at LONGi’s Jiaxing Lighthouse Factory in the near future. With the help of digital and intelligent means, product quality is improved, and energy consumption is reduced. “Use the most advanced production technology to achieve the highest level of technical products and create higher value for customers.”
LONGi has always adhered to the core value of customer value, providing customers with high-value and reliable products as its own responsibility, continuously exploring new paths for the clean energy industry, from efficiency research and development to product and solution scenario, from traditional manufacturing to intelligent manufacturing driven by digitalization, step by step towards a green energy world, leading the global energy transition with LONGi’s intelligent manufacturing.
About LONGi
Founded in 2000, LONGi is committed to being the world’s leading solar technology company, focusing on customer-driven value creation for full scenario energy transformation.
Under its mission of ‘making the best of solar energy to build a green world’, LONGi has dedicated itself to technology innovation and established five business sectors, covering mono silicon wafers cells and modules, commercial & industrial distributed solar solutions, green energy solutions and hydrogen equipment. The company has honed its capabilities to provide green energy and has more recently, also embraced green hydrogen products and solutions to support global zero carbon development. www.longi.com 
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