Materials informatics applies data science and AI methods to better understand the use, selection, development, and discovery of materials. It is increasingly being used across the value chain, from upstream materials and chemicals developers to downstream product manufacturers. The last few years have seen the growth and maturation of emerging startups such as Citrine Informatics and Uncountable, as well as activity from large corporations such as Toyota, Yokohama, Hitachi, Tesla and SpaceX, and IBM. Overall, innovation interest in materials informatics has grown exponentially over the past few years, though the technology faces significant challenges regarding data quantity, quality, and sharing (see the report “Materials Informatics Update 2018” and the insight “Will data sharing worries blunt materials informatics momentum?”). One of the most interesting potential solutions for overcoming data sharing challenges is currently being pioneered by four Japanese chemical companies, who are working together using materials informatics for polymer development.
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