NIST Ontology

The Ontology for the Manufacturing Industry

Driving data interoperability and analytics in manufacturing

The current data and analytics model that manufacturing firms use to develop products and implement manufacturing processes is very complex but lacks a universal set of data guidelines. This has led to cross-organizational production issues, delays, and heightened levels of risk.

The approach for the manufacturing ontology

EDM Council is partnering with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to standardize knowledge engineering and ontology development, including infrastructure, processes and guidelines to support data interoperability and analytics in manufacturing. The program will also support the Industrial Ontology Foundry (IOF), which will help in developing the processes and product modeling for the resulting data models.

This project will leverage the infrastructure and processes of the EDM Council’s Open Knowledge Graph Innovation Lab [LINK] to address these challenges. The new infrastructure will enable the IOF community, whose members include manufacturing firms, software vendors, academics and research institutes, to:


  • Formalize data definitions to improve data quality for the entire product life cycle, including product design & engineering, production planning, supply chain management, maintenance and service, and decommission
  • Create greater interoperability across industry and enterprise data
  • Improve issues related to data silos while helping to resolve lingering terminology conflicts
  • Automate data analyses which will improve productivity across the manufacturing supply chain
  • Enhance the development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) capabilities

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Additional Manufacturing Ontology Resources & Links


  • Read the press release

Learn more about the project and the collaboration between NIST and EDM Council 

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EDM Council collaboration

EDM Council is proud to collaborate with the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to launch the ontology development infrastructure for the manufacturing industry. The program will also work with the Industrial Ontology Foundry (IOF) on the data modeling.