With the establishment of the International Data Spaces Association, business and research take an active part in designing a trustworthy architecture for the data economy. More than 101 companies and institutions of various industries and sizes from 20 countries including several Fortune 500 companies, global acting medium-sized companies, software and system houses are members of the association. The IDSA aims to guarantee data sovereignty by an open, vendor-independent architecture for a peer-to-peer network which provides usage control of data from all domains.
Foundation of our work is the
Vision: IDS is a global de facto market standard for the sovereign use of data
As the perception of date value is gaining importance in the global value creation, the IDS Approach enables global dynamic data and business transactions between participants across all domains, sectors and industries without establishing a central infrastructure, thus peer-to-peer. As such, the IDS is capable of linking single objects up to entire platforms.
The IDS reference architecture forms the basis for data ecosystems and market places based on European values, i.e. data privacy and security, and offers equal opportunities through a federated design. That is why the IDS Association has specified an architecture, interfaces and sample code for an open, secure data ecosystem made up of trusted partners.
Trust between participants and data-sovereignty are placed at the heart of the IDS: They will be guaranteed for data creators with respect to who is using their data, for how long, for which application, how many times and according to which terms & conditions.
The IDS ecosystem is vendor independent by design and will achieve and defend its status as de facto market standard for the trade and exchange of all kinds of data assets. Finding and authenticating appropriate transfer partners will be substantially facilitated, so will the legal and commercial governance of transactions.
By permanently screening and adopting new developments and requirements, the International Data Spaces Association establishes itself as a sustainable building block for ecosystems to make the data economy come true.
You will find detailed information, in particular about the technological core of International Data Spaces, in our Reference Architecture 3.0.
Interview with Lars Nagel, Managing Director of IDSA
"COMPANIES CAN EXCHANGE INFORMATION AND STILL STAY IN CONTROL OF THEIR DATA"
TEXT: FLORIAN STREIFINGER, E&E, 15.06.2018
In order to obtain added value from data, companies are usually dependent on the exchange with other companies. This is something that many companies have been reluctant to do up till now because their concerns about disclosing trade secrets are too great. International Data Spaces is there to dispel these fears. Lars Nagel, Managing Director of the International Data Spaces Association, explains how this works in an interview.
Picture: Andreas Oertzen
The picture of data as the oil of the 21st century has been around for years. So far, however, this has mainly been the case in the consumer sector. Why is the industrial sector still not doing more?
Indeed, industrial companies are still quite reluctant to use data. There are simply too many open questions as to how data should be handled as an economic asset. Many companies still have a great lack of knowledge on this point and, of course, uncertainty as a result.
So, in your opinion, it is mainly due to legal concerns? Is it not rather a lack of ideas on how to actually use the data?
Both are certainly true. Companies want to exchange data, as is already happening in B2C or C2C. After all, they notice what added value and sales are generated there. At the same time, however, they do not want to simply reveal their business secrets or know-how without knowing what is actually happening and without benefiting from it. This is where we come in with our International Data Spaces (IDS) proposal. The IDS enables two or more companies to agree on a secure and regulated exchange of data and at the same time ensures that each of the companies remains master of its own data. The economy urgently needs regulated handling of information. Of course, you are absolutely right that in many cases the specific ideas are missing. In the industrial sector, hopes are high but little is being implemented. However, some companies are already earning money with data and are not only optimising their processes.
Which companies and projects do you mean by this?
Deutsche Telekom, for example, offers a data marketplace with the Data Intelligence Hub. The French company Datex is also pursuing such a business model. Around 3,000 companies are already active on its platform. And it is not products that are traded there but data.
In the consumer sector, a few providers, such as Google or Amazon, dominate the data business. Do such data octopuses also arise in industry?
That is what I am assuming. There are already some platforms, such as the Mindsphere from Siemens, where many companies are already represented. They have a very large lock-in effect. This means that the inhibition threshold for users to leave is very high. In my opinion, most projects and the main data exchange will therefore be concentrated on a few platforms. But there won't be just one platform, there will be several. Industrial Data Spaces aims at breaking down these proprietary ecosystems by enabling data exchange between them. There has to be interconnectivity between the systems. Since most major vendors such as Siemens, SAP, Telekom and DXC Technology are members of the IDSA, we can have intensive discussions with them about this.
Do these companies have any interest in opening up their platforms at all?
Of course, the companies are currently trying to get as big a piece of the pie as possible, and so far they are not very interested in an exchange between the platforms. That's completely legitimate. In my opinion, however, they have also realised that they have to open up after all. The world will operate differently in the future and they know that. This is currently becoming apparent in the consumer sector. Users are increasingly reluctant to accept dependence on individual platforms. They want to be more self-determined again. And this is also the case in industry.
Let's talk about the ownership of data. What data does a company own?
Ownership of data in itself is very clearly regulated. I don't think the question of ownership is particularly relevant. If a sensor detects a temperature of 28 degrees, then it is not decisive to whom the value of 28 degrees belongs. This does not help anyone anyway. What is relevant is the context in which it was recorded, i.e. at which point, at what time, which values were measured before and after, and which environmental conditions prevailed. Who owns the individual data is clearly regulated. But they are only interesting in combination. To do this, companies have to network with each other, because none of them can collect all the information on their own. In order to develop a serious business from this, it must be clarified, of course, what proportion each company has contributed and how this is paid for. This is the really exciting question
Let us briefly stick to the legal problem. If a machine manufacturer uses a module in a device, do the data collected from these components belong to the manufacturer of the device or of the module?
In this case, the data belongs to manufacturer of the machine and not to that of the module. This is normally regulated in the contract concluded between the two of them. The same applies if the machine is subsequently used to assemble something else, for example a car. This is also contractually regulated. If, in turn, a person drives this car, the ownership of the data collected is also contractually stipulated. The legal situation is therefore absolutely clear. Currently, the recorded information belongs to the automobile manufacturer. Whether this is desirable is rightly being discussed at the moment. I do not necessarily think it is a good thing.
So we need adapted laws on data ownership?
There is no point in adapting the current laws or issuing a new one on data ownership. Instead, we need mechanisms on which parties in any economic environment can fundamentally agree. The details in the automotive industry are certainly different from the ones in medicine or banking, but the basis should be the same. And to return to your previous question: the interesting thing is what the component manufacturer actually wants to do with the data. The amount of information to be gathered there is simply not very high. You cannot draw any major conclusions, if the current flows with one or five volts, for example. Nobody is willing to pay for that. It only becomes interesting, if something specific can be read from these data. At this point, we need a mechanism by which the companies involved can agree on how to use the data. Whether they are both interested in using the data or whether they even want to use them together in a common business model. We are then talking about data management.
The Industrial Data Space (IDS) is said to be one of those mechanisms. What exactly is it about?
The IDS is a reference architecture for an ecosystem in which data can be exchanged securely and confidentially. The data in this system can be provided with conditions for use and these can also be enforced. The big advantage for companies is that they can share information without losing control of their data.
How exactly does this work?
Technically, the whole thing runs via a secure IoT gateway, the so-called connector. It serves as an interface and can merge with other connectors to form a peer-to-peer network. The exchange does not take place via a cloud where the data is stored by a third-party provider, but directly between the companies involved.
The connector also allows you to specify exactly how the data may be used, i.e. how often someone can access them, which values they can see, whether they can save and pass them on and, of course, whether costs arise for their use. The connector is available in four variants, depending on how secure the exchange must be. For most applications, the basic version is certainly sufficient. It has all the basic functions, i.e. enables secure information transmission and implements the defined data usage conditions. Companies that want to know exactly which chip records or requests the values need the Trusted Connector with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). If the system is to be checked 24 hours a day for intruders and manipulations, the Trusted Plus Connector is necessary. There is also a free, open variant for testing purposes.
But this also means that companies have to install an additional device.
Of course you need the connector. But usually, this is a classic gateway which most companies need if they want to export data anyway.
The only difference is that this gateway must be IDS-compliant and IDS-certified, i.e. correspond to the reference architecture. Afterwards, the user only needs a digital identity and can get started. We therefore advise companies to make their products IDS-compatible in the first place. For example, SICK, which is very active in our association, is already doing this. They have integrated the Trusted Connector into their sensors.
Networking also increases expectations of IT security. How do you ensure this at IDS?
It is very important that it is about a peer-to-peer network and not a data lake, not a cloud. Only the involved parties exchange data bilaterally and there is no central instance that can be corrupted. The connectors also contain a number of security mechanisms. They are based on container technology, the data is in a different container than the applications. So, they cannot corrupt each other.
In most cases, Docker software is used for this purpose. Moreover, the connectors use end-to-end encryption. Identity management is also important. Each connector and user needs its own digital identity certificate to ensure that they really are that particular component or company.
Do you see the Industrial Data Space as a marketplace where companies buy and sell data?
We are just the enabler for this. As mentioned at the beginning, such marketplaces are already being developed, for example by Telekom. Our goal is to use the IDS architecture to ensure that these marketplaces really work as they are supposed to. That not just a retailer sells information and the buyer uses it in any way they wish, which can then lead to a court case. We offer a technical solution that keeps the entire data supply chain under control, from data producer to data user.
At the end of 2014, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft launched a research project to create a safe data space. The International Data Spaces was born. It is intended to enable companies to share data without having to give up sovereignty over their data. The International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), now the International Data Spaces Association, was founded at the beginning of 2016 to involve companies in the implementation. Its 85 members include SAP, Siemens, SICK and ZVEI. Lars Nagel has been Managing Director of IDSA since its foundation. He studied mechanical engineering and previously worked for Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics and in the software industry.
This is our Mission
Secure data exchange
INTERNATIONAL DATA SPACES stand for secure data exchange between companies in which the data provider is always the owner of that data and still keeps control over the use of their data
The INTERNATIONAL DATA SPACES ASSOCIATION defines the basic conditions and governance for a reference architecture and interfaces with the objective of setting up an international standard.
This standard is actively developed and updated on the basis of use cases.
It forms the basis for a variety of certifiable software solutions, smart services and business models, the development of which is encouraged by the association.
Data Centric Services
is the ability of a natural or legal person to exclusively and sovereignly decide concerning the usage of data as an economic asset.
COMPANIES WANT TO LINK DATA
A competitive advantage
Whether in industry, services or the retail trade, today, data security and digital sovereignty are extremely important for all business sectors. This is where companies will find the most potential for International Data Spaces:
Binding common rules for cooperations between partners
Participation in an integrative, nationally and internationally valid concept
Data security when cooperating with partners
Transparent information when cooperating with partners
Homogenous data integration
Individual management of data
Consistency for all processes towards suppliers and customers
Development of new business models
Development of new use cases with regard to the sharing economy
Development of new smart services, everywhere at any time
From practice, for use in practice
Data is the result of processes and it enables processes. However, data also enables products and is becoming a model itself. International Data Spaces makes data accessible – learn more about three exemplary use cases that can be transferred to companies in the fields of industry, services and the retail trade.
High Performance Supply Chains
In many supply chains, on the one hand, too much data is stored – because it is redundant, and on the other hand too little data is stored, because certain data is not available at all levels of the supply chain. That leads to delivery risks, backup stocks and increased process costs.
International Data Spaces delivers
Data exchange between companies along the supply chain is standardised and simplified: a range of data from different stakeholders can be made available for each other and linked. That makes it possible for products to be traced, for transport services to be optimised and to make better forecasts for order and production volumes.
Controlling trucks in inbound logistics.
Because of their heterogeneity and sensitivity, data from medical studies has only been consolidated at a few special locations so far. However, this can have a negative effect on the development of new treatment methods and the evidence of their effectiveness.
International Data Spaces delivers
Data from different sources can be aggregated – taking account of the essential need for anonymization – and transformed for further analysis. The novel combination of various data sources makes it possible to corroborate hypotheses better and faster. Clinical studies can be accelerated and exchanging the results of studies can be encouraged.
Developing medical and pharmaceutical products.
Environmental conditions during the transport of critical goods – temperature, humidity, vibrations or light – are registered by a wide range of sensors today. But how can this data be made available adequately for customers, suppliers and, if necessary, third-parties?
International Data Spaces delivers.
Customers and suppliers obtain access to a platform on which data is made available safely and in line with requirements. This guarantees that certain environmental conditions are controlled for cargoes. This creates transparency for all participants along the supply chain about where the cargo is located and how long which cargo is in what condition.
Complete transport monitoring.
Data exchange between companies:
3 in 4 companies exchange data
Other companies both within and outside the industry (21%)
Companies other than those mentioned above – in the same industry (15%)
Companies other than those mentioned above – outside the industry (11%)
To improve customer relations
To provide detailed targeting and precise customer service
To optimise company processes
To achieve more efficiency in the supply chain
To develop new business models
To achieve effcient product development, shorter time-to-market
No exchange/not specified 9%
Scheduling data, stock, delivery dates
Status data and maintanance status of machines
Supply status of products
Program source codes
Data for quality planning
Business and contract documents
This is what turns the International Data Spaces approach into a success story – The most important questions and answers:
International Data Spaces is a peer-to-peer network, a virtual data space that supports the secure exchange and the simple linking of data in business eco-systems on the basis of standards and by means of common governance models.
For companies, data is only valuable if it can also be processed. At the same time, a comprehensive and generally accepted new way of handling data must be embedded in the way it is exploited and used.
The International Data Spaces is a virtual data space that guarantees the secure exchange and easy linking of data in business ecosystems based on standards and joint governance models.
Data are only exchanged if they are requested by reliable, certified partners. The data provider – i.e. the company – determines who may use the data and how to use them. As a result, partners in a value chain can individually or jointly access certain data by mutual agreement in order to start something new, develop new business models, design their own processes more efficiently or otherwise initiate additional value creation processes.
Data security and data sovereignty are the essential features of Industrial Data Spaces. Data owners always keep control over their data and can also fulfil their own standards of data security. The data are exchanged safely on demand, if they are requested by certified, trustworthy partners.
The main feature of the International Data Spaces is that data providers – i.e. companies that want to make their data available for digital services – can always keep control over their data and enforce their own standards of data security (keyword: “Privacy Enforcement”).
The data remain with their provider and are exchanged securely on demand. They are only exchanged if they are requested by certified, trustworthy partners. If necessary, the data themselves are not exchanged, but analysis procedures are applied to the data.
Data security and data sovereignty are the main features of the International Data Spaces.
The objective is to make Industrial Data Spaces the standard which is used for data exchange in business and to establish it at an international level. Industrial Data Spaces takes care of the complex security, legal and data transport topics on behalf of the companies and puts them in a position to exchange data according to generally applicable rules.
The International Data Spaces initiative was founded in Germany at the end of 2014 together with participants from the worlds of business, politics and research and ever since has been pursuing the objective of establishing both development and use at European and international levels.
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s eponymous research project, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has the remit to develop a reference architecture model for Industrial Data Space and to pilot it in selected use cases.
As a user association, the International Data Spaces Association represents the interests of more than 85 international companies and institutions. In particular, the association identifies, analyses and evaluates companies’ requirements for International Data Spaces and also supports the development of the reference architecture. It is in close and direct contact with the representatives of the BMBF research project.
Digitisation is a social, economic and technical trend affecting all sectors of the economy. Today, data are no longer just a result of processes and conditions that are collected and administered; they are also no longer just used for resource or product and process planning. Rather, data themselves have become a product and, as an economic good and strategic resource, they form the basis for analyses to encourage new types of value-added processes.
International Data Spaces supports companies as a strategic tool by means of which they can actively design how they handle data and lay the basis for modern business models.
Several solutions and standards at individual levels and for specific use cases are already available. However, the questions of governance architecture have not yet been solved.
International Data Spaces will now offer the first user-designed architecture that combines everything and sets an internationally recognised standard.
International Data Spaces works as a “data hinge” between Smart Services and Industry 4.0 production and logistics.
Smart Services offer companies the opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition. But they increase the complexity of supply chains and production processes tremendously. The solution lies in automation and networking of production and logistics, i.e. Industry 4.0.
Both require data: about customers and their context (for example location, preferences, etc.), about products and goods. These data can now be exchanged between any market participants.
International Data Spaces lays the foundation for Industry 4.0 by enabling safe and certified data exchange between companies without the owners of the data losing sovereignty, i.e. the control over their data. It therefore promotes the use and dissemination of smart service concepts.
The International Data Spaces Association does not only focus on Industry 4.0. In fact, the user association and its companies address the digital economy in its entirety – including industry as well as services and trade.
Technically, the whole thing runs via a secure IoT gateway, the so-called connector. This functions as an interface and can team up with other connectors to form a peer-to-peer network. Thus, exchange does not take place via a cloud, in which the data would be stored with a third party provider, but directly between the companies involved. The connector also allows you to define exactly how often data can be used, i.e. how often someone can access them, what values they can see, whether they can save and pass it on and, of course, whether costs would be incurred for its use. The connector is available in four variants, depending on how safe the exchange must be. The basic variant is certainly sufficient for most applications. It provides all basic functions, thus allowing for secure information transmission and implements the data usage conditions which have been determined. Companies that want to know exactly which chip gathers or requests the values require the Trusted Connector with a Trusted Platform Module (TPM). If the system is to be searched for intruders and manipulations 24 hours a day, then the Trusted Plus Connector is required. There is also a free, open variant for testing purposes.
In addition to the detailed information about our association and joining (membership fee regulations, constitution) on our website (www.internationaldataspaces.org) you can also download a membership application.
After receipt of your completed membership application, it will be sent to the board of the International Data Spaces Association that must first confirm your application – usually, this takes a few days but is primarily a formality. In the next few days, you will receive the confirmation in a welcome email stating that you are now an official IDSA member. In this mail, we will familiarise you with the first steps in the association. At the same time, we will make a welcome phone call to you to define further commitment and coordinate further steps with you. We will also inform you about the current status of the association and, of course, answer your questions.
It is entirely in your hands to what extent you support the association and promote it. Start by shaping the IDS and contribute your input to the main strategic pillars, send your representatives to the working groups and teams and develop a strategy for data transfer or exchange for your own company.
As a company, you can develop prototypical references in so-called use cases together with the scientific community. Implementing these use cases makes the research work on industrial data space specific. The findings from the use cases form the basis for new business models.
On top of that, you can get actively involved in the working groups of the International Data Spaces Association. Companies from all sectors of the economy and industries jointly formulate their requirements for secure data exchange and digital sovereignty.
Of course, you need the connector. Usually, however, this is a classic gateway that most companies need anyway if they want to export data. The only difference is that this gateway has to be IDS-compliant and certified, i.e. correspond to the reference architecture. Afterwards, the user only needs a digital identity and can begin. We therefore advise companies to design their products in an IDS-compatible way in the first place. Sick, for example, which is very active in our organisation, is already doing this. They are integrating the Trusted Connector in their sensors.
It is very important that this is about a peer-to-peer network and not about a data lake or a cloud. Only the participants can exchange data bilaterally and there is no central authority that can be corrupted. Moreover, the connectors include a number of security mechanisms. They are based on container technology, the data are in a different container to the applications. I.e. they cannot corrupt each other. Identity management is also important. Each connector and user requires their own digital identity certificate to guarantee that it really is the appropriate component and company.
From the beginning the official name of the association was „Industrial Data Space e. V.“.
The established working language within the members is English. However “e.V.” means “association” in English and not everyone in the world knows what “e.V.” stands for, therefore, the branding and the name for non-formal communication is “Industrial Data Spaces Association” (IDSA).
The general meeting has now decided to change the name to “International Data Spaces” instead of “Industrial Data Space”.
The official name of the association is therefore “International Data Spaces e. V.”. Accordingly the unofficial name is now "International Data Spaces Association" (IDSA).
IDS brings the participants of the data exchange together in a trustworthy, secure and controlled data space. Each participant and each component in this network is certified and can be identified as a conclusive identity. Certification prescribes and verifies the implementation of generally accepted safety standards and mechanisms. The participants in the data space are obliged to observe both the general rules for dealing with each other and the data usage guidelines specified by the data providers. IDS provides technologies to implement and control this at a technical level (usage enforcement).
The IDS offers its participants the opportunity to establish new business models and open up new markets. At the same time, existing cross-company processes can be implemented more efficiently. For data providers, selling data opens up the possibility of new business models and increases in efficiency. There are similar effects for consumers of data. In particular, data marketplaces can collect and process data from different companies and in turn sell refined data to customers. IDS also provides a trustworthy and standardized platform for software providers to distribute tools for data processing, e.g. Big Data Analytics. Other participants such as a data broker, clearing house or an identity provider can secure a place in the market and develop new business models, particularly through special technical skills or domain-specific knowledge.
In general, IDS solves three fundamental problems of data management:
1. The interoperability between the market participants by using semantic technologies.
2. Setting up a protected data space with trustworthy participants with verifiable identities and therefore with the possibility to respond dynamically to security and compliance issues.
3. Establishing a common set of rules on which all participants can rely and guaranteeing that these rules and the data usage rules determined by a data provider are also observed.
Basically, the IDSA is suitable for almost every industry. The orientation of our members is wide-ranging, from medium-sized businesses to multicorporate enterprises: from urban data space to material data space, medical data space, mobility data space, etc.