About the International Data Spaces Association

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
reference architecture

IDS is a global
de facto market standard for the sovereign use of

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



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.

Lars Nagel, Managing Director IDSA

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

International Standards

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.

Use Cases

This stan­dard is actively deve­lo­ped and updated on the basis of use cases.

Business Models

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.

Digital Sovereignty

Data Exchan­ge
»Sharing Eco­no­my«
Data Centric
Data Owners­hip
Data Secu­ri­ty
Data Value

is the abi­li­ty of a natu­ral or legal per­son to exclu­si­ve­ly and sov­er­eig­n­ly deci­de con­cer­ning the usa­ge of data as an eco­no­mic asset.

Digi­tal Sov­er­eig­n­ty



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.

Use case

Con­trol­ling trucks in inbound logistics.

Life Sciences

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.

Use case

Deve­lo­ping medi­cal and phar­maceu­ti­cal pro­ducts.

Traffic Management

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.

Use case

Com­ple­te trans­port moni­to­ring.

Data exchange between companies:

3 in 4 companies exchange data

With whom?

  • Cus­to­mers (83%)
  • Sup­pliers (53%)
  • Other com­pa­nies both wit­hin and out­side the indus­try (21%)
  • Com­pe­ti­tors (15%)
  • 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

How often?

  • No exchange/not spe­ci­fied 9%
  • Com­pre­hen­si­ve 13%
  • Spo­ra­di­cal­ly 21%
  • Regu­lar­ly 57%


  • Sche­du­ling data, stock, deli­very dates
  • Sta­tus data and main­tan­an­ce sta­tus of machi­nes
  • Sup­ply sta­tus of pro­ducts
  • Pro­gram source codes
  • Con­struc­tion drawings
  • Ten­der docu­ments
  • Simu­la­ti­on models
  • Data for qua­li­ty plan­ning
  • Busi­ness and con­tract docu­ments
  • Mate­ri­al data


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.

Plea­se take a look at our Infor­ma­ti­on gra­phic to get an idea of the IDS stru­cu­ture.

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.

Our mem­bers come from indus­try, ser­vice und com­mer­ce. They cover a wide varie­ty of indus­tries and sec­tors. Well-known soft­ware com­pa­nies and rese­arch insti­tu­tes also work with us.

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.