Sovereign data exchange between companies

International Data Spaces (IDS) enables the sovereign and therefore self-determined sharing of data between companies. This supports future business models. Become part of the digital economy today.

Frequently asked questions

What is International Data Spaces? What kind of connectors are available? Which use cases have already been implemented? The FAQ provides you with a wide range of answers to these and other frequently asked questions, easing your entry into the International Data Spaces.

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Business challenges

Innovations are enabled by data. Analyzing and evaluating data produces information that can be utilized as knowledge. This means data are strategic assets. These assets increasingly constitute the basis for creating new products and services.

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International Data Spaces

Innovation in ecosystems is increasingly taking place through the exchange of data between companies

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In the provision of data, both the producers and owners of data often find themselves exposed to the risk of losing control, thereby eliminating the strategic value of their data resources. This conflict of aims, which exists across industries, is addressed by International Data Spaces by making it possible for data providers to share data while maintaining data sovereignty.

The data economy is a central element of digitization. It is spreading across all domains. International Data Spaces provides the corresponding data infrastructure.

Data sovereignty as key capability in the digitization age

Three questions for Prof. Boris Otto, Head of the Data Spaces Research Center.

What role do the topics of data spaces and data sovereignty play for the cognitive Internet?

International Data Spaces returns control to data owners. Data sovereignty is a key capability in the digitization age, and International Data Spaces provides the required technology.

What is the state of the industry in this field, and how can Fraunhofer support companies?

The industry is well on its way. By now the International Data Spaces Association (formerly Industrial Data Space e.V.) has more than 100 members, and Fraunhofer is promoting the development of the International Data Spaces Reference Architecture Model. The economy needs an international standard, which can only be accomplished jointly.

What are your long-term objectives with the Data Spaces Research Center, and what are its implications for the topic of cognitive Internet technologies? 

Currently the International Data Spaces initiative focuses on B2B scenarios of the Cognitive Internet because industrial applications are at the core of our economy. Thus we are contributing to a location advantage in Germany and Europe. Ultimately however, the topic of data sovereignty affects us all. Each individual citizen must remain the sovereign of their data.

International Data Spaces Association

Key features of International Data Spaces

Guided by the demand for digital sovereignty, International Data Spaces aims to create a network of trusted data.

Sovereignty of data assets: The data owner establishes individual usage policies for their data assets, regarding both data usage and data users (such as the specific release or blocking of data for certain users).

Security of data exchange: A protection level concept regulates the data protection requirements, in particular during the exchange of data.

Decentralized organization and federal architecture: International Data Spaces combines all end points that use an IDS connector for participation in the data space of International Data Spaces. Thus there is no central authority for data management or data governance tasks. This makes International Data Spaces an alternative architecture design, compared for example to central data management concepts (including data lakes) on the one hand and decentralized data networks without shared rules on the other hand.

Governance and shared rules: Due to the decentralized architecture of International Data Spaces and thus the lack of a central supervisory authority, data governance principles are developed as shared rules. They determine the rights and obligations for data management and are derived from the requirements of the users.

Network of platforms and services: International Data Spaces connects data providers and data users. Data providers can be companies, but also individual entities in the Internet of things such as vehicles, machines, means of transport, and equipment.

Scaling and network effects: International Data Spaces provides data services for the secure exchange and straightforward linking of data. By connecting the participants via the IDS connectors, the infrastructure has a decentralized character which makes International Data Spaces scalable without a central authority.
Furthermore, the scaling and network effects as such develop through the growing availability of data, not only from individual participants but also entire ecosystems.

Scaling and network effects: International Data Spaces provides data services for the secure exchange and straightforward linking of data. By connecting the participants via the IDS connectors, the infrastructure has a decentralized character which makes International Data Spaces scalable without a central authority.
Furthermore, the scaling and network effects as such develop through the growing availability of data, not only from individual participants but also entire ecosystems.

Openness: The International Data Spaces initiative is user-driven and based on a participative development process, organizationally bundled in the International Data Spaces Association.

Protection of trust: International Data Spaces participants must be able to rely on the identity of data providers and data users, and on the technical implementation of data sovereignty. To this end, a mandatory certification of the software ensures the protection of trust. Special IDS connectors with extended encryption are also available for the secure exchange of data.

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Business challenges

The challenges addressed by International Data Spaces and the resulting benefits are described in the business challenges.

Software

Overview of the various software components for the International Data Spaces architecture.

 

Seminars

Fraunhofer offers support for implementation and the adaptation of IDS software components. Various seminars impart additional fundamentals and can help develop own solution concepts.

References

Overview of the use cases, verticalizations, specific projects, and members of the International Data Spaces initiative.