The digital networking of the world is forging ahead. This makes new business models, smart services and innovative service offerings possible. The prerequisite for this is the secure exchange of data in the value added chain. Meanwhile, the calls for German and European solutions in the fiercely competitive market for industrially compatible cloud-based solutions are becoming louder and louder.
The International Data Spaces (IDS) initiative, established under the auspices of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, enables open data marketplaces for business where data can be securely exchanged between trustworthy partners. On February 22, 2019, the International Data Spaces Association presented concrete results with experts and decision-makers from research, industry and politics, gave perspectives on further developments and discussed necessary in-vestments in local data sovereignty and artificial intelligence (AI).
IDS is a central part of a secure data infrastructure and thus key technology for innovative AI applications and the competitiveness of Germany and Europe in the important market segment of platform economy. It focuses on the implementation of European values in digital data exchange and enables fair digital ecosystems. The IDS is based on the research project "Industrial Data Space" of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft. In this project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Fraunhofer experts from a total of twelve institutes have been developing a reference architecture for the secure data space and its implementation since 2015. With 40 use cases from the fields of production, logistics, energy, medicine and telecommunications, among others, and with 98 members from 18 countries, the IDS is well on its way to establishing itself as a standard.
The IDS is already being used in cloud platforms and software services. To this end, the IDS initiative is focusing on establishing an open standard for data sovereignty. All interest groups involved are jointly developing an open reference architecture for a secure data infrastructure. These include identity management, integrity and configuration of interfaces, logging and clearing of data transactions as well as standardization, certification and audit capability.
Anja Karliczek, Federal Minister of Education and Research, emphasized: “KI - Made in Germany is becoming a new seal of quality in dealing with data. The International Data Space enables secure and fair data exchange in Germany and Europe. It creates the foundations for the digital sovereignty of all involved and contributes significantly to the competitiveness of German companies. The IDS is an important building block for a European data infrastructure [...]."
The faster and broader the adoption by market participants is, the more are European values spread into international data value added chains, thus forming fair and sustainable digital ecosystems. The IDS initiative therefore possesses the ability to shape the standards of international data exchange on an international level. It offers an alternative to monopolistic "hyper-scaling" platforms on the one hand and to centrally controlled digital services on the other.