The InDEx (Industrial Data Excellence) program final seminar was organized by Dimecc on May 19th, 2022 at Torni Hotel Tampere. The seminar had participants from various organizations including Konecranes, Primapower, Fastems, Danfoss, HTLaser, Raute, Sitra and University of Turku.
In InDEx, VTT explored together with Konecranes, Danfoss and Fastems solutions to securely exchange data among manufacturing machines that deploy heterogeneous interfaces and communication protocols. Additionally, sharing selected data from a private factory network to external stakeholders was in the focus of the project work. VTT supported companies in developing IDS connectors that enable selectively disclosing data from production machines to both internal and external data consumers.
VTT’s presentation inspired interesting discussions and the conducted research work will hopefully continue in future projects.
More information about the InDEx program and the IDS experiment can be found at https://www.dimecc.com/index-final-seminar-konecranes-danfoss-and-fastems-built-a-smart-factory-prototype.
The trustworthy sharing of confidential data is becoming a reality. VTT has published a Data Space Innovation Lab infrastructure that is based on IDSA reference testbed components. The Data Space Innovation Lab aims at facilitating testing of data economy concepts and preserving data sovereignty in confidential data sharing between companies and organisations. It supports the development and utilization of data spaces by offering the most essential data space features and services such as e.g., identity management and querying of available data resources.
We often talk about “data spaces” but do we actually know what a data space is and how it can be used effectively? The concept of data space refers to a type of data relationship between trusted partners, each of whom apply the same high standards and rules to the storage and sharing of data. In addition, data spaces can be characterised by certain requirements that partly distinguish them from classical centralized data platforms, for example:
- Decentralization – data are not stored centrally but at source and are therefore only shared (via semantic interoperability) when necessary
- Data sovereignty – data owner can control the use of its data and value capture from it
- Neutrality – different actors and stakeholders are treated equally within a dataspace
- Identity management – refers to identification, authentication and authorization of organizations or persons
- Traceability – transactions made within the distributed system should be recorded and logged
- Data interoperability – the ability to establish a mutual understanding on the structure and semantic meaning of data
- Data findability – the ability to discover available data services through e.g., service catalogues
The VTT Data Space Innovation Lab provides the experimental data space as a service for companies interested in data economy and data sharing. Currently, we support two main use cases:
- The experimental data space infrastructure (or one of its components) can be used as a baseline for developing customized data space solutions for specific application domains or use cases. This allows the testing of business concepts and building of proof of concepts before investing in real-life solutions.
- The second use case is performing compatibility tests for existing IDS connectors. The developers are often able to create their own connector implementations, but they are not sure whether the connectors truly meet the required IDS specifications and whether they are interoperable with existing IDS reference implementations. The testing procedure consists of verifying that the connector under test can successfully communicate and share data with the components hosted by our data space infrastructure, including identity provider, metadata repository and IDS connector.
We will continue improving our Data Space Innovation Lab and extending its capabilities to support various data space development needs. We are currently creating more easy-to-use graphical user interfaces to facilitate the configuration and deployment of the provided components with various types of back-end systems. We will extend the infrastructure with a so-called “clearing house” service that logs the details of data exchange transactions to facilitate billing and conflict resolution. We will also add a vocabulary provider component that manages and offers vocabularies (i.e., ontologies). The vocabularies can be used for annotating and describing data and datasets, which facilitates interoperability between systems and platforms.
Data spaces are a rapidly emerging solution to address the needs of data sharing and data economy. EU is currently launching massive investments in the creation of data space solutions and best practices for several business sectors. Hundreds of millions of euros are spent during next years to boost the European data economy. VTT’s Data Space Innovation Lab is an easy path forward for businesses that want to take part in this huge transition and opportunity.
VTT organized a hands-on IDS workshop for the companies in the OSME project (Open Smart Manufacturing) on April 26, 2022. Companies present were Wärtsilä, Roima Intelligence, Fastems and Fliq. Workshop participants first got an overview presentation of IDS software components given by Ilkka Niskanen and Markus Kerälä. In the second phase of the workshop, participants deployed an IDS Connector to their own system and were able to get help as needed.
Participants described the workshop as useful and informative. There will be a follow-up workshop in May 2022, to continue the hands-on work.
In the near future, this workshop concept can also be integrated as a fixed part of the Data Space Support Centre offering.
A large group of companies in Oulu region participated a webinar in May 3, 2022 where Ilkka Niskanen of VTT presented the International Data Spaces approach. The webinar was a success having 40 local representatives in the audience. The event was part of Oulu region development on Oulu Data Space, which is a framework to connect Nokia Campus, Oulu University Campus, and VTT premises with a standardized, secure, and trusted data sharing environment. The goal is to create a smart city where e.g., facility, energy systems, and traffic information data enable experimentation and creation of new services by local companies. Oulu Innovation Alliance, a collaboration alliance for Oulu region players, gathers also spearheads of other technologies, such as 5G/6G and autonomous vehicles to the data generating ecosystem where IDS can be the backbone for the emerging data space.
The International Data Spaces Association (IDSA) has published an ISD reference testbed that has been jointly developed by the IDSA open-source community. Data spaces are key to trusted data sharing in the global data economy. The technical components of data spaces need to be tested and certified to enable trusted data sharing in industry verticals. The IDS reference testbed is a tool for the development of IDS-compliant components and testing of their interoperability in preparation for the IDS certification. The testbed is open source and publicly available. Read more on the IDSA webpage and discover the testbed on GitHub.