2.12 Contribution of the International Data Spaces to Industry 4.0 and the Data Economy

By proposing an architecture for secure data exchange and trusted data sharing, the International Data Spaces contributes to the design of enterprise architectures in commercial and industrial digitization scenarios. It does so by bridging the gaps between research, industrial stakeholders, political stakeholders, and standards bodies. The architecture is designed with the objective to overcome the differences between top-down approaches and bottom-up approaches. The figure below shows a typical architecture stack of the digital industrial enterprise. The International Data Spaces connects the lower-level architectures for communication and basic data services with more abstract architectures for smart data services. It therefore supports the establishment of secure data supply chains from data source to data use, while at the same time making sure data sovereignty is guaranteed for data owners.

Figure 2.11.1: Typical enterprise architecture stack

In broadening the perspective from an individual use case scenario to a platform landscape view, the International Data Spaces positions itself as an architecture that links different cloud platforms through policies and mechanisms for secure data exchange and trusted data sharing (or, in other words, through the principle of data sovereignty).

Over the IDS Connector, the International Data Space's central component, industrial data clouds, as well as individual enterprise clouds, on-premises applications and individual, connected devices can be connected to the International Data Spaces.

Figure 2.12.2: International Data Spaces connecting different cloud platforms

With this integrating ambition, the International Data Spaces initiative positions itself in the context of cognate initiatives on both national and international level. Founded in Germany, the activities of the International Data Spaces are closely aligned with Plattform Industrie 4.0, in particular the Reference Architectures, Standards and Norms working group.

The International Data Spaces initiative has established, and will continue to establish, liaisons with other initiatives, among them

  • Alliance for Internet of Things Innovation,

  • Big Data Value Association,

  • Data Market Austria,

  • Data Trading Alliance

  • eCl@ss,

  • FIWARE Foundation,

  • Gaia-X AISBL

  • Industrial Internet Consortium,

  • iSHARE

  • Industrial Valuechain Initative

  • OPC Foundation,

  • Plattform Industrie 4.0,

  • Standardization Council Industrie 4.0, and

  • World Wide Web Consortium.

Furthermore, the International Data Spaces initiative seeks collaboration and exchange of ideas with existing research and standardization initiatives. By functioning as a mediator between top-down and bottom-up approaches, bridging the gaps between research, industry, politics, and standards bodies, aligning the requirements of the economy and society, and fostering ties with other initiatives, the International Data Spaces can be considered a unique initiative in the landscape of Industry 4.0.

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