Lars Nagel, Managing Director of the Industrial Data Space Association

Since its beginnings in early 2016, the Industrial Data Space Association has grown continuously – and with that the idea of secure and particularly self-determined, sovereign data exchange beyond company and country borders. In the meantime, 78 companies are involved in the user association and the work together is paying off: Industrial Data Space is being applied in practical, relevant use cases in renowned companies. Lars Nagel of the Industrial Data Space Association about the current development.


Twelve Fraunhofer institutes including Fraunhofer IML spent the past two years working on a research project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and dealing with the latest topics of data sovereignty. They recently completed the first phase of the project that defined a reference architecture model for a secure data space basing on the latest IT technologies. The first cross-sector use cases were implemented. This pre-competitive research project is now ready to move on to the second phase.


In the first phase, the idea of Industrial Data Space was also brought to the European lead markets and other countries. At first, hubs, coordinators and multipliers were the national research organisations that then informed and inspired their respective networks: companies from the particular networks joined the association and participated in its work. Beside the growing membership figures repeatedly granted EU research projects in which Industrial Data Space is participating prove the success of these measures. When the »Digital Industrial Platforms« working group in Digitizing European Industry (DEI), an initiative of the European Commission, met in Brussel at the beginning of May 2017, Industrial Data Space was positioned as an innovative and sustainable solution for data platforms at EU level.


Demand for integrated cross-border solutions

The next project goal is to carve out a position for Industrial Data Space in relation to and in interaction with other reference architectures like those developed by the Industrial Internet Consortium in the United States or the Japanese Industrial Value Chain Initiative – because in today’s global supply chains the flow of data is not restricted to single countries and companies and therefore needs integrated, cross-border solutions. A global standard is to enable companies in the whole world to exchange data to a completely new extent with the highest claim on trust and safety.


Fact is: Data sovereignty made in Germany is by now a popular concept. The Industrial Data Association is currently in discussions with partners in many countries including Argentina, China, India, Japan, Mexico and the United States aiming at establishing the Industrial Data Space architecture on an international basis. To ensure interoperability with the many different digital standards used around the world, the project teams are developing technological blueprints for data sovereignty solutions.



Lars Nagel is Managing Director of the Industrial Data Space Association.



The new magazine of the Industrial Data Space Association »DATA SPACES_NOW!« takes a look at this year’s activities of the user association and offers profound technical insights. Interviews with managing directors of renowned companies respectively technical contribution explains the significance for the economy to implement a standard for data sovereignty. You can download the English version of the magazine here.