One for all, all for one

Dr. Reinhold Achatz, CTO and Chief Technology Officer, Innovation & Sustainability at thyssenkrupp AG
© thyssenkrupp AG

In the increasing digitalized business the importance and added value of internet-based services is rising sharply. Companies have yet to keep the digital souvereignty over data and service, claims the Chairman of the Board of the Industrial Data Space Association, Dr. Reinhold Achatz, Chief Technology Officer of thyssenkrupp AG. The first steps have been made at national level, now, the association is orientating towards Europe.

Digitalization is a societal, economic and technical trend with regard to all economic sectors. The key for the success lies in the intelligent linking of data within economic sectors or supply chains and beyond company and industry borders. The big – and justified – concern for companies lies in the fact that they - as owners of the data - keep control of those. That exactly is the contribution of the Industrial Data Space, an initiative of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Renowned companies of the German economy affiliated very early with that initiative with regard to competitive advantages through new business models, smart products and services. By founding the Industrial Data Space Association at the beginning of this year, the business community emphasized its interest to help designing the virtual data space.

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft carrying out the research project with the support of the German Ministry of Education and Research is responsible for the development of the architecture for the data space. The Industrial Data Space Association is going to pool the interest of the business community, to define standards and requirements and to take care of practical applications – there are many ideas to consistently check transport goods, share the use of production plants or create a better use of sensitive medical data by networking. At thyssenkrupp for example, we are planning to optimise the loading and unloading of lorries in our business areas Materials Services and Steel Europe by linking with the logistics companies via the Industrial Data Space. Thus, we would like to take a chance as industrial company to complement our classic assets with new software-based services and, thereby, make them more valuable.

Basically, the Industrial Data Space Association aims at more secure networking of companies with each other, keeping absolute sovereignty of their data and being able to easily and quickly exchange data via standardised interfaces. Data will only be exchanged if trustworthy, certified partners request them. The owner of the data determines himself who is allowed to use the data for what purpose. There might be solutions or even standards at individual levels today. Yet, the Industrial Data Space will offer the first architecture that combines everything, that was at the same time designed by the users and, more importantly, sets internally recognized standards.

The first steps at national level have been made. Now, we will go for the European level in order to get even more companies on board. The rising member figures and the application for potential use cases show the great interest. Let us design the Industrial Data Space together!



Dr. Reinhold Achatz, CTO and Chief Technology Officer, Innovation & Sustainability at thyssenkrupp AG, is Chairman of the Board of the Industrial Data Space e. V.



  • You will find the White Paper to the Industrial Data Space here. It offers an overview on objectives and the architecture of the Industrial Data Space. Additionally, selected application scenarios and the Industrial Data Space Association are presented.

  • More information about the association and its members you will find on