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Data Spaces: Digital innovations for Europe

Companies are facing numerous challenges in relation to their supply chains as a result of Industry 4.0 and digitalization. These are heavily influenced by events such as tilted cargo ships or the effects of pandemics. Data is now often more valuable than the physical product itself, and the use and exchange of data has changed dramatically. This development brings with it the challenge of data complexity. Devices generate a multitude of non-interoperable data. Seemingly contradictory goals must be taken into account: On the one hand, transparency, collaboration and progress should be promoted; on the other hand, security, anonymity and data sovereignty must be guaranteed. This conflict not only affects the future of data handling, but also the entire industry, which is responding with innovations, strategies and legal regulations.

EU Data Act

The EU Data Act aims to create a balance between transparent data use and security. The focus is on anonymity, authentication and data sovereignty. This promotes the access of users of networked devices to the data generated, protects business secrets and encourages manufacturers to invest in the generation of high-quality data. In addition, the law protects against unfair contract terms and strengthens small and medium-sized enterprises in the digital market. Companies are given access to their machine data and can choose alternative repair service providers, which enables cost-effective repairs and reduces dependence on the manufacturer.


Gaia-X, Catena-X and Manufacturing-X 

Europe is driving the digital transformation with three major initiatives: Gaia-X, Catena-X and Manufacturing-X. The Gaia-X data infrastructure project, driven by Germany and France, was launched in 2019. In collaboration with national and local centers, the consortium is committed to data ownership control, compatibility and innovation. Catena-X is a data space for the automotive industry that optimizes data exchange through its own open source projects. Manufacturing-X is aimed at the entire manufacturing industry and can potentially be integrated into Catena-X. It optimizes production processes through digital innovations, strengthens the competitiveness of European industry and promotes networking.


IDSA (International Data Space Association)

In Germany, the IDSA (International Data Space Association) promotes secure data spaces, innovations and standards for the secure exchange of data between companies. 


The central components are the data provider, which transmits the data via the IDS Connector, and the data consumer, which processes the data in accordance with the provider's specifications. The IDS Connector enables the implementation by providing the data with usage guidelines and creating a trustworthy environment. The architecture includes the Broker for data sources, the Clearing House for transactions, vocabularies for standardized data descriptions and the Identity Provider for participant identities. The App Store provides applications for IDS Connectors to efficiently perform tasks such as data transformation and analysis.



The Eclipse Dataspace Components (EDC) project is an open source initiative that provides components for Data Spaces. EDC offers developers samples to gain initial experience in data exchange between two connectors. These components are crucial for connecting the participants of data spaces and open up a wide range of possibilities for data exchange.

Are you interested in the Eclipse Dataspace Components and would like to develop your own connectors? A GitHub repository with tutorials and examples from Eclipse on the topic of Eclipse Dataspace Components is available to you. Visit the repository at Eclipse Dataspace Components - GitHub and discover the many possibilities.

About the author


As a working student at M&M Software, Andreas Strasser is studying business informatics and gaining valuable experience in the field of software development. Before becoming a working student, he completed an internship semester at M&M Software and expanded his knowledge of Angular, TypeScript and Node.js. Through his work, he wants to continuously improve his programming skills and deal intensively with innovative technologies. 

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