Type dienstverband:
Internship and graduation project
Uren per week:
Fulltime – 40

Internship | Verifiable Computations in Data Sharing Infrastructures

About this position

Secure data sharing is an ongoing research problem – major initiatives such as the European data spaces are attempting to standardize how organizations share sensitive or citizen data across each other for secure usage. However verification of how data may be used after transfer is limited to legal enforcement, for which current approaches to automate and digitize data sharing agreements and verifiable contracts. Trusted Execution Environments (TEE) are being explored as an option to ensure that data misuse does not happen, but requires that various trust criterion are met for the computing environment. A parallel field of Verifiable Computations may potentially support similar guarantees ideally with lesser restrictions.

What will be your role?

Various kinds of verifiable computations may be of vital interest to a secure data sharing infrastructure – examples could include proving that data is deleted securely, or that certain transaction processing is performed, or even proving that inferencing is performed using a trusted/audited machine-learning or artificial intelligence models (https://github.com/zkonduit/ezkl). Data spaces support service providers to manage core data space functionalities for them – such added functionality can enable a larger class of service providers in a secure manner. At this moment, the fields of data sharing infrastructures and verifiable computations are yet to be connected, but verifiable computations can be hugely impactful for diverse scenarios of requiring minimal trust in untrusted devices.
In essence, this is a research assignment. Survey papers such as (1) and (2) may provide a valuable starting point. Use-cases from various domains such as healthcare or finance may be used to provide validation and real-life scenarios for this work.

Outputs expected from the internship include:

  • Researching published and in-progress developments on verifiable computations to aggregate the feasibility and limitations of various verifiable computation scenarios.
  • Identifying architecture design patterns and supporting components required to integrate such methods in a feasible data sharing architecture.
  • Exploration and implementation of an ontology/taxonomy of such methods, documenting interoperability with other technologies such as zero-knowledge proofs, to enable discoverability in a larger domain.
  • (Optionally) Develop a proof-of-concept integration of verifiable computations in a data space that is validated by a use-case in a domain.

What we expect from you

We are looking for an enthusiastic, and curious student working on graduating from their masters or bachelors with knowledge regarding IT, data engineering and/or distributed systems. You should be willing to learn new technologies related to federated data sharing infrastructures, privacy enhancing technologies and/or digital signature schemes and are able to think through abstract concepts towards their practical implication.

  • Working towards a masters degree, or graduating from a bachelor’s degree;
  • Degree in IT or related domain (e.g. Data Engineering, Data Science, Computer Science, Cyber-security);
  • Willingness to learn.

What you'll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Students must reside in the Netherlands before the start and also throughout the internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.