Data ecosystem

The impact of digitalisation on companies goes far beyond process optimisation: it has become part of their strategy. The value of data is greater than ever, thanks in part to the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT). Data ecosystems are needed in order to share data in a secure and controlled way. But how do you develop them successfully?

Organisations that want to digitalise inevitably face the question of how they are going to organise their data flows. How do you ensure a reliable exchange of data? Which cloud solution is right for your organisation?  How can you already take into account the European standards that are being developed?

TNO is in the vanguard of developing guidelines and platforms for data sharing, allowing us to be a valuable guide for organisations on all kinds of data issues. Moreover, we have all the expertise and experience needed to develop and set up effective data ecosystems.

What are data ecosystems?

By data ecosystems we mean environments in which organisations can exchange data while ensuring confidentiality. Such an ecosystem takes many forms: it can be an IoT environment or a marketplace. Sometimes it is a one-to-one exchange with an important client or sometime it is an industry initiative to share data across the sector in which they are operating in. Success will depend on interoperability and the development of low-threshold data-sharing services.

Interoperability can be guaranteed by making agreements on technology, a common language (semantics), the organisational level and legal aspects. Through a federated approach, companies can quickly connect to multiple data ecosystems. In this way you can also connect ecosystems of multiple sectors.

Data sharing should be simple and trouble-free

In today’s society, people – and certainly organisations – are fully digitally connected. Terabytes of data are often generated and shared every second for daily processes alone. To make this possible, all underlying systems must be able to exchange data easily. Only then operational processes, can be optimized in order to make good business decisions and deploy AI applications.

In addition to being simple, data sharing must also be trouble-free. As an organisation, you decide who can use data and for what purpose: this is what we call data sovereignty. After all, data is a strategic and valuable asset, essential to your company’s earning power. In addition, you have to comply with contractual and legal requirements, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

How can TNO help your organisation?

TNO’s Data Ecosystems department helps organisations develop and set up data ecosystems. For this work we make use of the expertise and experience gained from the following activities:

  • We are developing an overarching approach to the architecture and establishment of data ecosystems
  • We contribute to European data-sharing developments and standards such as International Data Spaces (IDS), FEDeRATED and FAIR
  • We are working on the further development of data-sharing architectures and their interoperability
  • Together with technology providers, we are developing reference implementations of data ecosystem architectures and demonstrators
  • We are doing research on revenue models for future data ecosystems
  • We are closely aligned with international developments and standards, and we are at the forefront of the international data playing field.

Learn more about data ecosystems

Get in touch with Marieke van Milligen


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Marieke van Milligen

  • Data spaces
  • Data sharing
  • Data sovereignty
  • Data interoperability