TNO will set up next generation data spaces with NTT Com

Data sharing
30 November 2021

TNO is partnering with NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) in an international collaboration to set up a supply-chain information exchange. NTT Com is the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, a leading company in the telecom and communication field of Japan.

For collaboration with NTT Com, TNO can use its practical data spaces experiences in setting up Smart Connected Supplier Networks (SCSN), and its influential role in architecting data spaces within the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA) and Gaia-X. TNO started collaboration with NTT Com in November to demonstrate the first proof-of-concept, and plan further work on future improvements in 2022.

Data sovereignty

Data sharing accelerates innovation, for example enabling companies and organizations to seamlessly exchange information by digitizing and automating administrative burden. Combining different data sources creates new business opportunities and data sharing can also further increase process efficiency in supply chains. However, information sharing is a difficult subject as companies want to stay in control of their own, often confidential, information (data sovereignty) and setting up a data-sharing network is no simple matter.

Data spaces

Data spaces enable large communities of stakeholders to jointly collaborate by exchanging information between organizations. TNO has a broad expertise on setting up data spaces in various domains and is going to work together with NTT Com to setup data spaces 2.0: data spaces which are interconnected.

Henk-Jan Vink, Managing Director of TNO: “Since logistics (supply) chains are worldwide, standardization frameworks such as IDS and Gaia-X will only work if they can be applied worldwide. These interconnected data spaces will further scale their impact by creating a federated network of individual data spaces, enabling their users to collaborate seamlessly internationally. This testbed will be the first interconnected data space of its kind between Japan and Europe.”

TNO will apply its expertise on international data sharing standards such as the: the International Data Spaces (IDS) and Gaia-X in order to setup a federative collaboration between the NTT Com data space and the Dutch Smart Connected Supplier Network data space. Therefore enabling Dutch and Japanese companies to collaborate by sharing, for example order, logistics, and measurement information in a data sovereign and federative manner.

“Linking data spaces in different countries is an enormously important step for the IDS concept. And this initiative is a particular milestone, as it not only brings Japan and the European data space idea closer together, but also helps the economies of both regions to establish new, common business processes”, says Lars Nagel, CEO of IDSA.

TNO is committed to the creation of a data spaces interconnect testbed which enables, amongst others, Omron Netherlands to communicate with its Dutch suppliers and customers, while simultaneously supporting to connect to its headquarters in Japan. The testbed will be based on international and European standards such as the IDS Reference Architecture Model 3.0 and the Gaia-X Technical Specification. Moreover, this testbed will extend the type of shared information with Industrial Internet of Things data such as CO2 emissions, thus enabling many new industrial use-cases.

Team Data Spaces

TNO has previously announced to participate in the European collaboration network: Team Data Spaces. Together with a pioneering team of leading European players called Team Data Spaces, TNO will contribute to setting up and coordinating data spaces in various domains, such as manufacturing, healthcare and logistics. The collaboration with NTT Com is in line with this ambition and its international outreach.

TNO invites other data spaces initiatives to join this initiative so more and more data spaces can be connected to each other, enabling companies not only to share data within a national sector but also to share data across borders and other sectors.

For more information, see also the press release of NTT Com.

TNO was founded by Dutch law in 1932 to enable business and government to apply knowledge. As an organisation regulated by public law, we are independent: not part of any government, university or company. TNO connects people and knowledge to create innovations that boost the sustainable competitive strength of industry and well-being of society. This is our mission and it is what drives us, the 3,400 professionals at TNO, in our work every day.

NTT Com solves the world's technology challenges by helping enterprises overcome complexity and risk in their ICT environments with managed IT infrastructure solutions. These solutions are backed by our worldwide infrastructure, including industry leading, global tier-1 public and private networks reaching over 190 countries/regions, and more than 500,000m2 of the world's most advanced data center facilities. Our global professional services teams provide consultation and architecture for the resiliency and security required for your business success, and our scale and global capabilities in technology world are unsurpassed. Combined with NTT Ltd., NTT Data, and NTT DOCOMO, we are NTT Group.

The International Data Spaces Association is on a mission to create the future of the global, digital economy. Its 130+ member companies and institutions have created IDS reference architecture: a secure system of sovereign and trusted data exchange in which all participants can realize the full value of their data. IDS enables new smart services and innovative business processes to work across companies and industries while ensuring that the control of data remains in the hands of data providers. We call this data sovereignty.

The Foundation Smart Connected Supplier Network (SCSN) is a not-for-profit foundation which aim to improve the collaboration in manufacturing value chains by managing and further developing an open-source communication language. The Foundation SCSN connects approximately ten service providers and 300 manufacturing companies with a currently regional focus on The Netherlands and Europe. With this initiative, SCSN is aiming to continue grow internationally.

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