One of the cornerstones of the European strategy for data is the concept of data spaces that should become EU-wide and interoperable. To support this vision to become a reality, European Commission is setting up the Data Spaces Support Centre (DSSC) through an EU-funded multi-year project.
The project brings together a multidisciplinary consortium of twelve leading associations and knowledge centres in the domain of data spaces, including MyData Global. The consortium has broad membership, an extensive network, national hubs, and open-source communities as key levers. Its goal is to support the establishment of common European data spaces by making technologies and standards widely available across sectors.
Data spaces as alternatives to monopolistic data platforms
The European strategy for data aims to create EU-wide common data spaces in strategic sectors like mobility, health, skills, and others. The term “data space” refers to interoperable frameworks of common standards and practices to facilitate data sharing by organisations in a decentralised manner. These frameworks are composed of business, legal, and technical building blocks. In short, data spaces are alternatives to monopolistic data platforms. Moreover, “data spaces” are not just conceptual, as many are already operational today. Research organisations such as Fraunhofer and TNO have studied and shaped these for over a decade, and Catena-X and Smart Connected Supplier Network are examples of operational success stories.
Why are data spaces important for MyData?
Data sharing can have significant value in all sectors of society, but it has to be done in a way that is sustainable from business, societal, and individual perspectives. Broadly speaking, even the most monopolistic and closed digital business platforms facilitate data sharing. The European data space approach embraces open and transparent interoperability, which is critical in making data sharing societally sustainable. To also make it sustainable from the individual perspective, practical human control and empowerment in personal data sharing should be implemented. This is where MyData can help. We want to enshrine our human-centric principles into data space development and, hence, make data spaces the right approach for future data ecosystems.
Five things to note about the Data Spaces Support Centre
- The DSSC is a coordination and support action that generally supports data space development but focuses on the Common European data spaces (specific domains of data spaces that the EU has identified and supports financially and otherwise).
- The DSSC develops a data spaces blueprint, which is composed of various building blocks for data spaces that help the development and governance of data spaces and create synergies between them.
- The DSSC will be the “operational arm” of the European Data Innovation Board (EDIB), a new structure that facilitates the development of guidelines for Common European Data Spaces guidelines.
- The DSSC is one of the biggest digital development coordination activities in the history of the EU, with partners who have comprehensive reach throughout the European data landscape, including both research organisations and think tanks (Fraunhofer, TNO, VTT, Sitra, KU Leuven, the University of Galway) and industry organisations (IDSA, Gaia-X, BDVA, Fiware, MyData, Cap Gemini Invent).
- The DSSC is an inclusive and participatory project, where co-creation is at the core. Stay tuned for future updates, events, and publications for more information and opportunities to participate.
What is MyData Global planning to do in the Data Spaces Support Centre?
The development of the DSSC project has been a lengthy undertaking for the consortium. MyData Global has joined this endeavour with three main tasks and objectives in mind:
- To contribute to the data spaces blueprint so that it aligns with the human-centric approach and the MyData principles, as well as taking into account the concept of data intermediation services outlined in the Data Governance Act and MyData operator work.
- To support the co-creation of sustainable governance models and, in particular, develop the interaction between the project and European Data Innovation Board (EDIB).
- To use our experience in open and participatory community development and be responsible for the community of practice operations in the DSSC.
We hope and expect to see many new data spaces emerge and grow. Ultimately, data spaces will significantly influence the foundational digital infrastructures in society and foster value creation for businesses and societies at large. With MyData Global’s leadership, the DSSC will help data spaces emerge and grow, whilst also aiming to reach human-centricity for personal data.