"The Industrial Data Space enables a reliable exchange of data with common rules for all companies – based on an open architecture model," said Prof. Reimund Neugebauer, President of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, on the occasion of the founding of the association in Berlin. "Fraunhofer possesses verified excellence and expertise in the necessary fields of technology. That is why the interest on the part of the industry is tremendous: We already have around 70 proposals as candidates for pilot use cases. Now, it's time for us to select and promote those projects with which we are going to make the digitalization of the industry successful."
With the establishment of the Industrial Data Space Association in the Fraunhofer Forum-Berlin, the industry in Germany has taken another important step towards a digitally networked industry. The non-profit organization will combine the requirements for the Industrial Data Space, organize the exchange of experience between science and industry, and develop guidelines for the certification, standardization and application of the results of the research project "Industrial Data Space". "The digital transformation and the fourth industrial revolution are key success factors for companies in Germany", says the association's new chairperson, Dr. Reinhold Achatz, CTO and Director of Corporate Function Technology, Innovation & Sustainability at thyssenkrupp AG. "With the association, we want to ensure that the specific interests of the industry are incorporated in research in a targeted fashion. At the same time, companies should be able to more quickly access the results of this project and to implement them."
Launched by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in 2015, the strategic initiative regarding the Industrial Data Space aims to create a secure data room that enables companies of various industries and sizes to confidently network their data. The research project "Industrial Data Space" was already launched on October 01, 2015, and it will be sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research [BMBF] for a period of three years. A total of 12 Fraunhofer institutes are involved. The research project is being coordinated by Prof. Boris Otto of the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML in Dortmund. The objective is to design a reference architecture model for the Industrial Data Space and to pilot it in selected use cases.
The tasks of the Industrial Data Space Association include matching the needs of businesses with those of the BMBF research project as well as establishing a thematic portal for the use cases. At the same time, the association is establishing committees, working groups and initiatives that deal with issues of scientific and technical standardization as well as certification processes. It will participate at both the national and international levels in the development of guidelines and legislative processes, particularly in the European Research Area. Furthermore, informational and educational activities concerning the secure data room, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), will be supported.
The founding members of the Industrial Data Space Association include a total of 18 companies and organizations. The association is based in Berlin. The central office at the Fraunhofer Institute for Logistics and Material Handling IML in Dortmund goes into operation in February 2016.