BRUSSELS – December 5, 2023 – The Eclipse Foundation, one of the world’s largest open source software foundations, today announced the formation of the Eclipse Dataspace Working Group (WG). This new working group is tasked with fostering new dataspaces based on open source technologies via the seamless exchange of data between private companies, governments, academia, and other institutions to create an ecosystem for technology innovation that spans the European Union (EU) and beyond. Dataspaces are federated networks of trusted connections for sharing data to foster information sharing for mutual benefit. They are a critical element in the EU’s strategy for creating a culture of innovation built on privacy and data sovereignty values.
To achieve this goal, the Eclipse Dataspace Working Group will provide governance, guidance, and support for open source solutions that enable the development of and participation in dataspaces. The working group does not favour a specific industry or type of organisation. It is fully dedicated to enabling the global adoption of dataspace technologies to foster the creation and operation of trusted data-sharing ecosystems.
“Dataspaces support the sharing of federated, sovereign, and trusted data. In doing so, they enable new business models where multiple players can aggregate their data for their own benefit and create a trusted means of data exchange that is decentralised, egalitarian, and secure,” said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. “Open source software is the most logical means of building this new reality, and the Eclipse Foundation provides the ideal vendor-neutral ‘code first’ governance model to bring this future to life.”
The mission of the Eclipse Dataspace WG is to provide a forum for individuals and organisations to build and promote open source software, specifications, and collaboration models needed to create scalable, industry-ready components based on open standards for dataspaces. Founding members of the working group include a diverse set of organisations from both the public and private spheres, including Amadeus, Fraunhofer, IDSA, iShare, Microsoft, and T-Systems. The Eclipse Dataspace WG will focus on participating in standards development, implementation, and onboarding of existing open source projects, and guiding associated projects in alignment with the overarching goal of supporting a broad ecosystem of interoperable dataspaces.
To this end, the working group aims to foster a component-driven model that supports project collections in three distinct groups:
- Dataspace Core & Protocols (DCP): DCP focuses on the core protocol specifications and their standardisation. It also provides alignment between the protocol specifications and OSS projects implementing mandatory dataspace functionality.
- Dataspace Data Planes & Components (DDPC): DDPC focuses on alignment between projects that implement data plans, which are essential components for dataspaces, as well as additional optional elements that enable advanced dataspace scenarios. These include projects that are not essential to create a viable dataspace but add capabilities that increase the business value of dataspaces.
- Dataspace Authority & Management (DAM): DAM focuses on the alignment of tools and workflows to enable the implementation of dataspaces. Its associated projects will support Dataspace Authorities to manage their dataspaces. This includes policy management, member management, and starter kits for dataspace authorities.
Overall, the three endeavours aim to create an ecosystem of projects covering diverse aspects of dataspace solutions. Implementations are non-exclusive, and overlapping projects can exist. Protocols will be the unifying aspect between projects, providing minimum viable interoperability.
“By nurturing implementations and specifications, we aim to elevate dataspaces as a vital component in future data-driven businesses. Alongside projects like Eclipse Cross Federation Services Components, Asset Administration Shell initiatives, and Tractus-X, the Catena-X reference implementation, we've established a unique ecosystem for Digital Sovereignty under the well-proven governance model of the Eclipse Foundation,” said Michael Plagge, VP, Ecosystem Development at the Eclipse Foundation.
The Eclipse Dataspaces WG will also collaborate with existing organisations involved with dataspaces, including the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), iSHARE Foundation (iSHARE) and Catena-X, among others. Together with the Eclipse Dataspaces WG, these organisations will support one another in a host of ventures, including the formation of new dataspaces initiatives, the creation of Technical Compatibility Kits, and driving consensus around product roadmaps and new capabilities.
For any organisation, including enterprises, technology vendors, cloud providers, academic departments, or government organisations, the Eclipse Dataspaces WG is a unique opportunity to help shape the future of technology development in the EU. Membership in the working group not only supports the sustainability of the community but also provides avenues for participating in marketing initiatives and direct engagement with a diverse array of EU organisations building new technology. Discover the numerous benefits and advantages of membership here. Your involvement can help drive the future of dataspaces around the world.
Quotes from Eclipse Dataspaces Working Group Member Organizations
“Dataspaces have the potential to create new dynamics and foster innovation in many domains and could really be game changers to help connect ecosystems across the tourism industry,” says Nikolaus Samberger, Senior Vice-President Engineering at Amadeus. “As a strategic member of the Eclipse Dataspace Working Group, we at Amadeus, are very excited to be launching this collaborative initiative that will no doubt play a key role in the global dataspace ecosystem.”
“For the success of dataspaces, it is required to bring together various stakeholders from different countries, domains, sizes, and interests and provide a neutral place for dialog and collaboration to formulate the joint vision of data sharing,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing Boris Otto, Director, Fraunhofer ISST (Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering). “With the launch of the Eclipse Dataspace Working Group, we now also provide such a place to jointly transfer the vision into technical specification and technologies. Within the EDWG, we can leverage the mutual benefits of open source and the best practices of the Eclipse Foundation.”
“Data spaces have reached a level of maturity and adoption which requires a strong governance framework to build business-relevant services that allow data sharing while maintaining data sovereignty,” said Sebastian Steinbuss, CTO at IDSA. “We are happy to be part of the Eclipse Foundation community in the Dataspace Working Group, to expand the community of data space enthusiasts in the field of Open Source Software.”
“Data Sovereignty for all has been the commitment and focus of iSHARE since its start in 2015. This is realised through the comprehensive and stable triangle of legal coverage, participant governance, and technical components. This enables Data Owners to maintain full (legal and technical) control of their data with any service provider or connector,” said Gerard van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the iSHARE Foundation. “Through open-source components for Participant Governance, a consent and authorization registry controlled by Data Owners, and Data Service providers, data spaces based on iSHARE Trust Framework have empowered thousands of businesses to control access to and usage of their data.”
“This step to bring the existing open-source technical components for data space governance into the EDSWG is important because it strengthens the collaboration with the open-source communities, with peers like IDSA and Gaia-X, and simplifies the creation of new commercial services, opening more data sources to be governed. But most of all, it enables many more data spaces to take advantage of the fully distributed and interoperable data sovereignty and trust that the non-profit iSHARE framework brings.”
“We believe dataspaces are a crucial enabler of trusted data sharing across every company, large or small, in every industry,” said Ulrich Homann, Corporate Vice President & Distinguished Architect, Microsoft. “We have the responsibility to come together to support open source software and the associated open specifications that enable autonomy and agency of participants in a dataspace.”
“We’re thrilled to be part of Eclipse Dataspace Working Group,” said Christoph Gerkum, vice president, Data Intelligence for Dataspace & Data Products, T-Systems International GmbH. “As dataspaces pioneers, Telekom Data Intelligence Hub has shaped the ecosystem with projects like EuroDaT, GAIA-X Future Mobility, and Catena-X. Over +5 years, we’ve dedicated ourselves to open source technologies, community adaptation, and building trust in dataspaces. This collaboration propels us into the future, simplifying dataspaces participation and elevating our collaboration to new heights. We won’t stop until everything is connected and interoperable.”
About the Eclipse Foundation
The Eclipse Foundation provides our global community of individuals and organisations with a business-friendly environment for open source software collaboration and innovation. We host the Eclipse IDE, Adoptium, Software Defined Vehicle, Jakarta EE, and over 425 open source projects, including runtimes, tools, specifications, and frameworks for cloud and edge applications, IoT, AI, automotive, systems engineering, open processor designs, and many others. Headquartered in Brussels, Belgium, the Eclipse Foundation is an international non-profit association supported by over 350 members. To learn more, follow us on social media @EclipseFdn, LinkedIn or visit eclipse.org.
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