Data spaces and data ecosystems

Innovative technologies for participation in data ecosystems and for the development of digital products and services

Our scope of services

When making data available, both producers and owners of data often face the risk of losing control and thus the strategic value of their data resources. The International Data Spaces address this cross-sectoral conflict of objectives by enabling data providers to share data while maintaining data sovereignty and always considering the holistic business model.

At Fraunhofer ISST, technologies are developed on the one hand to ensure data sovereignty and on the other hand to enable standardized data exchange using the Eclipse Dataspace Components (EDC). The EDC provide the necessary software components to the International Data Spaces and thus allow participation in the corresponding data ecosystems. The technologies developed by Fraunhofer ISST are based on the "Reference Architecture Model" and the certification criteria of the International Data Spaces Association and have been verified accordingly. In addition, the EDCs also enable participation in the Gaia-X ecosystem by supporting the Gaia-X Trust Framework.

These and many other technologies are the foundation for new digital products and services that promise competitive advantage, revenue growth, and increased customer loyalty. However, many organizations face significant challenges in successfully developing digital business models. Therefore, in addition to the technological components, the value creation structures of service offerings are specifically examined in order to work out clear value propositions for the users of data ecosystems - including suitable revenue models.


Eclipse Dataspace Components

  •  application and concept development for the use of International Data Spaces
  •  technical proof-of-concepts
  • support for implementation in productive use
  • joint open source development of extensions to the EDC
  • Development of associated business models
  • Support of data sovereignty with the EDC

Business models for ecosystems

  • Workshops on business model development
  • Canvas toolbox for systematic business model development
  • Analysis of customer challenges and development of possible solutions
  • Consideration and analysis of value creation based on the data value chain
  • Definition of necessary requirements for value creation
  • Analysis of the cost structure and development of suitable value capture models



Technologies for the creation of data spaces contribute to the solution of demanding challenges in various industries. Whether in the automotive industry with regard to predictive maintenance or supply chains, the mobility of citizens in general, smart cities in particular or data exchange in healthcare or the general integration of citizens in data ecosystems: Fraunhofer ISST is active in all these sectors with the technologies mentioned here. 

Here you will find a selection of released application examples from the competence field "Data Spaces and Data Ecosystems" of the past years. Are you looking for more information? Simply get in touch with us - our contact persons will be happy to answer your questions and talk to you.


Example 1:

Collaborative warranty and quality management

In multi-level supply chains, repeated data collection delays the sharing of quality management data. As a result, systematic quality defects are discovered too late, leading to ongoing production of faulty assets. With the help of the Dataspace Connector, the Configuration Manager and the matching apps from SAP, quality data is shared from workshops via the manufacturer along the manufacturing supply chain, taking usage guidelines into account.

External project page



Example 2:

Mobility Data Space

The goal of the Mobility Data Space is to create new user-friendly, sustainable and affordable mobility offers across different mobility providers. This is why the data space is being set up with BMW, VW, Daimler, VDA, Deutsche Lufthansa, Hamburger Hochbahn, Deutsche Bahn, Tier, HERE and DWD, among others, across all mobility and service providers. Technologically, the Dataspace Connector, as well as D° and Nucleus are used.

External project page



Example 3:

Catena-X Automotive Network

The Catena-X initiative standardises the transmission of digital information across the supply chain from automotive suppliers to downstream retailers. Members of the initiative include Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Bosch, Schaeffler, ZF, Deutsche Telekom, SAP, Siemens, BASF, Henkel and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as well as smaller companies. Catena-X is based on GAIA-X and the International Data Spaces, using the Dataspace Connector.

External project page



Example 4:

Digital Life Journey

Self-determined life in a digitalising world

Would it be possible to describe individual citizens in their entirety if all their data were brought together - the "digital me", so to speak? The Digital Life Journey shows how each individual becomes the sovereign of his or her data again and in what way society, technology, ethics, law and economics must interact. The International Data Spaces represent a possible technological basis for ensuring security, interoperability, transparency, traceability and other added values.

Project page

External project page



Example 5:


Efficient data management for the realisation of data-driven business models

The "DEMAND" project developed concrete solutions for architectures, process models and tools that can be used in practice to develop data-driven business models. Based on the sovereign data architecture of the "International Data Spaces", cross-sector approaches for data management were developed, e.g. in the area of integration conception, data governance or data evaluation.

External project page



Example 6:

Sealed Services

Infrastructure for the realisation of industrial services in value-added networks

In the development and provision of data-based services, there has so far been a lack of a uniform language that ensures efficient and secure networking of different companies at the network level. The research project "SealedServices" is developing a cooperative value creation network with which internet-based services can be independently developed and implemented by SMEs. The aim is to enable the consistent and secure integration of data and services from different partner companies.

External project page


List of scientific publications

AHMADIAN, A. S., JÜRJENS, J. und STRÜBER, D., 2018. Extending model-based privacy analysis for the industrial data space by exploiting privacy level agreements. Proc. SAC: 1142–1149.

ALIU, O., AZKAN, C., BRESSER, P., BRETFELD, J., DEMARY, V., ENGELS, B., FIED­LER, J., FRITSCH, M., GELHAAR, J., GOECKE, H., IGGENA, L., KORTE, T., KROTO­VA, A., LICHTBLAU, K., LIS, D., MEISEL, L., MÜLLER, N., OTTO, B., RUSCHE, C., SCHEUFEN, M., SCHMITZ, E., SPIEKERMANN, M., THIELE, C. und TRAUTMANN, B., 2019. Data Economy. Status quo der deutschen Wirtschaft & Hand­lungsfelder in der Data Economy. DEMAND White Paper, Dortmund.

AZKAN, C., IGGENA, L., KORTE, T. und SPIEKERMANN, M., 2019. Datenwirt­schaft in Deutschland. Eine Analyse der Unternehmensgründungen in den Zukunftsfeldern »Data and Analytics« und »Artificial Intelligen­ce«. Fraunhofer-ISST Kurzbericht, Dortmund.

AZKAN, C., IGGENA, L., MEISEL, L., SPIEKERMANN, M., KORTE, T., OTTO, B., DEMARY, V., GOECKE, H., KROTOVA, A., LICHTBLAU, K., FRITSCH, M., BRESSER, P., BRETFELD, J., WEBER, D., KEIL, K., TRAUTMANN, B. und FIEDLER, J., 2020. Perspektiven der Datenwirtschaft. Wirkmechanismen und Wertschöp­fung in Datenökosystemen. DEMAND Gutachten, Dortmund.

AZKAN, C., MÖLLER, F., MEISEL, M. und OTTO B., 2020. Service Dominant Logic Perspective on Data Ecosystems: A Case Study based Morphology. In: 28th Euro-pean Conference on Information Systems. Marrakesch, 15. bis 17. Juni 2020.

AZKAN, C., IGGENA, L., GÜR, I., MÖLLER, F. und OTTO, B., 2020. A Taxonomy for Data-Driven Services in Manufacturing Industries. In: 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems. Dubai, 22. bis 24. Juni 2020.

AZKAN, C., IGGGENA, L., KROTOVA, A., SPIEKERMANN, M. und OTTO, B., 2021. Data Business in Ecosystems: Handbuch zur Entwicklung datengetriebener Dienstleistungen. ISBN 978-3-00-067300-9

AZKAN, C., IGGENA, L., MÖLLER, F. und OTTO, B., 2021. Towards Design Principles for Data-Driven Services in Industrial Environments. In: 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Wailea, 5. Januar bis 8. Januar 2021.

AZKAN, C., SPIEKERMANN, M. und GOECKE, H., 2019. Uncovering Research Streams in the Data Economy Using Text Mining Algorithms. In: Technology Innovation Management Review, 9(11), S. 62-74.

OTTO, B. und JARKE, M., 2019. Designing a multi-sided data platform: findings from the International Data Spaces case. Electronic Markets, 29: 561–580.

BADER, S.R., AZKAN, C. und STOJANOVIC, L., 2020. Reference Architecture Models for Smart Services. In: Maria MALESHKOVA, Niklas KÜHL und Philipp JUSSEN, Hrsg. Smart Service Management: Design Guidelines and Best Practices. Cham: Springer Verlag, S. 115-131. ISBN 978-3-030-58181-7

BRUCKNER, F., NAGEL, R., KRÜGER, D., WENZEL, S. und OTTO, B., 2018. Eine Programmiersprache zur souveränen Datenverarbeitung. Proceedings of D-A-CH Security.

HAßE, H., Li, B., CIRULLIES, J., WEIßENBERG, N. und OTTO, B., 2019: Digital Twin for Real-Time Data Processing in Logistics. HICL.

HASSE, H., VAN DER VALK, H., WEISSENBERG, N. und OTTO, B., 2020. Shared Digital Twins: Data Sovereignty in Logistics Networks. Hamburg International Conference of Logistics (HICL).

ZRENNER, J., MÖLLER, F., JUNG, C., EITEL, A. und OTTO, B., 2019. Usage Control Architecture Options for Data Sovereignty in Business Ecosystems. Journal of Enterprise Information Management, ISSN: 174-0398.

MEISTER, S. und OTTO, B., 2019. Digital Life Journey. Grundlagen eines Frameworks für ein selbstbestimmtes Leben des Bürgers in einer sich digitalisierenden Welt. Hg. v. Boris Otto und Jakob Rehof. Fraunhofer-Institut für Software- und Systemtechnik ISST. Dortmund.

OPRIEL, S., MÖLLER, F., BURKHARDT, U. und OTTO, B., 2021. Requirements for Usage Control based Exchange of Sensitive Data in Automotive Supply Chains. 54th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS).

SPIEKERMANN, M., 2019. Data Marketplaces: Trends and Monetisation of Data Goods. In: Intereconomics, 54(4), S. 208-2016.