Implementation of the International Data Spaces into concrete software solutions for companies
Fraunhofer spin-off sovity GmbH launches Data Sovereignty as a Service for Companies
Dortmund, December 2, 2021. sovity GmbH, a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST, starts its business activities as an independent company as of today. The startup's solution enables companies of any size and in any industry to fully control and manage their data at any time when interacting with partners, suppliers and customers through "Data Sovereignty as a Service": with sovity, companies can determine for themselves who is allowed to view or use which data when and to what extent. The solutions are based on the IT architecture of the International Data Spaces for sovereign data exchange between companies with simultaneous control of the use of the data by the data provider. sovity is now implementing this architecture in a concrete software offering for data exchange.
Photo: left to right: Sebastian Kleff, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Boris Otto, Dr. Sebastian Opriel
In complex supply chains, partner ecosystems or large-scale projects, for example in the automotive or mobility sector or in smart-city projects, a wide variety of data must be exchanged interoperably between different players along the value chain. Currently, participating companies face the challenge that there are hardly any technical solutions that enable trustworthy data exchange. As a result, sensitive information is only exchanged between partners to a limited extent or not at all. If it is, it is done manually in a very time-consuming, cost-intensive manner and with a complex integration effort. As one of the first providers (worldwide), the Fraunhofer spin-off sovity is now making the technology of International Data Spaces (IDS) available to companies. The International Data Spaces were developed by several Fraunhofer institutes and more than a hundred international companies and associations with the aim of establishing themselves as the de-facto standard for decentralized, interoperable and sovereign data exchange. Currently, the work on IDS is being used as an important basis for the European data infrastructure Gaia-X, for example.
With sovity’s solution, the use of International Data Spaces becomes concrete for companies: They can manage data protection and data exchange securely and flexibly according to their current needs and thus tap the full potential of their data as a digital corporate resource. This applies, for example, to the automation and acceleration of processes or supply chains, to collaborations between several companies, to joint innovation projects, or to many other measures in data-driven ecosystems. IDS is already being used in various data space initiatives to network partners, including the automotive network "Catena-X" and the joint initiative "Mobility Data Space".
Figure 1: Sovereign data exchange between two partners using IDS technology involves various software components
sovity’s offering for sovereign data exchange between companies is based on three pillars:
- Connector-as-a-Service at different service levels to enable companies of any size to access data spaces or implement use cases,
- Data Space-as-a-Service as an offering for data space operators and initiatives (e.g., Catena-X or Mobility Data Space) to run IDS shared services (Metadata Broker, DAPS, Clearing House etc.),
- Data sovereignty enablement: consulting services for the identification of possible applications as well as the technical design and implementation of use cases.
Companies can obtain and use the software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution from sovity via a subscription after an initialization phase. Interested companies can already register for a demo of the software on the website sovity.de.
The sovity team started in May 2021 in the AHEAD program, the company-building process of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The managing directors Sebastian Kleff (Co-Founder and CEO) and Dr. Sebastian Opriel (Co-Founder and CTO) have several years of expertise in Fraunhofer research as well as in the International Data Spaces and also diverse management experience from various companies and research projects. The start-up is currently in the pre-seed phase, in which the sovity solution will be established with further customers and continuously expanded. As a Fraunhofer spin-off, sovity has direct access to the technology experts within the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft.
"With sovity, the technology of International Data Spaces becomes tangible and concrete for companies. We are very pleased about the start of our spin-off. sovity will transform the experience gained over many years at Fraunhofer in building and implementing data-sovereign solutions into easily accessible market offerings," says Prof. Dr. Boris Otto, Executive Director at the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST. "With sovity, companies have a reliable partner for their own IDS implementations at their side, because the young company was founded by long-time designers of this data infrastructure."
"Data ecosystems have been gaining importance for several years and the first use cases based on IDS are being successfully implemented. For these ecosystems to continue to grow, it needs sovity's offering to provide easy access to data sovereignty for every company" explains Sebastian Kleff, Co-Founder and CEO of sovity. "I'm very excited to follow this path together with Fraunhofer and to make an important contribution to sovereign data exchange as a startup."
Figure 2: Training and onboarding provides easy access to the sovity’s SaaS solution
About Fraunhofer ISST
The Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST focuses on building data spaces that enable sovereign, secure and controllable data usage across enterprise boundaries. The institute is an active designer in international infrastructure initiatives such as the International Data Spaces (IDS) and Gaia-X. Together with companies, it identifies the strategic value of data and makes it usable - from data preparation to the development of new business models, Fraunhofer ISST offers complete system solutions.
sovity GmbH enables companies of any size and industry to fully control and manage their data at any time through Data Sovereignty as a Service: with sovity, companies can determine exactly who, when, which data may be viewed or used to what extent.
The sovity team started in May 2021 in the AHEAD program, the company-building process of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The managing directors Sebastian Kleff (CEO) and Dr. Sebastian Opriel (CTO) have several years of expertise in the IDS and Fraunhofer context and diverse management experience from various companies and research projects.
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