October 1st, 2020, saw the beginning of a collaboration between IDSA and NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group. The collaboration will comprise a series of tests aimed at developing a secure, global data-management platform that ensures interoperability between locally or regionally organized data platforms built and managed in countries worldwide.
The test environment for secure sharing and exchange of highly confidential data will include the IDS Connector, the core technology of GAIA-X, and NTT Com’s Things Cloud® IoT platform and Smart Data Platform (SDPF), the latter of which incorporating Data Trust® policies.
In addition to assessing the practicality and operability of a new structure for managing and enforcing data access rights on the basis of related laws and underlying contracts, the collaboration will shed light on the requirements to be met by platforms designed for data management across national borders. The results are expected to lead to the establishment of data management platforms that smoothly link locally or regionally organized data platforms in multiple countries across the globe.
Testbed for interoperability and data usage rights management
The collaboration will include various cases of data sharing and exchange across national borders, such as remote monitoring of machines overseas. Initially, NTT Com, in collaboration with the NTT Software Innovation Center, will deploy the IDS Connector and NTT Com’s SDPF in a test environment in Japan in order to test system interoperability and data usage rights management.
The test environment in Japan will then be connected to two test environments in Europe: IDSA’s test environment in Germany and a separate test environment operated by Swiss non-profit organization Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne.
Global data management platform
Thereafter, NTT Com will proceed with further verification and testing by applying the findings from the first phase in a test operation environment (test bed) aiming to verify interoperability of various hardware and software components using the IDS Connector.
The new, global data management platform will be jointly developed by Japanese and overseas companies and organizations. At the same time, NTT Com will determine concrete requirements to be met by the platform, together with various organizations and companies active in Japan and overseas, including the Robot Revolution & Industrial IoT Initiative.
Going forward, NTT Com hopes to support the formulation of basic specifications through public-private-academic collaboration. Ultimately, NTT Com aims to contribute to the realization of a smart world by developing and providing a platform for broad sharing and exchange of data in wide-ranging fields worldwide.
Protecting the rights of data providers and owners
Technologies for IoT, artificial intelligence, and data utilization are increasingly being applied in diverse industries, including manufacturing, logistics, transportation, medical care, and energy, as well as by public authorities and governmental agencies. To facilitate advanced, multipurposed data usage, appropriate systems are needed that ensure secure and reliable sharing and exchange of data between businesses and other organizations across industries and national borders. At the same time, the rights of data providers/owners must be protected, and the rights of data providers and users must be observed in terms of when, where and under what conditions specific data can be used by whom and for what purpose.
Currently, legal systems and technologies are being developed worldwide to create appropriate data infrastructures, as data exchange in international business requires compliance with data infrastructure specifications according to the laws and regulations of the respective countries.
More information is available at: The Robot Revolution and Industrial IoT International Symposium 2020 –Global tops talk: Manufacturing business and paradigm shift– [Session 3] Japan-Germany Expert Forum https://youtu.be/rF6bXLvcSaE.
 GAIA-X is a European project initiated by the governments of Germany and France in October 2019 to build a decentralized data infrastructure for data sharing and exchange protected by European data laws.
 Smart Data Platform (SDPF) is NTT Com’s next-generation platform offers comprehensive, one-stop functions for corporate digital transformation (DX).
 DATA Trust® is a registered trademark of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT).
 The NTT Software Innovation Center is an NTT laboratory engaged in researching and developing IT infrastructure technologies, such as DX acceleration, software infrastructure, AI infrastructure, and next-generation computers that are becoming important infrastructure.
 Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne is a Swiss non-profit organization that carries out and supports primarily industry-oriented applied research and development.
 The Robot Revolution & Industrial IoT Initiative is a private organization established in 2015 at the initiative of the Japanese government to facilitate the use of industrial IoT, robots etc. NTT Com has been active as the secretariat of the Global Data Management Platform Sub-Working group since October 2019.