December 10, 2021

Readying Turkish Industry for the Data Economy

Writing in a blog for The World Bank, Charles Hurpy describes how his team – the Digital Development Global Practice – partnered with the Turkish government to explore how Data Spaces could boost productivity and competitiveness in their manufacturing sector. The partnership yielded an excellent opportunity for IDSA to present a series of workshops on Data Spaces, on behalf of the World Bank, for representatives of the Turkish government, leading business networks, and multiplying organizations.

The aim: to clarify how IDSA adoption activities work and enable Turkish multiplier organizations to design and facilitate their own standardization programs for Turkish companies. We met up with Charles Hurpy and Thorsten Huelsmann, CFO of IDSA, to find out about IDSA’s involvement in the project, what the workshops set out to deliver, and what they achieved.

IDSA: Charles, how did the World Bank come to partner with the Turkish Government? 

Charles Hurpy: The World Bank partners with the Turkish Government on a variety of subjects and sectors through investment projects and technical support. As part of the Bank’s technical assistance program in the digital sector, we identified the topic of Data spaces as potentially highly relevant to the digital transformation agenda of the country. 

IDSA: How did the World Bank bring its benefits to life for the Turkish government? 

Charles Hurpy: We set out to show them just how game-changing the innovation resulting from the creative uses of data is going to be. We also wanted them to have a clear picture of how data access, usage, and sharing – at the core of many countries’ digital transformation strategies – can be achieved safely and efficiently. To do this, we drew on real-life case studies, for example, Setlog’s system OSCA®, which uses data spaces in logistics. And of course, we invited IDSA to deliver a series of workshops to delve deeper into the potential of data spaces. 

IDSA: Thorsten, can you tell us more about these workshops? Who were they for, and what did you set out to achieve? 

Thorsten Huelsmann: Sure. The Turkish government had reached out to IDSA members and the EU Commission to learn more about this topic. However, their research revealed us as both the inventors of data spaces and as the standard organization in the field. So, they and the World Bank asked us to step in – 

IDSA: This sounds like a real opportunity for IDSA and the World Bank to equip a national government with the knowledge they need to implement Data Spaces. 

Thorsten Huelsmann: It was, but it’s important to acknowledge that this wasn’t the content of our workshops. Our aim was to show the Turkish how IDSA adoption activities work so that they can, let’s say, copy and implement the processes in Turkey. In a sense we were training-the-trainers – 

IDSA: …or training the multipliers? 

Thorsten HuelsmannExactly. We wanted to shed light on the reference implementations and standard descriptions which will enable Turkish industrial and IT companies to set up decentralized peer-to-peer data-sharing networks. The events amounted to a truly synergistic collaboration between IDSA and Charles’ team at the World Bank. 

IDSA: Charles, can you tell us more about your team? How are you positioned in the World Bank?  

Charles Hurpy: The Digital Development Global Practice works hand in hand with governments to help create strong foundations for the digital economy to thrive. Across the World Bank Group, we are working to stimulate demand for digital applications, digital skills, and digital platforms to support governments, businesses, and individuals to participate more fully in the digital economy. The supply side is also the focus of many of our interventions. We support the development of a telecommunications infrastructure, and here in particular the development of a data infrastructure.  

IDSA: It seems that IDSA’s activities would be an essential component to your mission. 

Charles Hurpy: Indeed, the IDSA, as a standardization organization, was perfectly poised to join us in our partnership with Turkey. 

Thorsten HuelsmannIt was a great chance for us to bring clarity and a sense of possibility into the discussion. And there was a sense of urgency to the project too. The Turkish economy plays a major role in global manufacturing ecosystems, so it makes sense that they prepare now for the future of data ecosystems. In fact, it’s essential if Turkish companies are to remain competitive. 

IDSA: If you worked with Turkey in part due to the global significance of their economy, does that mean IDSA only consults with countries of a certain GDP? What if you were invited to consult for a smaller economy? 

Thorsten HuelsmannI think this question revolves around the issue of trust. It is not that smaller economies are in any sense less trustworthy, but if our standards are to be adopted at then it’s economies such as Turkey’s that we need to engage with first. As they come to play a more crucial role in global value chains, these economies are best positioned for the implementation of, and capitalization on, data spaces. That said, even in a country the size of Turkey the journey won’t be easy. 

Charles Hurpy: That’s true. When our team conducted a survey of Turkish firms, we found that only 18 percent said they exchange data in their industrial ecosystem. The reasons for this, as we discovered, are: lack of expertise in the Data Spaces field, concerns about data leaks and theft, and, perhaps most importantly, a lack of trust between companies. 

Thorsten Huelsmann There you go. IDSA standards can put these doubts to rest, but only if they are adopted at scale.  

IDSA: Understood. I wonder if we could illuminate exactly how IDSA’s adoption activities play out in the marketplace. Charles, you mentioned Setlog as a concrete use case. Thorsten, can you tell us any more about how they have used Data Spaces in logistics? 

Thorsten HuelsmannSure. Setlog are based in Bochum, Germany. They use Deutsche Telekom’s Data Intelligence Hub (DIH) as a platform to launch a supply chain navigation system for global transport chains. They are a great example of a company that benefits from IDSA definitions and documentation related to four key questions: Who can use their data? What can they do with it? What data can they use? And for how long?  

IDSA: How does the DIH integrate with IDSA’s standards? 

Thorsten Huelsmann The DIH satisfies the principles and high-security standards of the IDSA. This means everyone’s right to informational self-determination is assured using transparent, technically suitable methods and proper documentation for all process stakeholders. That’s exactly the ‘space’ if you’ll excuse the pun, that IDSA wants to occupy.   

IDSA: Can you tell us about any other IDSA members who have brought use cases to life that are close to market?  

Thorsten Huelsmann Absolutely. Take COSMOPlat & Fraunhofer ISST, which are collecting data from washing machines. The aim is for companies to enable their consumers to maximize the efficiency of their machines. First, the data is sent to COSMOPlat who optimizes washing programs through machine learning. The optimized washing programs are then sent back to the consumers’ washing machines to save energy, time, and costs. IDS technologies are central to the process, as they guarantee data sovereignty. This means consumers are willing to share data with companies, as they are in full control over how and for what their data is used.  

Another example comes from Sick Sensor Intelligence. They are using track and trace systems, in combination with digital services, to optimize material flow in supply chains. This establishes transparency, presents new possibilities for cost reduction in the process, and helps identify logistic tasks that can be outsourced to third-party suppliers. The IDS data structure at the heart of these systems provides every stakeholder with the information they need and can trust.  

IDSA: Amazing. I think we’re getting a good idea of how IDSA standards can facilitate data sharing in this new economy. Returning to the workshops you delivered for the Turkish representatives: What are the next steps? 

Thorsten HuelsmannWell, one way IDSA scales and brings knowledge transfer into systems is to find a ‘hub’ facilitator, such as a research and technology university. IDSA then uses a corporation agreement to make them responsible for bringing all knowledge related to IDSA into the country. In our workshops with the Turkish representatives, we agreed that theoretically, this would be a good next step. So, they are thinking about opening an IDSA hub as a knowledge transfer node and finding someone to facilitate the process. Like I said, it’s a theoretical next step, but it’s pretty exciting, for us of course, but moreover for Turkish industry. 

Another outcome of the workshops was that the Turkish government representatives want to actively work on drafting knowledge transfer activities and programs. This shines a light on a clear path into the future. 

IDSA: Charles Hurpy, Thorsten Huelsmann, thanks for your time. 

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