— International sharing of sovereignty-protected data expected to support decarbonization, etc. —
NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group, announced today that it has succeeded in a trial sharing of production-line data related to CO2 emissions via a prototype platform that enables interconnection via IDS standards which support data sovereignty in GAIA-X data ecosystem. The trial data, which normally would not be available for sharing due to its high confidentiality even though partners engaged in actual business would need to perform CO2 emissions calculations, was transmitted securely to designated sites in Germany and Japan from Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne in Switzerland.
GAIA-X is an initiative announced by the German and French governments in October 2019 to support data sharing via infrastructure that ensures data protection, transparency, reliability and interoperability to protect the rights of European companies, governments, institutions and citizens.
NTT Com conducted the trial under the assumption that such data will be used by companies engaged in actual business to review their manufacturing methods to achieve greater decarbonization. The prototype platform, which enables interconnection with IDS Connectors, also is equipped with DATA Trust®, a mechanism for the secure sharing of highly confidential data.
The trial involved the sharing of electricity-consumption data that business partners typically would use to calculate CO2 emissions generated during the manufacturing of specific products. The trial confirmed that NTT’s platform can share such data securely with only those parties permitted by law or contract.
The prototype was developed using Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (Software Innovation Center)’s business-to-business data distribution technology, in cooperation with Robot Revolution & Industrial IoT Initiative (RRI), International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Switzerland Innovation Park Biel/Bienne and Japan Innovation Park.
NTT Com plans to exhibit the trial results at the joint booth of IDSA and RRI during the Hannover Messe industrial fair in Germany from April 12-16.
“Japan is very close to Europe in the field of industry, with a strong experience in automotive, steel, or manufacturing,” said Hubert Tardieu, Chairman of GAIA-X AISBL. “The main objective in every industry is nowadays data sharing and service orchestration like in GAIA-X. NTT Communications starts with a first run in data sharing between, Japan, Germany and Switzerland, using the IDS standard which supports data sovereignty in GAIA-X data ecosystems. We are proud at GAIA-X AISBL to strongly support the launching of the japan Hub trough NTT Communications and start more use cases around GAIA-X.”
Going forward, NTT Com will build a test environment in Japan to connect with GAIA-X and start interoperability tests with multiple partner companies around the world this summer. If all goes well, NTT Com hopes to launch an official platform within the fiscal year ending in March 2022. The launch would be coordinated with organizations and groups involved with international data distribution, including Data Society Alliance, OPC Foundation Japan, RRI, GAIA-X AISBL and IDSA.
Data utilization has become indispensable for initiatives such as global decarbonization, the early achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the strengthening of industries. At the same time, however, legal systems and technologies to regulate and manage data use are being developed around the world, one of which is GAIA-X, to prevent the leakage of corporate and national secrets and to protect data sovereignty.
In the future, it is expected that companies will be required to use GAIA-X to send and receive highly confidential data to and from business partners in European countries. This means that companies unable to use GAIA-X would not be able to do business with European partners if sensitive data sharing were involved. NTT Com’s envisioned platform, however, would enable such companies to easily connect to GAIA-X without have to spend valuable time and money on an acceptable data-sharing solution.