Data Spaces Business Alliance
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DSBA highlights how businesses profit from using data spaces
April 20, 2023

The four organizations that make up the DSBA (Data Space Business Alliance), Gaia-X, BDVA, FIWARE and IDSA, aim to jointly accelerate the creation of data spaces. The CEOs of the four powerful partners recently went on stage in Vienna at the Market-X conference to present their vision and call to action. Let’s listen in.

Why did they decide to create the DSBA? Francesco Bonfiglio, CEO of Gaia-X, opened the conversation: “First of all, we wanted to speak with one voice in the market of data spaces.” Data spaces are understood as the next and most important element to digitize value chains in the data economy.

Hundreds of companies have already joined forces in the DSBA, all with the same goal: Telling the market how to build data spaces – and helping to make them happen. “We decided it was time to make it more concrete.” Key in the joint effort is consistency and a common approach: What are data spaces? What is the process to build them? And what is the value that data spaces bring to the participants?

“Together, we have about 100 hubs in 38 different countries, in many different regions. And in these hubs are thousands of organizations,” says Ana Garcia, head of the BDVA. It is a network of expertise and knowledge that can create many business opportunities.

“This is exactly what leverages undiscovered business benefits. It is our job as DSBA to make the data economy happen,” proclaims Lars Nagel, who leads the IDSA. “But we also need inspiration. We need to see what is already happening. How data spaces are built, what is used and how it is done.” The Data Space Radar published by the IDSA maps a wide variety of use cases and projects that already exist. This can encourage businesses and organizations to set up their own data space.

Here Ulrich Ahle, CEO of FIWARE, jumps in: “And to make data spaces a reality we need technology. Therefore we put together the technology components of the four members of the DSBA and created a converged technology with elements for data interoperability, common APIs, common data models for data sovereignty and data trust and also for data monetization and value creation from data.” This is the crucial foundation to create sustainable and interoperable data spaces.

One of the biggest problems for the European economy in general is fragmentation. But now that fragmentation can become a point of power if companies start working together and form federations to build real common data spaces – to develop a new generation of products and services.

“In a nutshell we are trying to build a common technology framework instead of reinventing the wheel,” emphasizes Bonfiglio. Each of four DSBA organizations contributes important, complementary elements: FIWARE provides a framework of components to build applications; BDVA explores how data and artificial intelligence can be used for the next generation of algorithms that will transform the way business is done; IDSA is pioneering in the world of data spaces by defining data connector specifications; and Gaia-X creates a common framework to make it possible to trust the digital services necessary to build this data economy.

“We want our members to create a network of services and projects,” summarizes Bonfiglio. Support comes from the European Union, in particular the European Commission is initiating some of the most important projects that are driving the future of data spaces. One of these is the Data Spaces Support Centre (DSSC), in which many European associations and companies work together to define the blueprint for the next generation of data spaces. The engaging four panellists ended their call to build data spaces with an invite to everybody to join in the collaborative effort of the Data Spaces Business Alliance!


Andreas Kembügler