A deeper look at the 0FLW Dataspace

The 0FLW Dataspace enables secure data exchange and includes technical, semantical and organizational solutions specialized to reduce waste. Here you learn much more about the objectives and the first version which launched in December of last year.

What is it?

The 0FLW Dataspace is a decentralized infrastructure for trustworthy data sharing and exchange in data ecosystems based on commonly agreed principles. This definition implies that the scope of a dataspace is based on common ground of the participants of such dataspace.

As result multiple dataspaces might exist and some form of collaboration between dataspaces will be required as well. However, within the ZeroW project one common dataspace with the ability to facilitate all nine Living Labs is the preferred outcome.

In advance, the use of a 0FLW Dataspace is not mandatory and should be used if there are clear benefits. Not using the 0FLW Dataspace can be valid as well but proper motivation is required for justification to the EU Commission.



The initial objective of a dataspace is to remain in control of the data and the infrastructure required for the exchange of information, also known as data - and digital sovereignty. This explains the “decentralized” part in the definition above. Digital sovereignty refers to the ability of a nation or organization to control and regulate its digital infrastructure and activities, while data sovereignty refers to the right of individuals and organizations to control their personal data. Both concepts are important in the digital age, as they help to ensure that individuals and organizations can make informed decisions about their digital activities and protect their digital assets. 

A secondary objective is to reduce the effort and costs to implement generic IT solutions for common requirements such as identification, authentication and discovery of organisations, data and business services.

For the first objective individual control is required and collaboration between organisations is necessary to achieve the second objective. Therefore, a dataspace is primarily a set of agreements of agreed principles and rules, between companies. This involves agreement on legal, organisational, semantical and technical aspects.   

Furthermore, it is a collaboration or cooperation of organisations to reduce the costs for implementing a secure mechanism for trustworthy data sharing by (re)using IT services under commonly agreed rules and principles. Developing and deploying IT services once and share them with many, not only reduces the costs but also allows new participants to join faster and without having specialised knowledge of deploying such services of their own. 

A dataspace is in the first place an organisation of companies who join forces to achieve a mutual objective and in the second place it consists of enabling IT services for data-exchange. The 0FLW Dataspace is not intended for data storage unlike a data-lake or database.


The first version of the ZeroW Dataspace has launched!

An initial (minimal viable) version of the 0FLW Dataspace containing the minimal required software components will be setup first, to enable project partners to join and to share data among them. Identification of users is possible with so called self-sovereign identities to give participants of the dataspace the control over their identity. The first version will be used to demonstrated and educate about dataspace technologies which is required for the development of applications to assist the SILLs. The development of a federated catalogue later will enable users to advertise and search for meta information about available data and business services in a structured and standardised way.
To implement the 0FLW Dataspace, the involved ZeroW partners will provide an approach and methodology to determine the added business value for the Living Labs and to identify and setup the required agreements to create a sustainable eco-system. The set of agreements with policies and rules is called a governance model which will be maintained by a governance body. A governance body represents the participants of the 0FLW Dataspace and is required for a sustainable and operational ecosystem during and after the ZeroW project. Typical agreements about finance, rules for admission and above all: policies about trust, privacy and security are written down in a governance model. Monitoring, enforcing and maintaining the governance model is the primary task of a governance body.  
Exchange of data becomes information when the sending and receiving organisations use the same terminology and therefor a common semantic model is required. Based on the DEMETER Agriculture Information Model, subset will be constructed by the 0FLW community with use of tooling and workshops assisted by semantic experts. The outcome will be a subset of accepted concepts which will be also used for the technical implementation of software services and interfaces.
After the implementation of generic software components for the 0FLW dataspace, the ZeroW partners can develop assisting applications and services to optimize the flow of information and analysis of data. Although the technology should follow the business needs, a minimal implementation of the basic components first is required to give the building of an 0FLW ecosystem a jumpstart. Hence, the specific Living Lab business models should be developed first before supporting applications and interfaces can be built by other work packages. ZeroW will share knowledge from other (still ongoing) EU initiatives about creating a dataspace with the ZeroW consortium. Also, assistance during design and development will be provided to create a foundation for a sustainable 0FLW ecosystem.  


The 0FLW Dataspace is an architectural concept for secure sharing data among organisations who joined forces, resources and means in general. It will enable the exchange of data easier, in a shorter amount of time, with lesser costs and required specialised expertise, while remaining full control over privacy and the data. The implementation of a 0FLW dataspace will result in a generic IT infrastructure where information and business services can be found and shared in a secure and trusted way, based on standardized technical, semantical and organisational solutions to help reducing waste.
At the end of the project an operational organisation will take care of the 0FLW data ecosystem and look after the interest of the ZeroW community.
Click below if you want to participate in the 0FLW dataspace.
[1] D2.1 – SotA, requirements and initiatives v1.1

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