Don’t play alone – leading companies share data

In the digital era, competitive edge comes from co-operation and partnerships. We at DIMECC are currently operating two world class ecosystems, One Sea – focusing on enabling autonomous maritime systems and Intelligent Industry focusing on intelligent industrial systems. Similar to both of these ecosystems is that they require data sharing and data management between different actors.

Factories of the future and manufacturing processes will become more and more data hungry. According to a recent survey from the analyst firm IDC, 80% of manufacturers need to extensively restructure and place data at the center of their processes to increase speed. The more effective use of data in the industry will create approximately 2-3 percent increase in company turnover. Currently, even 99 percent of the value of data is left unused globally in the manufacturing industry, meaning the potential is huge.

Many businesses vastly underutilise their data as a source of future competitiveness – but this goes beyond a company level challenge. It is also hampering how we connect data at local, regional, national and EU levels. European companies may have lost consumers’ data sharing game to US and Chinese operators, BUT data sharing game is still unresolved with in B2B and the EU has a good chance to create a dominant platform solution.

Many EU countries have launched Industrie 4.0 initiatives. DG CNECT is currently bringing together European Manufacturing Industry to create data sharing practices, templates, regulatory proposals and business platforms. Many large industrial players have set up their own data sharing platforms and we have seen dedicated data clubs emerging on national level.

Future market value lies in opportunities which are derived from the merging of multiple datasets between different vendors in the ecosystem, in value and supply chains and between different machines. In the future value will be created in collaboration and ecosystem set-ups. This will drive new insights and therefore create new innovation opportunities.

Data sharing is not a technical challenge anymore, however there are multiple other challenges related to it which need to be taken care of, e.g. data ownership, skills, data monitoring, reputation, legal, liability and licencing issues, thus holistic approach is needed.

The holistic approach to data sharing is strongly connected to the needs of EU industry and could be better-driven through a (future) EU industrial strategy which would better incentivise and facilitate approaches to data sharing through a wide range of measures (e.g regulation, investment in open data platforms / infrastructures, skills development, risk management etc).

We have worked on these issues since 2016. The One Sea ecosystem has been actively working in IMO on standardisation and regulatory topics and the Intelligent Industry ecosystem has launched a program “Industrial Data excellence – InDEx” which focuses on building an industrial data community and common/open data space for data sharing and aiming also to create novel data based products and services as well as to contribute to international data sharing architectures and standards. Technology Industries of Finland has prepared, together with its member and Intelligent Industry companies as well as with the law firm Krogerus, model terms and conditions for data sharing.  SITRA has worked on its IHAN initiative and created the first version of a data sharing rulebook. We have already started the interregional collaboration, e.g. with Combient in Sweden and IDSA in Germany. This all means that Finland is at the forefront to take a leading position in the European data sharing context – an opportunity we should not miss!

An ‘ecosystem’ approach to data will be essential for future industrial competitiveness. The Finnish cases and practices have now a great opportunity to serve more widely for EU industrial data sharing purposes. Join us on this journey!







Antti Karjaluoto
Disruptive Renewal Officer at DIMECC

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