Join labs, usecases and workgroups
During the first update on AMdEX, the initiators talk about the steps that have been taken to realize an infrastructure for data sharing. And why it is important for other parties to join in. There are various options for collaboration.
With AMdEX, companies and knowledge institutions collaborate in the development of technologies and (business) models to make the sharing of data under own conditions a reality.
The partners behind the development of AMdEX are working hard on a number of usecases. Developing these usecases gives the AMdEX partners new insights all the time. These contribute to an infrastructure that enables data sharing in a secure, reliable and sovereign manner.
Back to a decentralized web
Willem Koeman, lead Digital Connectivity at Amsterdam Economic Board, starts off the online meeting with an explanation on why the development of AMdEX is necessary. Because, aren’t there already quite a few options available for sharing data? ‘More than thirty years after Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, the web is more centralized than ever,’ says Koeman. We have become dependent on intermediary parties for sharing data. While the web was intended as a decentralized infrastructure, where everyone was directly connected to each other. This development makes it difficult to share data while retaining control over the data. It now often remains bilateral of domain-specific. We no longer want to need the middle man, the big data conglomerates,’ says Koeman. But without them, sharing data is currently cumbersome and costly.’
AMdEX therefore has strong ambitions: to build a neutral infrastructure that provides and executes reliable archetypes for data sharing. Technology providers can integrate this structure into their products and services. To ensure reliability, AMdEX operates as a public facility by everyone and for everyone.
Control over your own data
Hayo Schreijer, director of AMdEX partner deXes, elaborates on the design principles used by AMdEX. He explains: ‘Now third parties have a great deal of control over how data providers and users share their data and under what conditions. With AMdEX we want to work towards a model that offers space for data sovereignty, while retaining control over our own data, transparency about conditions, which are readable by both humans and machines. It must become a secure ecosystem, in which data can flow freely between provider and user.’
‘AMdEX provides the framework for this, enabling trust and good governance,’ adds Elena Ilic, innovation manager at AMdEX partner AMS-IX. ‘We make sure that we are all part of that ecosystem in which we can securely share data.’
AMdEX is currently in a research and testing phase, where researchers and developers are looking for the best ways to share data. Testing data sharing under as many different circumstances as possible and with deviating needs of providers and users is of great importance in this phase. AMdEX’s founding partners therefore invite companies, knowledge institutions and governments to participate in the AMdEX development.
This can be done in different ways:
The Universiteit van Amsterdam is developing a plan for an AMdEX lab, inspired by the examples of Amsterdam Data Science (ADS) and the Innovation Centre for Artifical Intelligence (ICAI). The AMdEX Lab, in collaboration with one or more companies, conducts in-depth, fundamental research into sub-aspects necessary to enable data sharing under its own conditions.
‘Solving real problems around data sharing in organizations helps with the development of AMdEX,’ says Ana Oprescu, lecturer at the Informatics Institute of AMdEX partner the University of Amsterdam. The AMdEX Lab is like a kind of nursery. The collaboration is primarily aimed at promoting innovation and new technology that has not yet been provided for in the AMDEX project, but which can be included at a later date.
In a lab, PhD students, postdocs and/or scientific programmers work on projects as agreed between a company and the academic promoter involved. The business community contributes with resources for PhD students and equipment.
Possible topics of research are, for example:
Data sharing infrastructure issues on a global scale
New approach for automatically generated digital data contracts and the execution of these contracts
Trust enforcement and audits
Virtualization of data exchange facilities
New security and privacy aspects
Ethical and social issues
Legal and administrative aspects
Demonstrators of innovation
AMdEX work groups
The work groups will start in September. At the moment there are two. The work group on (inter)national cooperation promotes and maintains contacts with related external initiatives. The trust framework work group maps protocols and standards for connection to the AMdEX infrastructure. Interested parties can contact Willem Koeman.
AMdEX’s founding partners would like to expand the number of usecases. Partners can help solve real problems of companies and organizations. At the same time, the partners learn from this and advance the development of AMdEX. Potential usecases must meet a number of criteria. A good use case:
Can be translated into generic solutions for other data sharing challenges and fits the scope of AMdEX
Enables many-to-many transactions
Promotes data sovereignty
Creates significant value for organizations that share data
Delivers well-managed data, algorithms and clear terms
Is ethically responsible (according to the Tada-principles)
The initiators of AMdEX are developing this in collaboration with stakeholders, emphasizes Willem Koeman. ‘We like to involve new participants through endorsement partnerships.’ These partners support AMdEX by contributing in kind – through hours, data or technology – to AMdEX Lab, usecases, work groups or otherwise. They support the development of the AMdEX technology and non-profit entity. Endorsing partners endorse the open nature of this development process and its accessibility for new participants. They also support the open availability of (non-company or privacy-sensitive) experience and knowledge that would be gained during the process.
When Matthijs Punter, who works at TNO, asks what kind of partners AMdEX is looking for, Koeman says that these are not the end users. ‘We are looking for organizations and companies for whom sharing data can offer major benefits. Because the current possibilities for data sharing offer insufficient grip, they may be hesitant. But they do see the potential that securely shared data can offer.’
Raymond ter Riet, director of Luminis, would like to hear how interested parties can register with AMdEX. ‘Contact me and we’ll see if there is a good fit,’ says Willem Koeman. ‘I cordially invite everyone to this.’
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