DatenMarktplatz.NRW – WZL is Looking for Innovative Consortial Partners




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Transparent IoT Data Space will Provide Industrial Companies with the Right Data at the Right Time, Sovereignly and with Integrity


The Internet of Things (IoT) is a global infrastructure that connects the real world with the virtual one. It enables the networking and collaboration of physical and digital objects, for example in smart home applications. Networked industrial assets are grouped under the term Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Information from the data and models of the IIoT is regarded as the most important driver of digital progress: After processing with the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), networked production data enables, among other things, the mapping of correlations via machine states, qualities and environmental parameters.

For many companies, the availability of industrial and high-quality data from the Internet of Things is therefore not only an essential prerequisite for the digital economy, but also an important competitive advantage over international competitors. To date, however, only 16 percent of industrial companies in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) are sufficiently digitized and networked, i.e., connected to at least two collaborating companies. In addition, data analysts at the sufficiently networked companies have to spend up to 80 percent of their time on data preparation and quality assurance.

In order to simplify cooperation and effectively increase data usability, experts from the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of RWTH Aachen University, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT and senseering GmbH designed the DatenMarktplatz.NRW [DataMarketPlace.NRW]. As a decentralized IoT data space, it is intended to provide every industrial company with the right data at the right time. As a result, companies will have to invest less time in their own digitization and less money in the acquisition of expensive measurement technology and infrastructure without losing sovereignty and control over their own data. At the same time, inhouse data analysts have easier access to better data.

“The digital twin of the digital economy in North Rhine-West-phalia - the DatenMarktplatz.NRW wants to be nothing less. An instrument for fair and sovereign IoT data utilization beyond its own borders, for collaborative transparency and the realization of a modern data economy. To this end, we are bringing together all the key technologies such as 5G, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence in one digital place,”

says Dr. Daniel Trauth, Head of the Digital Transformation Department at WZL and CEO of senseering GmbH.

  Copyright: © WZL/Wisam Zureik DatenMarktplatz.NRW offers data sovereignty and integrity – at the WZL Machine Hall, the IoT data space is already being fed

Data exchange often fails due to mistrust regarding the origin, integrity, quality and validity of production data. To guarantee data integrity and data sovereignty, the DatenMarktplatz.NRW was created on the basis of a Blockchain variant (including the distributed ledger technology of the IOTA Foundation Berlin), which creates the necessary infrastructure for cross-company, transparent and traceable data trading. The free trade of data between data producers, data scientists and data consumers is ensured as a result.

For this purpose, the WZL and senseering GmbH have realized their own interpretation of a decentralized, cross-company Internet-of-Things (IoT) data space under the preliminary project name “MachineCloud”:

“The MachineCloud is our interpretation of a digital, GAIA-X inspired and GAIA-X compliant value network or digital data marketplace, specifically designed for industrial data sources and large industrial data sets. The goal is to ensure secure, cross-network data availability for all stakeholders in order to optimize their own processes through digital twins,”

explains Prof. Thomas Bergs, Managing Director of the WZL and holder of the Chair of Manufacturing Technology.

Participating companies can systematically share their own data with other companies to collaboratively develop data-driven services, while in the background, the MachineCloud ensures the data integrity of any originator data throughout the system, providing seamless tracking of data validity.

Philipp Ganser, head of the Department of High Performance Cutting at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, explains the economic advantages the DatenMarktplatz.NRW offers for the field of cutting:

„The Industrial Internet of Things is one of the most important enablers for connected, adaptive production. As experts in high performance cutting, we are intensively engaged in making the domain of cutting fit for tomorrow's IIoT. This includes innovative developments in the areas of sensor technology, data acquisition and processing, as well as edge and cloud computing. Today, we are already in a position in cutting technology to provide an almost complete digital twin together with the manufactured product. In addition to the technological aspects, however, the economic exploitation of this data also plays a decisive role in maintaining competitiveness. The DatenMarktplatz.NRW offers ideal conditions for testing such exploitation scenarios, while taking into account a high level of transaction security and data sovereignty.”

Early adopters wanted for data network!

Interested companies can become part of the first IoT data space in North Rhine-Westphalia and apply informally via the website. Within the pilot project DatenMarktplatz.NRW, WZL, IPT, FIT and senseering GmbH want to contribute to a digital economy in North Rhine-West-phalia in cooperation with industrial companies and to lift the critical acceptance volume. To this end, industrial IoT data producers from the following industries are being recruited:

  • Production
  • Energy
  • Logistics
  • Mobility
  • Agriculture
  • Chemistry
  • Smart Cities
  • Healthcare
  • Other

Community leaders with reach (associations or market leaders), who can organize and lead the subsequent use cases in the above-mentioned industries, are invited to participate, as are use case leaders with charisma and platform effect (SMEs or large companies), who act as a scalable and valuable lighthouse project within their industry.

Applications for participation within the pilot project DatenMarktplatz.NRW are possible until the end of February 2021 via