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Powered by the OPENDEI project.

What does it take to create and design data spaces? Can lessons be learned from a variety of domains? Design-wise for data spaces and platforms, what is common to the health, energy, manufacturing and agriculture domains? These are precisely the purposes of the OPENDEI Coordination and Support Action.

In June 2021, OPENDEI  made publicly available a first position paper. Called “OPEN DEI cross-Industry Digital Platforms federation”, it provides useful insights into the key generic building blocks which are needed today to build mature digital platforms. OPEN DEI brought together experts from four domains and various data spaces initiatives – involving more than 40 experts and 25 companies, and over a dozen projects/initiatives. They collaborated to define the design principles for data spaces implementation in a unified way. 


The position paper contains guidelines. It describes and analyses the state-of-the-art in each of the four domains. It then proposes a cross-domain approach to build generic platforms. The approach relies on six main underlying principles:

  • Interoperability,
  • Openness,
  • Reusability,
  • Avoidance of  vendor lock-in (encouragement of data portability),
  • Security & Privacy
  • Support to a Data Economy.


One major message is about reference architectures. Defining the right architecture from the start is critically important when you want to build both an open and scalable platform.  A reference architecture provides guidance on how to apply specific patterns and/or practices to solve particular classes of problems. It can show how to concretely integrate products and  services.  

Overall, the position paper’s main message is to aim for a moonshot.

What are the lessons for the healthcare domain?

European large-scale pilots projects initiated in 2019 are due to incorporate a large number of solutions to support use cases selected during the project life cycle. Quite a lot of those large-scale pilots participated in the discussions which led to the elaboration of this position paper. They are looking closely at the overall messages on design and have been working on a scientific publication due to be published in July 2021.

The next version of this position paper is expected to provide more insights on lessons learned.

Most of the healthcare pilots are now entering the real implementation phase. This is the stage when cross-domain design insights and targeted ambition(s) are going to be of phenomenal importance.


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