Data sovereignty through GAIA-X
Many IT services are not possible without cloud services. To make it easier to comply with European data protection and security standards, GAIA-X was launched: A European cloud architecture tailored to the needs of businesses and public authorities in the EU, which thus also becomes extensively usable for public authorities to offer data-driven services.
The GAIA-X project was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs in 2019 with the aim of "building a networked, open data infrastructure based on European values". GAIA-X is intended to give European public authorities and companies the data sovereignty they have today only to a limited extent in the cloud. GAIA-X is not an EU cloud, the project is not designed to compete with the well-known hyperscalers. Rather, it is about putting a layer on top of Google, Amazon and Co. that is trustworthy and that guarantees the data sovereignty of the authorities and the companies. What is needed is an infrastructure in which data can be made usable in a reliable and standardized manner. GAIA-X is intended to create a reference architecture that can then be implemented by any cloud provider. There are already models for this: the International Data Spaces reference architecture model. The aim of this model is to create secure data spaces through which companies in different industries can manage their data with confidence. International Data Spaces largely fulfill the GAIA-X requirements for data exchange formulated to date.
Materna is already involved
Materna is playing a pioneering role here and is involved in several projects. For example, a project to set up a Mobility Data Space, which is being funded by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and has recently been launched. The concept of the International Data Spaces is being applied to the domain of mobility. The plan is to build a cross-municipality system for traffic control that can optimize routes for commuters and trucks on a large scale. This will affect, for example, the traffic light circuits, which today operate on a small scale and are not networked. In the medium term, the Mobility Data Space will also include other participants who supply and use data. For example, freight forwarders who can contribute information on planned routes. Materna can draw on experience already gained here, for example through the "Mobility Data Marketplace" MDM of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), which was implemented together with the Federal Ministry of Transport. The Bundeskartellamt (federal cartel office) uses the MDM to ensure market transparency. However, the data can also be used to solve more complex tasks, such as real-time forecasts on the utilization of truck parking spaces on highways.
GAIA-X can provide an important element for the further digitization of many areas of life. Only if it is possible to turn data into information through trustworthy technologies can the potential of digital transformation be exploited. For this to happen, however, all participants must have full sovereignty over their data at all times. Materna is already working with partners to test the practical implementation of the concept as part of the International Data Spaces.
More about GAIA-X
Research Project I2PANEMA
More digitalization for the port industry
More and more industries are turning to digital technologies to make their existing processes more efficient or to develop new business models. Innovative technologies can also create new potential for optimizing seaports and inland ports. However, digitalization is just getting started in the port industry: although a lot of data is collected during operational procedures, there is still a lot of potential for achieving increased efficiency. The managers responsible for these areas are facing the challenge of identifying the most suitable solution approaches for their individual needs from the multitude of options that are being offered. The I2PANEMA research project aims to create a reference architecture for this and, for example, to show how data analyses, especially in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), can improve existing procedures.
Data provides insights
Technologies such as the IoT generate huge quantities of data which, for example, can be used to control systems or to optimize processes. Complementary data analyses create the basis for implementing new data-based services and assistant functions in port environments. This project aims to show how companies can use this data as the basis for implementing innovative measures for controlling traffic which can in turn reduce emissions or optimize energy efficiency. I2PANEMA also intends to help integrate existing and often heterogenous IT systems as it is only through optimized data exchange that it is possible to advance digitalization for port environments efficiently.
Within the context of the I2PANEMA project, specific scenarios are being designed to demonstrate the benefits that digitalization can deliver. For example, applications are being planned for the fields of noise reduction, traffic management, energy consumption, emissions monitoring and localization.
Many ports, IT and logistics companies as well as universities from several European countries are involved in the I2PANEMA project which is part of the EUREKA cluster programme ITEA. This consortium is headed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics and Materna, which are both based in Dortmund, Germany. The experts from Materna are contributing their specialist knowledge in the field of digitalization as well as their experience with IoT. The project is planned to continue until the year 2022. The German part of the project is being financed by funds from the companies involved and by funding from the Federal Ministry for Education and Research.
This international cooperation also contributes towards the German seaports and inland ports in the project becoming active partners in the formation of a future international smart port network. This will enable companies to optimize existing logistics chains and to shorten shipping times while simultaneously reducing the emissions generated by goods transportation.
Augmented reality for shipping
Innovative applications for augmented reality in inland ports and seaports
As digitization becomes ubiquitous in the world of work, it is hardly going to sidestep inland ports and seaports. That is why InnoPortAR was launched, with the purpose of examining how the deployment of augmented reality (AR) can facilitate workflows at inland ports and seaports. Possible use cases will be assessed in detail in a range of test environments. Augmented reality is an enhancement of the real-world experience using computer-generated information. Materna’s role in the project stems from its know-how in the field of augmented reality.
The project’s research partners are exploring the practical and technological implications of deploying AR in a port environment. Practical concerns include, for example, content visibility and limitations of the AR devices, but also how much information to provide to staff without overloading them. Technological issues regarding requirements in the port environment or the performance of the data glasses in different lighting and weather conditions also need to be addressed.
The main focus of the research will be on cognitive ergonomics and data presentation, the application fields of data glasses and input possibilities in the area of port technology and machine learning.
The use of AR can help to optimize handling and stuffing processes in the port environment and to ease the workload of staff by means of harmonized human-machine interaction. Altogether, the project will support the introduction of innovative technologies in the port environment and boost the use of IT within the logistics chains. Deploying AR will not only make port jobs more attractive, but also cast German ports in a trailblazing role in Europe while reinforcing their key function for the German economy.
The research consortium comprises the following partners: Duisburger Port (overall coordinator), Materna SE and Materna TMT GmbH, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, and the Fraunhofer Center for Maritime Logistics and Services CML. Further project partners are Haeger & Schmidt Logistics GmbH, Eurogate Technical Services GmbH and Container Terminal Dortmund GmbH.
The project is scheduled to conclude in autumn 2021.
Intelligent Truck Parking
Designing and testing a data platform
Trucks lined up alongside motorways and other major roads pose an increasingly serious problem. The unabated growth in volume of HGVs was already identified some time ago as a potential safety hazard on German roads, and it had been hoped that more strictly regulated driving times would help to improve safety. However, one consequence of these regulations has been a concentration of trucks at petrol stations, lay-bys and carparks, where a lack of space means that many vehicles end up parked illegally and dangerously.
The Intelligent Truck Parking (ITP) research project attempts to tackle this congestion problem. It is funded by the Federal Ministry of Traffic and Digital Infrastructure and Materna is a member of the project consortium.
The project’s principal aim is to develop and implement a data platform that will enable companies and their drivers to plan and schedule routes and rest breaks efficiently. Constantly updated data on the capacity of all lorry park facilities forms the basis for satnav and logistics systems, which source their information either directly or indirectly from exchange platforms like the MDM (Mobility Data Marketplace). This information allows drivers to plan proactively for rest breaks and goes some way to dealing with the increase in heavy goods traffic.
As system integrator, Materna is also in charge of the technical project management. We are also developing the majority of software components. The project is due to be completed in autumn 2020.
MobiDS - Mobility Data Space
Linking municipal, regional and national data platforms
In the coming years, mobility will increasingly adapt to the individual needs of travelers, for example through new on-demand mobility offers and autonomous vehicles in private and public transport. These new offerings will be based on real-time data about traffic, traveler needs, and availability. The secure and sovereign provision as well as the protected utilization of these data in distributed systems will be decisive success factors for the mobility of tomorrow.
This project initiates the development of the Mobility Data Space, which is to be established as a mobility data ecosystem with the inclusion of the Mobility Data Marketplace (MDM) of the Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt) and other municipal traffic data platforms. New municipal traffic data and nationwide mobility data will be tapped and made available for secure and sovereign processing on the platforms, which will be expanded to include data space concepts for this purpose. The municipal platforms will be linked to the MDM in order to provide and utilize regional data also on a national level.
The project will further develop the MDM and other municipal platforms to support data-based services. To this end, they will be expanded to include a secure and protected execution environment for services or data apps in which mobility data can be provided and refined while guaranteeing data sovereignty. In this way, for the first time, more sensitive mobility data such as floating car data (FCD) can be exploited. The MDM and the municipal platforms will be linked to form a decentralized data space, thereby creating a federated mobility data ecosystem. Building on this, contributions to pollution reduction, traffic liquefaction and multimodal commuter notification are made in complex real-time use cases.
Materna is involved at the request of the Federal Highway Research Institute, as Materna operates the MDM. Materna has expertise on MobilityDataSpace (architecture and use cases).
Project completion is planned for May 2022.
- Application of the "International Data Spaces" reference architecture model to mobility data
- Development of domain-specific ontologies and an extended IDS information model
- Exploration and development of distributed organizational and business models
- Roadmap for MDS-compliant further development of the MDM