Expert roundtable: Discovering International Data Spaces


Within the framework of the International Digital Dialogues, the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) hosted an exclusive roundtable on the topic of International Data Spaces. High-ranking representatives of the public and private sector discussed framework conditions for data spaces at international level.

The invited experts represent different sectors and partner countries of the Digital Dialogues. © Digital Dialogues-GIZ

After a long restriction to digital formats, Hannover Messe 2022 opened up new opportunities for intensive exchange and networking. BMDV's Digital Dialogues invited its stakeholders to discuss International Data Spaces in the trade fair's Convention Center on 1 June.

Participants from Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and India came together, representing research institutes, industry associations and enterprises. Benjamin Brake, Director General for Digital and Data Policy at BMDV, opened and moderated the roundtable.

How to incentivize data sharing and include SMEs

The discussions showed how important active stakeholder engagement and the integration of ecosystems are in International Data Spaces. To develop ecosystems further, international cooperation and partnerships are key. The roundtable brought to light that a big challenge lies in incentivizing data sharing, as data gives competitive advantages and the sharing requires a tremendous amount of trust in the safety and security of a data space. Governments might act as role models in this regard by sharing public data sets.

The experts had different perspectives on governmental regulation for data spaces. On the one hand, it is key to create a framework of equal opportunity and transparent standards in order to create the trust as mentioned above. On the other hand, to make data spaces accessible for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is important for regulations to remain simple and supporting. In addition, the regulation needs to keep up with the pace of innovations in the industry. The experts plead for the international alignment of regulations and standards. There is a strong need for common values, they said.

The participants highlighted that data spaces should be inclusive and integrate SMEs. As the data stays with its owner and sovereignty is kept, data spaces can create equality without favouring large companies.

International exchange is key: Next steps

The participants exchanged their views on how a regulatory framework for data spaces should look like. © Digital Dialogues-GIZ

The experts agreed that it is crucial to bring various perspectives from different countries together to find the best possible solutions to challenges. The roundtable already provided an opportunity to share best practices and experiences to learn from each other.

In addition to the cross-border exchange of experiences, the aim of the event was to identify next steps for the Digital Dialogues with the partner countries India, Brazil and Mexico. As a concrete next measure, the topic will be picked up again during the Digital Dialogues’ annual stakeholder consultation in autumn. Further, it is planned to engage with the stakeholders again to identify possible cooperation projects.

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