With AMdEX, companies and knowledge institutions develop technologies and (business) models in an open and targeted collaboration to enable the sharing of data under their own conditions.
The partners behind the development of AMdEX are working hard on a number of use cases. The development of these use cases continuously provides the AMdEX partners with new insights. These contribute to an infrastructure that enables the sharing of data in a secure, reliable and sovereign manner.
Back to a decentralized web
Willem Koeman, lead Digital Connectivity at Amsterdam Economic Board, starts the online meeting with an explanation of why the development of AMdEX is necessary. Because there are already different options for sharing data, right? “More than 30 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 or domain-specific. ‘We want to take out and no longer need the middle man , the big data conglomerates,” says Koeman. But without them, exchanging data is currently cumbersome and expensive.’
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 for everyone and for everyone.
Control over your own data
Hayo Schreijer, director of AMdEX partner deXes, takes a closer look at AMdEX’s design principles. 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 that enables trust and good governance’, adds Elena Ilico, innovation manager at AMdEX partner AMS-IX. ‘We make sure that we are all part of that ecosystem in which we can safely 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. That can be done in different ways:
- AMdEX Lab
- AMdEX Workgroups
- AMdEX Usecases
The University of Amsterdam is developing a plan for an AMdEX lab, inspired by the examples of Amsterdam Data Science (ADS) and the Innovation Center for Artificial 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-world data sharing issues in organizations helps build 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 in it 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
The working groups will start in September. At the moment there are two. The working group on (inter)national cooperation promotes and maintains contacts with related external initiatives. The trust framework working group maps protocols and standards for connection to the AMdEX infrastructure. Interested parties can report to Willem Koeman.
AMdEX’s founding partners would like to expand the number of use cases. These real problems of companies and organizations can help the partners solve. At the same time, the partners learn from this and advance the development of AMdEX. Potential use cases 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 via endorsement partnerships .’ These partners support AMdEX by contributing in kind – through hours, data or technology – to AMdEX Lab, usecases, workgroups 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 gained during the process.
When Matthijs Punter, who works at TNO , asks what kind of partners AMdEX is looking for, Koeman informs that they 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 together,’ says Willem Koeman. “I cordially invite everyone to this.”
Download the presentation that was held during the AMdEX community update #1 – 1 July 2021.