Newsletter #2

The coordinators’ foreword

On behalf of the whole i3-MARKET consortium, we wish you a happy new year 2021!

2021 marks the second year of the project. More than ever, the demand for a single European Data Market Economy is soaring. i3-MARKET will continue to work towards this goal by innovating marketplace platforms and demonstrating with industrial implementations that the data economy growth is possible! 
In this edition, you will learn about i3-MARKET’s latest news and events, the project’s technical approach and consortium partners, as well as a funding opportunity from a partner project.

Three pillars for building a Smart Data Ecosystem

Newsletter article #2

On 23 October 2020, i3-MARKET held a webinar, co-organised with the BDVe project, explaining i3-MARKET’s approach to tackle 3 big challenges of the Smart Data ecosystem: TrustSecurity and Privacy:

Trust: Everything under control
With the blockchain technology, i3-MARKET provides an open, decentralized, consensus-based system with a shared and tamper-proof ledger. With verifiable credentials, the project aims to provide trusted attestations that could be issued by a trusted party, and self-presented and self-verified by any stakeholder.

Security: Unlock the data with a key
Via a protected hardware wallet, i3-MARKET provides cryptographic keys to secure transactions and data.

Privacy: Meet and overcome GDPR requirements
Through self-sovereign identity, zero-knowledge proof and explicit user consent, i3-MARKET users own their personal and sensitive data and maintain the control on data sharing / exchange.

Read the full recap of the event →

Privacy, Data Protection, Security and Trust in a year of the global pandemic

Newsletter article #3

Pitting technology against the pandemic, 2020 presented us with challenges – where to place the threshold of privacy protection and preservation, the risk of eroding public trust as we race to implement digital solutions, and opportunities – improved interoperability and data exchange may benefit the post-COVID world.

In this blog post, Vasiliki Koniakou, researcher in one of i3-Market’s partner organisations – Athens University of Economics and Business –demonstrates how data-driven technologies helped us cope with the pandemic crisis, while confronting us more than ever with challenges such as the availability of reliable data, interoperability, security, and trust as well as the limits of privacy and data protection law.  

Read the full blog post →


Read the full recap of the event →

On 21 October 2020, i3-MARKET contributed to the DigitalAroundTheWorld conference with an experts panel on “Bringing the Data Platforms Perspective in IoT“. Seven experts among the i3-MARKET partners were panellists in the session. They presented different perspectives on the evolution of Digital transformation and the role Data/AI/IoT technologies have played influencing it. The partners focused on four application areas of the project: Automotive Industry, Industrial IoT, Intelligent Manufacturing and Smart Health / Active Healthy Aging.

Read the full recap of the event →

i3-MARKET at the European Big Data Value Forum 2020

i3-MARKET was thrilled to participate in the European Big Data Value Forum 2020 from 3 to 5 November 2020. As a sponsor of the event, we had an online booth on the exhibition area. Through the forum’s virtual tool Whova, we were able to meet data experts and have direct interaction with visitors. In addition to the virtual booth, the i3-MARKET coordinator, Dr. Martin Serrano from NUIG, held a 30-minute ‘sponsor talk’ in the plenary session on “Deployment of Secure and Trusted Data Marketplace Platforms in Europe”, explaining the opportunities that AI and Big Data offer to Innovate the Single Digital Market Strategy.

i3-Market Technical Overview 

Newsletter article #3

The i3-MARKET project will contribute to the growth of the European data market economy by providing solutions using blockchain-like technologies for managing data operations and transactions and encrypted-based technologies for data protection that could be used for implementing the data markets integration. Architecturally speaking, i3-MARKET uses trusted, federated and decentralised software components, enabling the integration of other marketplaces.

Learn more about i3-MARKET’s approach and architecture

EUHubs4Data Open Call for funding for data-driven SMEs, startups and Web Entrepreneurs

The Horizon 2020 project EUHubs4Data shares our target of a growing global data economy and common European data spaces.  

The project aims to build a European federation of Data Innovation Hubs by connecting key players in this area with data incubators and platforms, SME networks, AI communities, skills and training organisations and open data repositories. Cross-border and cross-sector data-driven experimentation will be facilitated through data-sharing and data- and service interoperability.
Open Call for funding: If you are a data-driven SME, startup or Web Entrepreneur, the EuHubs4Data First Open Call offers 60,000€ to develop your idea, as well as technical and business support, visibility and promotion! 
Deadline: 8 February 2021

Application and more information

i3-MARKET consortium partners in the spotlight

In this edition, get to know Atos and AUEB!

Atos SE is a leader in digital services. Serving a global client base, the Group provides Consulting & Systems Integration services, Managed Services & BPO, Cloud operations, Big Data & Cyber-security solutions and Transactional Services. Atos Research & Innovation (ARI) is the R&D hub for emerging technologies and a key reference for the whole Atos group. With more than 28 years of experience in running Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) projects, they have become a well-known player in the EU context.
In i3-MARKET, ARI combines the knowledge of two units’ teams; Artificial Intelligence (AI), Data & Robotics as well as the Transport Systems & Urban Mobility. The first unit is providing the technical leadership to build-up the i3-MARKET backplane- in conjunction with the overall solution deployment. The second unit is leading one of the three Industrial project pilots is known as Industrial Pilot #1 Automotive Sector.
Read more

AUEB is the third oldest University in Greece; it provides education both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in the fields of Economics, Business Administration, Marketing, Accounting and Finance, Management Science and Technology, Informatics, and Statistics. AUEB is a leader among the higher education institutions of economics and business in Greece and the broader region.

AUEB is involved in i3-MARKET through the ELTRUN research lab, and the Athens Center of Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ACEin).

As a business centered institution, AUEB mainly supports the project’s business exploitation by formulating viable and sustainable business models for i3-MARKET as part of a broader project commercialization strategy that can also serve as a blueprint for data-marketplaces and other relevant actors in general.
Read more

Let’s stay in touch! 

If you are interested in the i3-MARKET project objectives, progress and results of activities, we encourage you to get involved and continuously follow i3-MARKET’s updates!

The i3-Market project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under grant agreement no. 871754.

Events News

DigitalAroundTheWorld event report

On 21 October 2020, i3-MARKET contributed to the DigitalAroundTheWorld conference with an experts’ panel on «Bringing the Data Platforms Perspective in IoT». Seven experts among the i3-MARKET partners were panellists in the session: Martin Serrano, Carolin Rubner, Septimiu Nechifor, Tomas Pariente Lobo, Bruno Michel, Jean-Loup Dépinay, and Cinzia Rubattino. They presented different perspectives on the evolution of Digital transformation and the role Data/AI/IoT technologies have played influencing it. The partners focused on four application areas of the project: Automotive Industry, Industrial IoT, Intelligent Manufacturing and Smart Health / Active Healthy Aging.

In-house data is not enough for many organizations embarked in Digital Transformation. On the other hand, there is a clear trend towards capitalizing data via data platforms or data marketplaces. Tomás Pariente Lobo, from Atos, presented existing data sharing initiatives and data marketplaces and the need to federate these efforts. Therefore, i3-MARKET is working on simplifying access to multiple marketplaces.

Carolin Rubner, from Siemens AG, presented data platforms and marketplaces for intelligent manufacturing. Indeed, data platforms and marketplaces for sharing or trading data assets in intelligent manufacturing ecosystems need to be based on trust. Therefore, future i3-MARKET solutions need to integrate trust-enabling properties such as openness and fairness, security and privacy, consensus-based ruling, and non-centralized control to make these marketplaces successful.

Jean-Loup Dépinay, from Idemia, then explained that Data Markets need to ensure security of transactions and enforcement of users’ privacy, as well as new ways to control accounting, governance, identity and transactions. Therefore, i3-MARKET is proposing to base this control on a tamper-proof ledger (to register transactions), consensus-based governance (every changes approved by all nodes), and cryptographic keys (all transaction signed). Through a hardware wallet embedded in a card or a SIM card, we will target to enable this control for every users in a smooth way in their personal environment using smartphones.

Finally, Bruno Michel, from IBM, focused on the Smart Health sector. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered an e-Health upsurge, due to overloaded health systems and infection risks posed by doctor visits or caregiver visits to support for elderly living independently.
To maximize usefulness and versatility of e-Health systems, monitoring needs to be coupled with artificial intelligence. In this aspect, human centric sensing and computing promotes moving intelligence to data and not data to intelligence, as well as the use of federated learning on local data. However, both approaches as well as use of simulated data can ease increasing constraints due to privacy legislation.


Webinar Recap: 3 pillars for building a Smart Data Ecosystem

On 23 October 2020, i3-MARKET held a webinar “Three pillars for building a Smart Data Ecosystem: Trust, Security and Privacy“, co-organised with the BDVe project.

“Data is the oil of the 21st century”

Vasiliki Koniakou from the Athens University for Economy and business introduced the webinar and the i3-MARKET project by highlighting the overarching importance of data in today’s economy. Indeed, during the last decade, the amount of data has increased exponentially, and so has the company’s reliance on data to improve their processes and overall performance. As we are moving to a data-driven and digital economy, data transfer has become a top priority for the EU.

In response to the massive amounts of data issued, collected and processed, data marketplaces emerged as new business models. They act as a digital intermediaries, as they allow data sellers, data buyers and third parties to come together and trade data and data-related services. Although data transfer is a blooming sector, there are numerous challenges related to trading data.

One particular set of issues concerns Trust, Security & Privacy. These issues are closely interrelated: The lack of transparency of data trade created a low level of trust, as well as poor security levels and a lack of data privacy. These issues are of major importance for the data economy, especially since the GDPR came into force two years ago. Rather than reacting to legal requirements, i3-MARKET’s ambition is to proactively apply and shape its design choices based on Trust, Security & Privacy, according to Value sensitive design (VSD).

To this end, i3-MARKET leverages on blockchain technologies to build an interoperable and decentralised Backplane and provide the trust, security and privacy features. Throughout the project, the i3-MARKET partners will be paying special attention to regulatory aspects around sensitive data assets.

Trust: Everything under control

Focussing on the trust issue, Alessandro Amicone from GFT Italia explained how i3-MARKET plans to bring back trust to the data trading ecosystem through the use of blockchain technologies.

A trustful governance will be enabled through a consensus-based governance: Every change to the system will have to be approved by all the nodes of the network. This will allow to avoid attacks to the chain’s integrity.

The identity of the other stakeholders will be confirmed through verifiable credentials. Verifiable credentials are issued and cryptographically signed by trusted stakeholders of the network.

The accounting of payments and data exchanges will be verified through a non-repudiation protocol, enabled by a communication protocol with cryptographically signed proofs. This would also to ensure the authenticity of the data via a proof-of-origin for the data.

Security: Unlock the data with a key

Aghiles Adjaz from IDEMIA then introduced i3-MARKET’s approach to security. While blockchain relies on secure consensus protocols and state of the art cryptography, people tend to underestimate the prerequisite for this security. The key for the blockchain should always be safely and securely stored. To illustrate this crucial point, Mr. Adjaz compared it with having an armoured or reinforced door and hiding its key under the doormat – needless to say that it is pointless. Unfortunately, this defective key security is currently often the case in the practice of blockchain, which allows hackers to easily get access to cryptoassets.

To tackle this issue, the i3-MARKET solution will be based on a hardware wallet which relies on a secure element (tamper-resistant hardware platform), that will securely host applications and keys against software and hardware attacks. The hardware wallet will provide cryptographic functionalities and, most importantly, will be blockchain compatible. In addition to the traditional two authentication factors which are the possession of the wallet (What I have) and the PIN (What I know), i3-MARKET proposes to have an additional one, which is the biometry (What I am). With this proposition, i3-MARKET is aiming to provide the best user experience possible, where the user will be able to unlock his key by just presenting his fingerprint or his face.

Privacy: Meet and overcome GDPR requirements.

Finally, Juan Hernandez from UPC explained how i3-MARKET intends to give back control to users over their identity and sensitive data. In order to meet – and even overcome – the GDPR requirements, i3-MARKET’s privacy approach is based on 3 pillars.

1. Self-sovereign identity

Self-sovereign identity is a key concept for privacy. Nowadays, people have a lot of identities/accounts online (Google account, Facebook, Github). People’s credentials and sensitive information are stored there, which are gold mines for hackers to steal sensitive data, especially since a lot of people are using the same password for several accounts. Some solutions are existing, for example federated authentication, ie. signing in on a website or platform with a Google or Facebook account. But this still means that an external identity provider is managing one’s user identities, and can profile someone by knowing where and when one is logging in.

The main purpose of self-sovereign identity is to give control back to users over their identity. In the digital world, the simplest way of having an identity is to have a public key, which is complementary to the private key stored in your wallet. This is supported by blockchain: we can publish our public key (identity) in a blockchain, and it can be verified, thus we don’t need an external trusted organization that manages identities. During transactions, one would be able to disclose information (claims) in a selective manner, for example name, surname, nationality, gender, age, etc. This is known as zero knowledge protocols and zero knowledge proof: Only the necessary data is disclosed, and there is need to store user’s data, as it can be checked in real time at any time.

As a result, the self-sovereign identity concept is better for users, but also very convenient for administrators or organisations: They don’t need to store personal and sensitive data, thus there is no risk of data leaks. It allows to meet the GDPR requirements of data minimization and reduces the costs, e.g. data storage costs.

2. Explicit user content

The GDPR is very specific about the importance of explicit user content, as it states that the data subject should have consented to the processing of his/her personal data and has the right to withdraw the consent at any time. The i3-MARKET solution allows to gather explicit user content via a verifiable credential. This means that the consent can’t be faked and that no operation will be allowed without proper user consent. Thus, the data can only be sold or processed under the agreed conditions. Currently, the i3-MARKET partners are working on a revocation system for verifiable claims.

3. Auditable Accounting

In i3-MARKET, there will be a reliable accounting system backed up by a blockchain. The idea is to be able to monitor selected operations, e.g. asset modification and deletion of sensitive data. This means that it would be possible at any time to verify who performed a transaction. This would also allow for reliable proofs, for example a proof for the payment of data or for a contractual agreement. Through a non-repudiation protocol, proofs cannot be repudiated by the involved stakeholders. Backed up by a public blockchain, these privacy-guaranteed proofs of data exchange will support any future claim regarding a data trade.


Webinar: Three pillars for building a Smart Data Ecosystem: Trust, Security and Privacy

Joint webinar with the BIG DATA VALUE Ecosystem project (BDVe)

On Friday, 23 October 2020, the BDVe project will host i3-MARKET’s webinar “Three pillars for building a Smart Data Ecosystem: Trust, Security and Privacy“.

In this webinar, i3-MARKET experts will explain how the i3-MARKET solutions help overcoming data marketplaces hurdles by providing the suitable level of trust (consensus-based self-governing, auditability, reliability, verifiable credentials), security (P2P encryption, cryptographic proofs) and privacy (self-sovereign identity, zero-knowledge proof, explicit user consent).


11.00 – 11.05  Welcome from BDVe

11.05 – 11.20  i3-MARKET introduction and project context

  • Big Data and Data Marketplaces as a constantly growing field and a key sector in Digital Economy
  • Enhancing Data Mobility and Data Transfer as a priority for the EU in terms of the Digital Single Market / The EU Data Strategy
  • Trust Security and Privacy as objectives/challenges and central engineering values in the context of Value Sensitive Design and Responsible Engineering

11.20 – 11.50  Three pillars for building a Smart Data Ecosystem

Trust: Everything under control
With the blockchain technology, i3-MARKET provides an open, decentralized, consensus-based system with a shared and tamper-proof ledger. With verifiable credentials, i3-MARKET provides trusted attestations that could be issued by a trusted party, and self-presented and self-verified by any stakeholder.

Security: Unlock the data with a key
With a protected hardware wallet, i3-MARKET provides cryptographic keys to secure transactions and data.

Privacy: Meet and overcome GDPR requirements
With self-sovereign identity, zero-knowledge proof and explicit user consent, i3-MARKET users own their personal and sensitive data and maintain the control on data sharing / exchange.

11.50 – 12.00  Q&A with participants and wrap-up

Webinar in collaboration with


Newsletter #1

i3-MARKET’s first-ever newsletter is now available!

You can inform yourself on the latest news of the i3-MARKET project in the pdf above. This format also allows you to share it with other data-interested people in your company and your network.

In this first edition, you get to know more about i3-MARKET’s progress of the past 8 months, i.e. how we coped with COVID-19, our activities and events, as well as some exclusive information on the coordinators and the dissemination leads of the project, respectively NUIG and DIGITAL SME.

Should you prefer to have our newsletter delivered straight to your e-mail inbox, suscribe via this form to get the next editions sent to you!


The biggest challenges related to data marketplaces and data monetisation

On 23 July, i3-MARKET hosted its first workshop, dedicated to the needs of potential end-users of the i3-MARKET solutions. The aim of the workshop was to gather the end-users’ view of the data market and to identify challenges related to data marketplaces, data usage and data monetisation. 

While the first part of the workshop was a virtual discussion about data marketplaces between the participants and organisers, the second part was structured as an online workshop organised in different breakout sessions. In order to galvanise participants’ creative input, the workshop employed the so-called “6-3-5 brainwriting” technique.  Developed by German marketing and business consultant Bernd Rohrbach, this technique fosters the rapid production of ideas and proposals in a small group setting. Groups of 6 people have to generate 3 ideas on a given topic in 5 minute-rounds. The workshop started with an open discussion on general issues regarding data marketplace and the data economy. From this discussion, three core issues were identified and discussed in the group brainstorming sessions:

1. Companies struggle with using the data they collect

2. Companies have trouble finding accessible data sets

3. There is a general lack of trust in data marketplaces

The brainstorming sessions led to following results:

1. Companies struggle with using the data they collect

According to the participants, the issue of not being able to use industrial data relates to ecosystem maturity. This can happen, for example, when there is no ecosystem leader and DaaS (Desktop as a service) is not yet established in the respective industry sector.

Participants also pointed to data cost and pricing. First of all, there is a high cost of handling, searching, and managing data. In addition, the value of data is also often unclear, and there is no free data for industrial use. Not being able to use data is also due to a lack of Open Data availability, or to the fact that Open Data is not necessarily available for commercial use, as well as due to the difficulty to find matching or useful data formats. Moreover, there are hurdles at the company level, the major problems being that there is often no clear understanding of the added value of sharing data or that companies are reluctant to share their data. On top of this, there is little compensation for data owners. Lastly, even if a company gathers and manages data, it might not be able to create value from it. Indeed, it takes a completely novel company structure to be able to incorporate knowledge derived from data or to sell it.

2. Companies have trouble finding accessible data sets

Regarding the problematic of finding relevant data, the main issue raised by the participants is the lack of trusted data providers. This is due to the difficulty to identify compliant organisations and matching users or providers, and to the missing standardisation for data extraction and storage. Finding relevant data is a challenge because of the lack of available Open Data, but also because of the high amount of data sources and the difficulty to find third-party data. Finally, the Data Services that are offered by existing marketplaces are still in their early stages, leaving significant room for improvement. Issues like customer support, data anonymisation, and dataset harmonisation are services that are missing or not offered to a full extent in the current ecosystem.

3. There is a general lack of trust in data marketplaces

When addressing the problematic of trust in a data marketplace, the participants cited regulation as one of the main issues. Indeed, there is a need for harmonised European regulation, for example a financial transaction framework, and for setting up  (smart) contracts. Trusting a data marketplace requires to have trusted partners, which is challenging if there is no reliable user authentication and user verification, as well as no authority to turn to in case of conflicts. The source of the data should also be reliable. In addition, the workshop participants would expect from a data marketplace to have clear terms and conditions, a clear pricing model and a clear mention of the data ownership, as well as ease of use. Among other items, they listed search engines, after-sales support, and the possibility to anonymise data and users.

This first workshop offered valuable insights of data-marketplace users and their main issues. Among others, it seems that openness of data is a recurring problem for the participating companies, as it has been stressed throughout the different addressed problematics.

The results of the workshop will allow the i3-MARKET project partners to develop solutions matching real market needs.


i3-MARKET Workshop for data marketplace users

The i3-MARKET project is pleased to announce its first workshop on 23 July 2020, from 10:00 to 12:30 CEST!

  • Are you a data-driven company?
  • Do you face challenges in developing your data related business?
  • Are you interested in learning more about industrial data marketplaces?

Then take part in the i3-MARKET ONLINE workshop dedicated to the needs of our end-users and stakeholders! We offer a unique approach to data trade and sharing!

By attending our exclusive workshop, you get a chance to:

  • get involved in an industrial data ecosystem with a network of leading companies in Europe;
  • get visibility and ‘spotlights’ for your company within i3-MARKET channels;
  • express your needs regarding data marketplaces;
  • get i3-MARKET solutions matching real market needs;
  • be involved in the upcoming Open Source Ecosystem of i3-MARKET.

Find the Creative Sprint presentation and results here


10:00              Welcome and introduction

10:15              Round Table: best practice exchange on SME data sharing practices and data marketplaces

10:50              Open discussion and brainstorming workshop

  • Issues of and ideas for data-driven companies
  • Creative Sprint

11:30              Coffee Break

11:40              Creative Sprint results presentation & Discussion

12:30              End of Session