i3-MARKET architecture and approach

The i3-MARKET project innovates industry solutions by developing lacking building blocks to overcome the barriers on interoperable and integrative data marketplaces. Architecturally speaking, i3-MARKET uses trusted, federated and decentralised software components, enabling the integration of other marketplaces. The i3-MARKET architecture is designed to enable secure and privacy preserving data sharing across data spaces and marketplaces, through the deployment of a backplane across operational data marketplaces.

The i3-MARKET architecture enables data providers and consumers to share or trade data in an open and fair (every organization can participate under equal conditions) as well as interoperable manner. i3-MARKET uses an open APIs design principle that will be released as open source project, thus all future extensions could be maintained. The architecture will be fully tested on industrial, manufacturing and wellbeing marketplace-associated use cases that would directly benefit from the ability of sharing or trading data across the different marketplace instances. The i3-MARKET architecture addresses the existing need that yet no scalable, trusted and interoperable solution enabling sharing or trading of data assets across individual marketplace instances exist.

Moreover, today’s data marketplace platforms still lack the capability for exchanging sensitive industrial data assets as the required levels of security and privacy (in accordance with the GDPR) are not yet supported – especially not across ecosystem boundaries. i3-MARKET architecture addressed the trusted conditions by using blockchain-type technologies by design as part of the building blocks for the i3-MARKET architecture.


i3-MARKET 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 and thus developing a trusted, decentralised backplane consisting of the following capabilities:

1. Security:

  • Self-sovereign identities: independent from a single/central provider, in order to support global-scale identity management and the ability to associate personal data with end users in a trusted and traceable manner. Identity-based access control and user consent management.
  • Accessibility:  A secure data access API for data consumers to be able to access sensitive personal or commercial data directly on a i3-MARKET compliant data provider service. This has the advantage that the data can remain on the provider infrastructure and does not need to be stored or passed through a central infrastructure. An open API fully published, allowing existing data spaces or providers to adopt this, and thus, participate in the i3-MARKET powered data economy.
  • Smart Contracts: A novel smart wallet framework that enables data owners (i.e. end users in case of personal data, or companies in case of industrial data) to directly interact with smart contracts related to their data in order to give or revoke their consent for the anticipated data exchange. Our smart wallet in conjunction with the novel type of smart contracts will be a key component towards addressing user privacy in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation.

2. Data Privacy:

  • Decentralised storage and access to semantic descriptions of the offered data assets in order to enable data discovery across today’s silos. This enables federation among the individual data spaces and marketplaces, without the need of central control or coordination that has to be trusted by all parties.
  • Crypto currency/token to provide a transparent, cost-efficient and fast payment solution for trading data assets among the participating data spaces and marketplaces. The crypto token will be used to incentivise data providers to offer their data assets, and thus accelerate the European data economy. The solution will be designed in a way that the participating data spaces and marketplaces can also use the tokens as internal payment medium.
  • Secure Semantic Data Model Repository that enables data consumers to efficiently discover and access data assets (due to precise semantic queries) and integrate the data into their applications/services (based on a common understanding of the meaning of the data). This allows completely independent data providers and consumers to exchange and use data in a meaningful way – without prior information exchange. The availability of common data models is a key enabler for establishing a scalable data economy. We build on semantic data models defined and make them accessible via a public data model repository.

3. Trust:

  • Secure and Trusted APIs to allow data spaces and marketplace providers to obtain identities, to register data assets, to fetch their semantic descriptions, to create and sign smart contracts, to make payments, etc. This ensures complete openness, i.e. that any data space or marketplace provider can connect its local ecosystem with the global i3-MARKET data market ecosystem.
  • Immutable and auditable smart contracts for the trading of data assets across data space and marketplace boundaries. All stakeholders, namely data providers (for confirmation of the offer and its conditions, e.g. license, price and SLAs), data consumers (for agreement of the contract conditions) and data owners (for consent to the data exchange) must sign these contracts. This developed solution can also be adopted by individual marketplaces for handling local contracts.
  • Legal framework, defining contractual basis for smart contracts and crypto tokens and innovative business models for incentivising sharing and trading of data assets via the i3-MARKET backplane as well as the operation of the decentralised backplane by the marketplace providers.