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NTT Com Starts Interconnection Trials Using Platform Connecting Gaia-X (European Secure Data-sharing Platform for Supply Chain Companies) With Systems of Domestic and Overseas Companies/Organizations

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NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com), the ICT solutions and international communications business within the NTT Group (TOKYO:9432), succeeded in April 2021 in developing the prototype of the platform that enables interconnection with IDS1 and the IDS Connector, the core technology of IDS, which constitutes one of the core components of the Gaia-X2 data ecosystem, the data distribution infrastructure that Europe is developing to protect the data sovereignty3 of its countries and regions. As such, NTT Com will develop the prototype of the secure international data distribution platform that connects IDS and withTrustTM, NTT Com’s Smart Data Platform that realizes secure data distribution among companies and organizations, and conduct interconnection trials with partners in Japan and Europe from October this year to March 2022.

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Flow chart of interconnection trials (Graphic: Business Wire)

Based on the trial results, the commercial version of this platform will be launched in the first half of fiscal year 2022. It will enable secure international distribution of data, including device data in factories, ordering information, CO2 and waste emissions data for product life cycles between the components of the global supply chain, through Gaia-X and withTrustTM 4. NTT Com will thus contribute to the realization of a sustainable society by improving industrial efficiency, decarbonization, and resource recycling through data distribution.

NTT Com has constructed a trial environment on the cloud where data can be securely shared among companies and organizations by connecting IDS, OPC UA5, and withTrustTM in Europe and Japan, enabling secure connection to the Gaia-X prototype via the Smart Data Platform. The test environment was made based on the use cases of manufacturing data distribution for decarbonization and resource recycling in the manufacturing industry (now being studied by WG1 “Study on Global Data Distribution Management Platform” sub-WG [SWG8]6 by Robot Revolution and Industrial IoT Initiative [RRI]), and the requirements of the international data interconnection platform derived from such use cases. The trials will verify the convenience, functionality, and practicality of the international data distribution platform by connecting devices and systems of domestic and overseas partners to this trial environment and distributing data between Japan and Europe.

An experiment will also be conducted in this trial environment7 to interconnect multiple data spaces of those European industries that comply with Gaia-X, including Smart Connected Supplier Network8 in the Netherlands and Catena-X9 in Germany. NTT Com will also study data models to enable the smooth transmission of manufacturing CO2 emission data and other information that transcends the differences in business practices and laws between countries and industries. The practicality of this model will be verified through experiments to securely distribute data between Japan and Europe. Then, in collaboration with Canada-based Empress Software Japan and other companies, NTT Com will propose this model to the OPC Foundation10 as the OPC UA companion information model.

Partner companies and organizations that have already agreed to participate in this experiment are as follows: Okuma Corporation, OMRON Corporation, DENSO WAVE Inc., Empress Software Japan Inc., Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Industrial Open-Network Laboratory in School of Fundamental Science and Engineering at Waseda University, RRI, Smart Connected Supplier Network (SCSN), and Value Chain Connectivity Test WG at Virtual Engineering Community (VEC). (As of October 14, 2021, in Japanese alphabetical order.)

We are seeking new partner companies and organizations that wish to participate in the trials. Based on the trial results, we will identify issues necessary for interconnection with Gaia-X and specify functional requirements in cooperation with partner companies and organizations, and we plan to provide a commercial version of this platform equipped with the functional requirements in the first half of fiscal year 2022. Furthermore, in order to enable Japanese companies to securely and smoothly share data with the domestic and overseas business partners that make up their supply chains, NTT Com will also work on the development of DATA-EX11, the data distribution platform being developed in Japan, and proceed with the development of technologies and services needed for the development of DATA-EX in cooperation with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, NTT Ltd., NTT DATA and other NTT Group companies, as well as Data Society Alliance (DSA) and RRI.

The trials will be introduced at the Robot Revolution and Industrial IoT International Symposium 2021 12 ([Day 3] Data Exchange and Data Quality) scheduled to be broadcast online today (October 14) and at the NTT Communications Digital Forum 2021 from October 20 to October 22. As for NTT Communications Digital Forum 2021, please visit “Smart Factory” after logging in to the forum’s URL for more information about this trial.

Overview of NTT Communications Digital Forum 2021

Date:

Wednesday October 20 – Friday October 22 / 09:30 to 18:00.

Note:

- Our staff will be available only during above hours, but Forum content will be accessible 24/7 during this period.

- Night sessions (live) will be held on Wednesday October 20 / 18:00-19:55 and Thursday October 21 / 19:00-20:00. Please refer to Seminars for details.

Fee:

No charge

How to participate:

Registration in advance required. Please register in advance via official website.

Official website:

https://www.ntt.com/business/go-event/english.html

In order to protect the rights of data providers in a digital society where IoT, AI, and the cloud have become widespread, Europe’s Gaia-X, a data distribution platform equipped with a mechanism that allows data providers to limit the scope of data disclosure and track data usage history, is to be launched in April 2022. Those Japanese companies wishing to do business with Gaia-X-connected European companies will likely be required to comply with Gaia-X standards. In order to comply with Gaia-X standards individually, they will need to secure engineers who are familiar with the IDS specifications and make costly and time-consuming system modifications. This experiment is an effort to commercialize a platform that interconnects Gaia-X-compliant European systems with various corporate systems, in order to reduce the burden of such individual responses.

About Re-connect X

Re-connect X is the vision that NTT Com has been pursuing since 2020. Under this vision, NTT Com is contributing to the realization of a sustainable future in a “new-normal” world by providing ICT services and solutions that “reconnect customers, businesses, and society with new value” in a safe, secure, and flexible manner.

Re-connect X
https://www.ntt.com/en/about-us/re-connectx.html

* 1: IDS is a comprehensive system of technology components defined by the International Data Spaces Association e.V. (IDSA). NTT Group is a member of IDSA.
* 2: Gaia-X is an initiative announced by the German and French governments in October 2019 to support data sharing via infrastructure that ensures data protection, transparency, reliability, and interoperability to protect the rights of European companies, governments, institutions and citizens. Market participants outside Europe are invited to participate. NTT Com is a member of the Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL, an organization that promotes the development of Gaia-X.
* 3: Data sovereignty refers to the right of data providers to decide the scope of data disclosure and usage at their discretion.
* 4: “withTrustTM” is a system for securely distributing highly confidential data.
* 5: OPC UA is a standard developed and maintained by the OPC Foundation to interoperate with the purpose of secure and reliable data exchange.
* 6: WG1 “Study on Global Data Distribution Management Platform” sub-WG (SWG8) is a study group led by NTT Com, participated in by Okuma Corporation, QUNIE Corporation, DENSO WAVE Inc., Hitachi, Ltd., Empress Software Japan Inc., Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation, DMG MORI B.U.G. CO., LTD., Business Engineering Corporation, Fujitsu Limited, Future Corporation, Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Yokogawa Electric Corporation, Ricoh Company, Ltd., and Ryoyo Electro Corporation (as of October 14, 2021, in Japanese alphabetical order).
* 7: The experiment will be conducted in cooperation with System of Nederlandse Organisatie voor Toegepast-Natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek (TNO; Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, IDSA, and Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL.
* 8: For more information about Netherlands’ Smart Connected Supplier Network, please refer to the following website: https://smart-connected.nl/
* 9: For more information about Germany’s Catena-X, please refer to the following website: https://catena-x.net/de/
* 10: For more information about OPC Foundation, please refer to the following website: https://opcfoundation.org/
* 11: DATA-EX is the generic name (brand name) for DSA's efforts to realize data collaboration across various fields. For more information about DATA-EX, please refer to the following website:
https://data-society-alliance.org/data-ex/
* 12: For more information about Robot Revolution and Industrial IoT International Symposium 2021, please refer to the following website: https://www.jmfrri.gr.jp/english/event_seminar_eng/2490.html

Related link:
NTT Com's Prototype Platform Securely Shares CO2 Emissions-related Data from Switzerland to Sites in Germany and Japan (Press release published April 8, 2021)

About NTT Communications

NTT Communications solves the world's technology challenges by helping enterprises overcome complexity and risk in their ICT environments with managed IT infrastructure solutions. These solutions are backed by our worldwide infrastructure, including industry-leading, global tier-1 public and private networks reaching over 190 countries/regions, and more than 500,000m2 of the world's most advanced data center facilities. Our global professional services teams provide consultation and architecture for the resiliency and security required for your business success, and our scale and global capabilities in technology world are unsurpassed. Combined with NTT Ltd., NTT Data, and NTT DOCOMO, we are NTT Group.
www.ntt.com | Twitter@NTT Com | Facebook@NTT Com | LinkedIn@NTT Com

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Contact information

For more information
Akira Sakaino, Takashi Horikoshi, Hideaki Niitsuma
Smart Factory Office
Business Planning, Business Solution Division
NTT Communications
smart-factory@ntt.com

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