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Pillars of a Data Space

Functionalities of a successful data space

Data-based decision-making will revolutionise the way mobility connects Europe. However, current technical, legal, and economic barriers prevent leveraging the vast amounts of mobility data generated every day. Through a series of engagement activities with industry experts from diverse stakeholder groups, PrepDSpace4Mobility has been analysing the necessary functionalities of the future common European mobility data space (EMDS). Clear frameworks for sharing and exchanging data have to be provided while ensuring compliance with laws and regulations and putting citizens and businesses in control over their information.

Our recommendations are based on a multifaceted approach, involving surveys, interviews, stakeholder engagement activities, and events, each contributing to our comprehensive data collection process. Read below how we came up with our recommendations for each of the six pillars constituting a data space.

How we did it

To analyse the requirements for the mobility sector, we conducted two surveys using distinctive questionnaires designed to identify missing data sources and the technical and governance requirements of data-sharing ecosystems. In total, we gathered responses from 63 organisations, spanning 18 diverse application domains within mobility and logistics. The consultation process involved 21 important data-sharing initiatives across Europe. Also, to ensure a broad scope and integration with other sectors, we closely coordinated with four sectoral data space CSAs, specifically tourism, smart cities, the green deal, and energy. In engaging stakeholders and experts, we hosted a total of four workshops, that collectively involved over 500 individuals. We also organised two Public Stakeholder Forums, inviting authorities, agencies, technology providers, users in mobility and logistics, as well as data and service providers. 

The analysis of the building blocks and reference architecture for the EMDS is based on the leading EU reference architectures for federated data sharing, specifically the work of the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), Gaia-X, iSHARE, the Data Spaces Business Alliance (DSBA) and the preliminary version of the DSSC blueprint. Considering the specific mobility sector requirements, we built upon this prior work and developed a proposed set of building blocks and a reference architecture for the EMDS.

The big picture

The future EMDS is an expansive framework. The visualisation shows the role of the EMDS in the overarching context of the EU Data Strategy, being expressed as "common European data spaces". Built upon the overarching cross-sectoral grounding on data sovereignty, trust, and discoverability, the EMDS provides the means to develop, deploy, and operate mobility and logistics data spaces as part of the overarching federation of sectoral data spaces. The EMDS approach is firmly grounded through a multi-level governance framework that allows for sovereignty of individual data spaces whilst adhering to the overall EU strategy. Both the technical, semantical, organisational, and legal aspects of interoperability are integrally addressed in the EMDS governance framework.

Below, you will find our propositions for each of the pillars and their responding building blocks that open up a new era of mobility data sharing.


Proposed building blocks for the EMDS

The building blocks for the EMDS follow the structure of the DSSC taxonomy of data space building blocks. They include building blocks corresponding to the DSSC taxonomy's

  • Organisational and business building blocks, covering Business, Governance, and Legal and
  • Technical building blocks covering Data Sovereignty and Trust and Data Value Creation. The DSSC Technical Grounding for these building blocks includes Data Space Connectors, Federated Services, and Data Space Registries. 


A governance framework is needed to guide decision-making and coordination among data space participants. Defining principles, standards, and roles to manage the EMDS across its lifecycle stages requires a multi-layered governance approach that encompasses business, legal, technical, and operational aspects. Read our recommended suggestions and building blocks to find out how the future EMDS could be governed.

To our recommended building blocks

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Data spaces promote collaborative and unbiased data sharing, serving as an alternative to platform-based models while upholding European values. Their business models focus on enabling value creation and sustainability, considering a mix of public and private funding sources while addressing legal, technical, and organisational aspects. Discover our recommendations for a sustainable, and resilient business model for the future EMDS. 

To our recommended building blocks


Creating and operating data spaces involves complex legal considerations, including compliance with many laws. The challenge lies in navigating the intricate environment of national and EU data entitlements, European legislation, and various regulatory instruments. We have had a look at the diverse legal European landscape and summarised our recommendations below.


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Transforming data into valuable information empowers informed decision-making and efficiency improvements, ultimately generating economic, social, and environmental benefits. To achieve this, a common framework for describing and accessing data services, including terms and conditions, is essential to enable multi-sided markets and ensure accountability in data sharing transactions. Read our recommendations regarding registration, exposure and discoverability. 

To our recommended building blocks


The technical grounding for common building blocks is part of the DSSC blueprint and provides the common technical basis for developing a federation of interoperable data spaces. The blueprint is expected to build upon the evolving work on reference architectures for federated data sharing that have evolved over the last years, e.g. IDSA, Gaia-X, iSHARE and the DSBA. In this context, consensus on protocols and specifications for implementation of the key capabilities on data sovereignty, trust and discoverability are important.

To our recommended building blocks

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Standardised data exchange is necessary for sharing information seamlessly within specific areas and across domains. Although such areas and domains might have different structures, formats, or standards for representing information, data shared between them must be understood and used accurately. We have elaborated recommendations and building blocks that provide a common technical basis for developing a federation of interoperable data spaces.

To our recommended building blocks


Data sovereignty involves retaining control over your data, while trust ensures the reliability and ethical standards of shared information. Common standards for participant identity management and data access control are essential for upholding both data sovereignty and trust. Find out which recommendations and building blocks we propose for the future EMDS below.

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Analysis Report

Discover the full details about the EMDS and be part of the transformation of European mobility data sharing.

Download here

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