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Data Spaces Blueprint v0.5 - Home

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Last updated 2 October 2023, 14:46

This is the start page for all Blueprint v0.5 information. The Blueprint is a consistent and comprehensive set of guidelines to support the development cycle of data spaces. In the blueprint, you can find the conceptual model of data space, data space building blocks, and recommended selection of standards, specifications and reference implementations identified in the data spaces standards and technologies landscape.



Data spaces enable a fair data economy in the Single European Market in which data can be exchanged and shared for the benefit of ecosystems while protecting interest of individual parties regarding data sovereignty and trust. The European strategy for data aims to speed up the development of the European data ecosystems and economy to harness the societal value of data, and to ensure Europe’s global competitiveness and data sovereignty.

Through the Digital Europe Programme, the European Commission is investing in common European data spaces in strategic economic sectors and domains. This blueprint targets emerging data spaces and supports data spaces development in different phases of data spaces lifecycle. These data spaces may benefit from a growing community of experts, developing data sharing technologies, standards, legal and governance frameworks, and innovative business models.

A data space is a distributed system defined by a governance framework, that enables trustworthy data transactions between participants while supporting trust and data sovereignty. A data space is implemented by one or more infrastructures and supports one or more use cases. In the mobility domain, for example, use cases might entail traffic management in smart cities, end-to-end intermodal mobility services as well as detailed traffic infrastructure monitoring. In data spaces, compliance to legal provisions regarding the management and use of data is ensured; data subjects and holders can control their data and its subsequent use.

Creating a data space entails activities on governance, business, and technical level. Addressing all three levels, the Data Space Blueprint aims at designing new data spaces, evaluating of existing data spaces, and supporting the further evolution of data spaces.

Blueprint as part of the asset-based approach

The DSSC adopted a so-called asset-based approach to deliver user value. To better comprehend the assets within the DSSC and provide a clear understanding of them internally and externally, the asset model is utilized to depict the interrelationship between these assets (See Figure 1). Some assets are part of the Data Spaces Blueprint and range from introductory information to in-depth knowledge about standards and reference implementations. Below the figure, each of the assets within the Data Spaces Blueprint are described in more detail.

Figure A.1: Data Spaces Support Centre Asset Model


The following assets are available which are not specific to a single building block but rather to the overall Data Spaces Blueprint.

  • Glossary: is a curated set of terms (“names” of the entities) and definitions (“criteria” enabling to check if something qualifies as an instance of the term). The current version of the glossary can be found at Data Spaces Glossary.

  • Conceptual Model: a model of the data space domain which represents the concepts (entities) and the relationships between them.

  • Data Spaces Building Blocks: a basic unit or component that can be implemented and combined with other building blocks to achieve the functionality of a data space. For each building block specifications and reference implementations will be identified, especially for technical building blocks.

Beyond this, there will be other assets too. Some of them are mentioned in the picture. An example is the taxonomy of data spaces, which is used to create an inventory/radar of data space initiatives in Europe. Data Space Asset Model is more deeply presented and explained in another document to be published by the DSSC.

Blueprint structure: building blocks and specifications

As indicated, the blueprint for data spaces will consist of so-called ‘building blocks’. The DSSC is based on the OpenDEI building blocks as a starting point for this.

There are choices to be made for each building block. The DSSC wants to enable data spaces to reach a higher maturity-level faster: enabling data spaces to focus on their business or societal objectives. In addition, it wants to ensure future benefits from synergies and to foster data space interoperability: making it easier to connect to multiple data spaces and enable economies of scale for data space intermediaries.

It is therefore important to converge and identify a set of common standards for each building block as well as guidelines on how they can be used together. Although it is unlikely that there is a ‘one size fits all’ solution for all data spaces – and business and technological innovation can change things in the future – it remains important to identify options and common standards for these building blocks.

Building blocks come in two categories:

  • Business and Organizational building blocks: these relate to business models of data spaces, the governance of data spaces and the legal frameworks for data spaces. While the focus may differ, the four key outcomes mentioned below still apply, albeit with a slightly different approach. For more information about the Governance building blocks, please refer to: Governance Building Blocks

  • Technical building blocks: these relate to the technical aspects of a data space: the technical agreements which individual participants and trusted data space intermediaries need to adhere to. The technical specifications outline the use of specific technology solutions and processes that are necessary for ensuring the desired functionality of a given building block. For more information about the Governance building blocks, please refer to: Technical Building Blocks

These categories are interlinked. For example: legal requirements can have an influence on the functioning of trusted intermediaries on a technical level. And technical innovations might impact governance and business models.

Conceptual model of data spaces

The conceptual model identifies the fundamental concepts of a data space and their relationships. It helps data space initiatives to develop a common understanding of the scope of a data space and the parts it consists of. The Conceptual model is described here.

The conceptual model contains aspects such as:

  • Architectural concepts, describing at a high (conceptual) level what a reference pattern data space is all about. Aspects can include a governance view of elements in a data space: this view specifies different roles that parties can take as they participate in a data space (data providers, data users, data space intermediaries, etc.). In information systems view the various technical artifacts that can be found in a typical data space are described (connectors, trust anchors, etc.).

  • Terminologies: a collection of topics or patterns that consists of concepts, relations between them, and constraints, that are (almost) formally specified. This formality makes it possible for people from various backgrounds to have the same understanding about each such concept and how it relates to other concepts. The conceptual terminology also specifies the terms (names) for these concepts, so that the DSSC has a language which can be understood in the same way. The definitions of these terms are available in the DSSC Glossary. The concepts and terms specified here are to be used in the description of DSSC building blocks as well as in other DSSC documents.

The conceptual model is developed according to a similar process as the remainder of the blueprint. The conceptual model is described further in the Blueprint. More information on the conceptual model can be found here.

DSSC Glossary

The function of the glossary is to support smooth information sharing and co-development between the different data space initiatives and people involved and working with the DSSC. The secondary objective is to establish a common vocabulary for DSSC communication and publications of the DSSC.

The terms are listed in (not alphabetical) order within distinct categories, such as core concepts and roles, evolution of data spaces, EU regulation and activities and DSSC-specific terms. The glossary can be found here and is published at the dssc.eu website, so that alphabetical ordering and categories are alternative ways to navigate the glossary.

Timeline of the Data Spaces Blueprint

The Data Spaces Blueprint is one of the outcomes of the Data Spaces Support Centre which has started in October 2022. The Data Spaces Blueprint will continuously evolve in the upcoming years and include the latest state-of-the-art and developments in the field of data spaces.

The first version of the Data Spaces Blueprint is released in September 2023 as Data Spaces Blueprint 0.5. This is a a preliminary version, which the DSSC will use for further discussion with the community. Next, every 6 months a new version of the blueprint will be released in so called heartbeats. This continuously releasing of new versions enables the DSSC to quickly respond to new developments. Finally, the last version of the Data Spaces Blueprint is expected in January 2026.

The first version of the Data Spaces Blueprint (0.5) includes information and definitions on all building blocks, candidate standards and reference implementations. The next version (1.0) released in March 2024 also contains a list of standards and reference implementations for each building block. Moreover, the detailed integration between the building blocks is described in the Integration Document.

Figure A.2: the planning of the Data Spaces Blueprint.


Building the Data Spaces Blueprint is only possible in collaboration with you! Data Spaces is now arrived in an interesting and dynamic environment: numerous data spaces are being setup in various domains, (open-source) technologies are continuously being developed, and the new knowledge is being developed pushing the state-of-the-art. Therefore, we are collaborating with a broad network of stakeholders, community of practice, and experts in order to continuously update the Data Spaces Blueprint to include the latest developments.

We would love to also hear your feedback. Is something unclear? Did you find a mistake? Are we missing an important topic? Please let us know! You can leave a comment on the relevant page or contact us via our website.

Reading guide

Now that we know why we want to use data space technology and what data spaces are, it is time to dive into the details! This DSSC Support Platform will help answer all your data space questions, for this it provides a number of tools.

  • The button below will introduce the taxonomy of Data Spaces Building Blocks, explain how it will be used within the DSSC and how data space initiatives can use it for their own purposes. From here it provides overview of the taxonomy of Business & Organisational Building Blocks and Technical Building Blocks.

  • The button below describes the data spaces vocabulary, defining the set of essential concepts and roles to express what data spaces are.

  • The button below provides a consistent, coherent and comprehensive description of these concepts and their relationships that can be used to unambiguously explain what data spaces and data space initiatives are about, as perceived by the Data Space Support Centre.