Fraunhofer Institute for Software- and Systems Engineering (ISST)

Industrial Information Management
TU Dortmund (IIM)

German economic institute (IW)

Fraunhofer Institute for industrial engineering (IAO)


LEIBNIZ Centre for european economic research (ZEW)

Incentives and Economics of Data Sharing – IEDS

Project description


Ongoing digitization is transforming the economy and society at an ever faster pace. The proliferation of digital technologies and artificial intelligence is generating an immense flood of data that is disruptively changing today’s
business models and turning data into a strategic resource. In addition to the shift from tangible to “smart” products and from controlling the physical value chain to controlling the data value chain, there is the fundamental shift
in the digitized economy where innovation increasingly takes place in ecosystems. A data ecosystem is characterized by multiple relationships in a network of multiple actors such as organizations, companies, individuals, or technical
components such as machines or software. Ecosystem actors share data across organizations in pursuit of common goals and values. The GAIA-X initiative is currently shaping a data infrastructure at the European level. It is intended
to guarantee the sovereignty and trustworthiness of the participants in a data ecosystem for the interorganizational exchange of data. However, the right incentives and foundations for data exchange must also be in place in sovereign
and secure data ecosystems. To this end, the project “Incentives and Economics of Data Sharing – IEDS”, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, was launched.



Funding Details

Project start: 01 May 2021

Duration: 36 months

Funding: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research


Funding code: IEDS0001


Funding volume: approx. 5.0 million €

Objectives of the IEDS-Project


The aim of the project “Incentives and Economics of Data Sharing – IEDS” is to investigate the design of incentive systems for data sharing in an entrepreneurial context through interdisciplinary collaborative research. For this purpose,
the topic of data sharing will be analyzed from different perspectives, such as technical and economic. Specifically, insights will be gained and mechanisms developed on how to incentivize organizations to participate in open and
collaborative data networks.

Innovations are increasingly taking place in collaborative networks. However, various challenges arise in the emergence of data-based networks. In addition to solutions to legal and security challenges related to cross-company data
exchange, approaches are also needed to create incentives for the various players to participate in these networks. Such incentives are necessary to do justice to the strategic importance of data for Germany and Europe and to enable
companies to participate successfully in relevant initiatives, such as GAIA-X.

To develop incentive mechanisms for cross-company data exchange, the IEDS project will investigate four topics:


The project will identify requirements for holistic data strategies as well as data management that set the stage for companies to participate in interorganizational data exchange.


The economic importance of data as well as the combinatorial value of different data points are further objects of investigation in the project. Successful approaches and process models will be developed to set the right incentive
mechanisms in the ecosystem.


Data-driven business models are business models that generate value significantly through data and accordingly require it as a central resource. The business model logic is to be used as an examination lens to analyze which value creation
models promote and demand the interorganizational exchange of data.


The project additionally focuses on the survey of the status quo of the civil law regulatory framework, the sharing of data, especially with regard to the economic exploitation as well as incentive-related aspects.

Get in contact with us!

Your contact persons:

Can Azkan

Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST (Project Lead)

Emil-Figge Straße 91

44227 Dortmund

+49 231 976770

Frederik Möller

TU Dortmund – Industrial Informationmanagement IIM

Joseph-von-Fraunhofer-Str. 2-4

44227 Dortmund

+49 231 755 8313

Dr. Henry Goecke

German Economic Institute

Konrad-Adenauer-Ufer 21

50668 Köln

+49 221 4981770

Prof. Dr. Irene Bertschek

ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research

L 7, 1

68161 Mannheim

+49 621 1235178

Dr. Holger Kett

Fraunhofer Institutefor Industrial Engineering IAO

Nobelstraße 12

70569 Stuttgart

+49 711 97001