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Data Spaces

Purpose of Data Spaces

Governance and fair business model are the key to overcome data sharing brakes.

Data Spaces are ecosystems for the seamless sharing of data and services that interact according to common governance rules, guaranteeing the trust and interest of stakeholders in contributing. These Data Spaces are the source of new value chains in the knowledge economy.

A Data Space is an abstraction that comprises:

  • Bundle of rights & rules that regulates interactions between data, algorithms and resources shared by participants
  • Governance mechanisms to adapt these rules

A Data Space is highly customizable to allow its members to create a space of sharing designed exactly as they need.

Added by the features of the OKP4 Ecosystem, the customized Data Space’s governance brings confidence and also widens the scope of possibilities to innovate with economic models to align participants’ interest.

In a Data Space, datasets and algorithms are not stored centrally but at source and are therefore only shared (via semantic interoperability) when necessary. Several Data Spaces can have participants, data and algorithms in common and are in fact overlapping. We call Dataverse the endless combination of interoperable Data Spaces where participants, assets and resources can interact freely.

Data Space technical description

The OKP4 Protocol allows to build highly customized Data Spaces and to manage them.

Thanks to the OKP4 Development Kit, anyone can create and design Data Space with as much freedom as possible. This development kit comprises Rulebook templates and no-code tools to set the governance rules.


OKP4 Development Kit is designed to give as much freedom as possible for developers, data scientists and communities at large. Freedom of development, freedom of business models, freedoms of standards... freedom of innovation.

The Rulebook describes a set of rules, standards and tools shared with Data Space participants, based on 5 pillars: ethics, legal, data management, technical requirements & business models.

Once the Data Space is created through the Development Kit, the governance rules of this Data Space it is encoded into a Domain Specific Language allowing the rules to be expressed as code interpretable by a smart contract in a fully decentralized and autonomous way. For any transaction sent to the OKP4 blockchain, this smart contract ensures that the transaction complies with the rights established by the Data Space governance rules. If not, the transaction is rejected.

Data Space Rules

A Data Space is governed by a bundle of rights and rules that define the permitted interactions between data, algorithms, resources and users.

The rules can refer to data management, retribution, business model or technical requirements for instance. All the rules are totally customizable.

Examples of rules

Data management

  • All metadata of datasets and services must be described
  • Restrictions on the license of the dataset
  • Only one type of actors has access to the raw data

Technical requirements

  • Each data provider stores its own data

Business models

  • Retribution of contributors according to the template XXX: Open data are not retributed and other datasets are retributed in function of the service consumption
  • Retribution of contributors according to the template “Data Marketplace”: each provider evaluates the price of its data or services

Governance mechanisms allow to adapt these rules (See next section).

Data Space Governance

Data Spaces are commons governed in a decentralized way.

The governance of a data space details who can participate and the membership mechanisms. It is possible to create roles with restricted rights.

The governance precises the public or private nature of a Data Space. A public Data Space is reachable by anybody and a private one needs mechanisms of invitation or request of adhesion.

Besides, each Data Space decides what are the governance mechanism to change the rules. For instance, it can be a process of proposition and vote by all the members of the Data Space.

Note that the decentralized governance of the OKP4 Protocol still allows users to create centralized Data Spaces. Indeed, the governance of a Data Space can be in the hands of one or several chosen or elected members.


In a nutshell, the governance of a Data Space defines the following:

  • The visibility of the Data Space (public or private)
  • The nature of participants
  • A set of rules that organizes life in the Data Space (the conditions of access, the operations that are allowed or prohibited)
  • A rules amendment process