Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI), in collaboration with the Information Processing Promotion Agency (IPA), the Digital Architecture Design Center (DADC), and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), has announced the “Ouranos Ecosystem” initiative. This project aims to design, research, develop, and promote the adoption of architecture for seamless collaboration between various information processing systems operated and managed by different stakeholders.
To realize Japan’s vision of a future society called “Society 5.0,” the country has been working on implementing “Connected Industries,” which create new value and solve social issues through various connections. As a result, data sharing and utilization initiatives among companies are becoming more widespread. However, to address social challenges such as decarbonization, labor shortages, and disaster intensification, data sharing and utilization must occur across industries, national borders, and companies. Initiatives like Gaia-X and Catena-X in Europe and innovative technologies like blockchain in the United States are driving progress in this area.
Pioneering Data Sharing Initiatives
To achieve “Society 5.0,” the IPA established the DADC in May 2020, where industry, academia, and government experts collaborate on projects to facilitate data sharing and utilization across industries and borders. The initiatives include the “4D Spatiotemporal Information Infrastructure” and the “Supply Chain Data Collaboration Infrastructure.”
The 4D Spatiotemporal Information Infrastructure aims to address social issues such as labor shortages in logistics and disaster intensification. The Supply Chain Data Collaboration Infrastructure focuses on digitalizing the entire transaction process from contract to payment, strengthening and optimizing global supply chains while addressing social challenges like carbon neutrality and waste reduction.
The guidelines for these infrastructures will be implemented in 2023, with service provision through public interest digital platforms starting in 2024. The digital infrastructure will enable private companies to provide innovative services that address social issues and cater to customer needs.
Naming the Ouranos Data Sharing Initiative
To facilitate domestic and international collaboration and prevent isolation in data sharing initiatives, the collaborative efforts of industry, academia, and government stakeholders have been named the “Ouranos Ecosystem.” The term “Ouranos” is derived from Greek mythology and refers to the god of the sky, symbolizing an ecosystem where various stakeholders collaborate to create new value through optimal system integration.