IATA Hackaton boosts FEDeRATED node development

The weekend of 23-25 June, IATA organised its 7th Hacketon on data sharing in Frankfurt. Over 150 developers, devided over 20 teamst, participated in several competitions, all aimed at enhancing seamless data sharing practices in freight transport operations. A FEDeRATED competion was also organised. Three teams - Vediafi, SIMPLE and TNO - competed on how to apply the FEDeRATED node effectively, facilitating real time data based logistic operations.

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The Hackaton enabled the three teams to structurally test and improve the robustness of the FEDeRATED node prototype, the application of verifiable credentials, and the non predefined data querying methodology. Three use cases were executed enabling data exchange between different data holders, also data derived from the IATA One Record Standard,  for various transport operations and crossbordering (Customs)  case.  Being put to the competive test: Vediafi was  rewarded to be the winner of the FEDeRATED prize.

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Aleksander Schmidt and Laxmi Thebe  of the Vediafi Oy team

The three FEDeRATED contributions to the Hackaton are:

- Vediafi - Bordeless Digital Salmon Movement
SIMPLE contribution: https://devpost.com/software/federated-simple
- TNO contribution Multimodal Visibility Infrastructure 

The Hackaton proved to be a great testing bed for the FEDeRATED node to feed into  a FEDeRATED Common LivingLab between various partners, enabling an agenda for improvements to be executed this Fall. The results will be showcased as a FEDeRATED data sharing prototype during the EU Data Logistics Festival on 30 November in Brussels.

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From 13-15 June, the International Physical Internet Cnference (IPIC) took place in Athens, successfully organized by ALICE. This years conference was the first since 2019 enabling participants to meet physically. A great opportunity for the 200+ participants to reconnect; - for FEDeRATED to present and discuss its works. At the conference, Wout Hofman (FEDeRATED Architecture Group)  presented  FEDeRATED and its results in the plenary meeting. In addition he delivered a FEDeRATED technically detailed presentation in a session moderated by Guido Picolli (Codognotto and FEDeRATED activity 4 leader) 

Both presentations led to a lively discussion with the audience. The discussion centered round issues like the support of SMEs and standards. A solution for SMEs must be simple and easy to install and use, of course low cost. Based on the development of Technology Independent Services - like the multimodal visibility service that has been presented - innovative applications could be developed by third parties within an open source - Creative Common - framework approach. Standards are a bit more complex as they consider semantics, syntax, and governance. The FEDeRATED approach presented is to standardize the meta level  (the úpper ontology) and provide procedures for alignment and application of these standards with tools.

The long and winding road
In general, during  IPIC it became clear a mis-alignment between business people and researchers in supply and logistics versus IT developers is taking place. Where the first group speaks about the introduction of (more) ‘platforms’, the IT guys focus on developing distributed solutions like the ones of FEDeRATED. Furthermore, where the plenary discussions focused on ‘standards’,  it is becoming obvious that most, if not all, IPIC plenary speakers developed their own ‘data models’ to deal with standards. An endless standardization road will follow, probably hardly assisting any SME to engage in seamless data sharing practices

Let's get practical
What if, as FEDeRATED proposes,  we were to take ‘standards’ out of the equation, align, and match these models via the FEDeRATED ontology, and potentially applying Large Language Models (LLM) like ChatGPT? Standards would become obsolete!

For those that have not got their own models in place, yet : Not to worry. Please express data requirements and capabilities by the FEDeRATED ontology and you can join easily. On-boarding then can focus on ‘trust’ provided by an open infrastructure for Identification and Authentication. More to come at the FEDeRATED EU Data Logistics Festival on 30 November 2023 in Brussels. 

For the architects and humans

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Zailog Srl cordially hosted the 5th FEDeRATED LivingLab workshop in Verona. 42 persons, representing all 23 FEDeRATED LivingLabs and the IT Architecture Board, participated. As FEDeRATED is moving into its final project stages various topics were adressed:

  • FEDeRATED essentials - here
  • the way all LivingLabs have organised their stakeholder engagement 
  • the scope and technical setting of the LivingLabs, including the need for testing actual data exchange processes (various presentations were given, e.g. the Zailog example here)
  • the criteria to validate the LivingLabs against the FEDeRATED Reference Architecture and vice versa. here 
  • common LivingLabs - several common LivingLabs have been established 
  • the need for a migration strategy and a How to Guide
  • the development of a FEDeRATED node prototype 
  • the need for a digital mindset/ digital readiness (a Finnish and Dutch approach were presented)
  • the programme for the FEDeRATED final event on 30 November 2023 in Brussels (many highranking officials will be invited to participate and contribute)
  • the future of a federated network of platforms approach  (i.e.,  EU DTLF approach and the EU Mobility Data Space policy developments)
  • developing the FEDeRATED project results as a brand or rather as a new project.

All participants agreed on the need to continue developing the EU DTLF federated network of platforms approach, especially focusing on the need to put an harmonizing semantic interoperability approach in polac. FEDeRATED has established the foundations to enablke stakeholders to getting this done. Howevber, this will be an intensive and possibly revolutionary change management task. The rewards are high, namely:

  • to comply with the need for supply chain visibility,
  • to fulfill the upcoming green transport legislation requiring for full transparancy
  • to fully profit for available real time data. 

In short: FEDeRATED project has set the foundations inviting stakeholders to engage in a  change management approach to "Make Europe Great Again"IMG 0632

During the workshop, it was identified that data sharing within the context of a very limited number of data holders and data users is feasible for most LivingLabs and should be considered as a first step. The next step is opening up these data sharing practices to multiple stakeholders. This requires the development of a trusted and open environment where the participants act a node (decentralized data resource and user). Different towards a How to Get There were identified. A major question emerging: Who is going to arrange for this open and trusted environment, or rather data sharing grid for logistics?

Within a data sharing grid, participants need capabilities to act as a node. FEDeRATED has identified these capabilities. Most likely, it is public authorities that have to promote the generic technical specifications combined with a set of arrangements and a governance structure, also to deal with change management issues. Not an easy, but essential job. The raod ahead calls for collaborative innovation through stakeholder engagement, a digital mindset, practical business cases and a long term public authority commitment, most likely to be accompanied by a legal framework.

The workshop programme ended with a visit to the Zailiog terminal  more about the terminal here  :

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This Spring, FEDeRATED partners are spreading the word on the need for collaboration towards federated data driven collaborative innovations in freight transport and logistics in various places.

In Paris, 21 - 23 April, the FEDeRATED project coordinator contributed to a panel discussion on cargo, data and liability during the International Aviation Law Conference, hosted by PEOPIL  and McGill University, and attended by over 190 delegates.

In Istanbul, 25-27 April 2023, IATA's World Cargo Symposium attracted over 1200 delegates from the air transport sector. A key decision made during the conference was for the air transport industry to implement the IATA ONE Record data sharing standard by 1 January 2026 by all IATA’s member airlines. ONE Record - which is incorporated in FEDeRATED LL#11 - aims at interoperability with multimodal transport thereby enhancping efficiency, sustainability, and create new opportunities within the air cargo sector. 

IATA Conference

In Singapore, 24-28 April 2023, the Singapore Maritime Week attracted many visitors. During the Event,the Virtual Watchtower video  click - as well as its website -  www.virtualwatchtower.org - were released. Various aspects of the Virtual Watchtower project are incorporated in FEDeRATED LL#8, LL#13 and LL#14. During the Singapore Maritime Week, specific meetings were organised between SIngapore and Swedish delegates, aimed at intensifying data based collaboration in maritime transport.

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In virtual settings on 2 May, 51Biz presented LL#17   at  the TIMOR-LESTE national workshop organised by the UNESE national event thereby connecting the dots between the eFTI and FEDeRATED data at source architecture - click here   - and on 10 May, the FEDeRATED operational framework for data sharing in logistics was presented to the Stakeholder Workshop of the PrepDSpace4Mobility Coordination and Support ActionPrep for Coordination and Support Action. Click here

In Munich, 9-13 May, during the Logistics Transport Fair, various FEDeRATED partners actively participate. At the Codognotto booth, four workshops present to a wide range of visitors the contributions of the Netherlands (LL#20), Sweden (LL#5), Spain (LL#21) and Italy (LL#12 and LL#16) towards sustainable federated data sharing in logistiartner collaboration. 


In Barcelona, on 11 May, Puertos del Estado (LL#21actively participated in the eFTI Conference organised by the EC, whereby also 51Bizpresented its LL#17 business case.

In Geneva, on 12 May during the 3 day UN/ECEFE Forum, 51Bwill participate in a Seminar elaborating on the usefulness of data standards for green logistics and the technical developments regarding verifiable credentials.

Geneva 12 May

In Lisbon,  20-23 May during the ITS confereence, the FEDeRATED project and LL#5 will be actively promoted at the Nordic booth. During the various panel sessions - I.e, the EU eFTI Regulation & Digital Logistics, are you ready for the future? and on 5G and digitilisation in logistics, FEDeRATED will present its proposal for an EU operational framework for data sharing in logistics, also in connection to the work of ALICE, and EU projects, such as FENIX. 
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In Verona, 30 May-1 June at the 5th LivingLab workshop, all FEDeRATED assemble, connect the project dots, and charge their engines. 

Make Europe great again

EXTRA:  IATA's World Cargo Symposium abstract: Here is one the statements made at the plenary opening session by Brendan Sullivan, Global Head of Cargo, on digitization:

"In addition to specific efforts on sustainability, like any business air cargo needs to continuously improve its efficiency. And the area with greatest potential is digitalization.We have three goals:

First – 100% airline capability of ONE Record by January 2026
This initiative will replace the many data standards used for transport documents with a single record for every shipment. The Cargo Services Conference agreed on Sunday agreed that it wants to achieve 100% airline capability by 1 January 2026 and the Cargo Advisory Council supports this vision. And IATA will do everything in its power to facilitate that.

Second - Ensuring digital standards are in place to support the global supply chain
We have finalized standards on tracking devices – the IATA Interactive Cargo guidelines - used to monitor the quality and accuracy of conditions of time and temperature sensitive goods being shipped across the world. And our participation in the European Commission’s project “FEDeRATED” is reaching completion after a 5-year development of interoperable technologies and data architectures for use in multi-modal transport.

Third - Ensuring compliance and support for customs, trade facilitation and other government processes that are increasingly digitalized
The modernization agenda also includes governments. A lot of work has been done by nations to agree on and to evolve strategies for trade facilitation, reduce operational barriers at borders and to manage the flows of goods securely. Digitalization plays an important role here. One example is IATA’s work supporting the roll out of the EU’s new Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) System. PLACI went live on 1 March 2023 despite 12 European States not being ready and not having given definitive information about their timelines for readiness. We are working with these states to provide the necessary clarity to enable airlines to adapt their own implementation planning.

These are big projects. And they are pushing us in the right direction. But we need to move these forward even as the operating environment becomes more challenging."

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Workshop Gothenburg 12-14 December 2022

Some 35 people participated in the 4th FEDeRATED LivingLab Workshop in Gothenburg, generously hosted by Trafikverket. Two days of intensive and energetic discussions, not in the least to identify and how to effectively apply the specific technical specifications for federated sharing of data at source between various platforms.

The current state-of-the-art play was discussed relating the ongoing LivingLabs (LL). Specific attention was giving to:

  • stakeholder engagement to data sharing practices within the various LL business cases
  • the current LL technical settings that should enable data sharing, whereby special attention was giving to incorporation of one or more FEDeRATED technical specifications
  • to test the above in an operational setting.

In addition to the ongoing LivingLabs, 4 common LivingLabs were identified enabling the FEDERATED project to showcase how interoperability between the partners can concretely be realized. It is very  important to show there is a window of opportunities for realizing seamless multimodal transport operations.

The future of future proof data sharing inlogistics has only just begun. End 2023, during its Final Event,  FEDeRATED will deliver both-feet-on-the-ground foundations for realizing a viable EU Mobility Data Space in logistics. There is a huge potential for upscaling.

gothenburg workshop

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This project is co-funded by the European Commission Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)