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The BDI Framework recognizes three interacting governance structures: Data space governance, BDI Association (local trust and onboarding anchor) governance and BDI Framework governance.

Data space governance

The locus of differentiation in a data space:

  • specific semantics
  • compliance with specific regulations
  • specific terms and conditions
  • specific data licenses
  • specific components
    • connectors/APIs, registers
    • components like brokers, contract negotiators, clearing houses, service registry, and market places are related to data trading
  • specific processes


Example: transport and logistics
In transport and logistics, for example, one can identify over 30 distinct segments, based on differences in modality (air, sea, rail, inland shipping,  road, pipeline) and type of cargo (bulk, liquid bulk (oil, chemicals, foodstuffs), container, or other characteristics (perishable, phytosanitary, excise, export restrictions, pharma, dangerous goods, etc.).


Managing specific agreements
Each data space will have its own governance to collectively manage these specific agreements. An operations data space in an existing sector will most likely be supported by existing sector bodies (such as IATA, IMO) that already perform similar common functions in the existing physical world, such as maintaining sector-specific terms and conditions, semantics, and standards.


Participating in data spaces
Entities wishing to participate in a given data space need to adhere to the common agreements and implement the components required. It is up to the data space to require onboarding and/or certification, if needed. Preferably, a data space builds upon the common infrastructure (data grid), lowering the threshold for participation by increasing interoperability.


BDI Association
The BDI Association is the (local) legal entity that serves as the operational anchor for both federated trust/authentication and local onboarding in the infrastructure (data grid). Members of BDI Associations participate in as many data spaces as they see fit. Data spaces are virtual networks between members of many different BDI Associations, who interact directly.

Members from other BDI Associations are treated with zero-trust principles in mind, which is fitting for a perimeter-free network that can span the globe.


Locally orientated
The association is most likely (but not by definition) local because trust and reputation are quite sensitive to proximity and a high frequency of interaction. The economic gravity effect shows that geographical proximity has a causal relationship with the level of trade. Also, legal systems are national and/or trade bloc dependent – for instance under the UK and NL/EU law.


BDI Framework

The BDI Framework assumes that many associations are formed and changed/split/merged in a natural manner, as their members see fit. It defines how federated trust, federated reputation, and federated authentication are created spanning multiple associations, independent of data spaces.


BDI Framework governance

The BDI Framework maintenance body is seen as a regular open standards organization. This organization is being developed.

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