FEDeRATED: From POC to POC
FEDeRATED: From POC to POC
FEDeRATED: From POC to POC
FEDeRATED is all about joining hands, from the most daring to the timidest. The former leads by example and dives into the muddy waters of the unknown while the latter closes his eyes, holds his breath, and reassures himself by thinking of the Shadoks.
We hope that the 23 ongoing projects, also known as "Living labs," will not suffer the same fate as the Shadoks, nor the semantic model they aim to implement. This ambitious initiative aims to be pragmatic and prioritize early implementation of the project. While it is false to say that the more it fails, the more chances it has to work, we cannot deny that without trying, it will not work.
FEDeRATED wants to build "bridges over the murky waters" (sic) of today's poorly, not or badly connected logistics networks. In three pivots this gives :
- Decompartmentalize the networks,
- Make data interoperable,
- Strengthen cooperation between information infrastructures.
In one sentence, this translates into: Creating and testing environments to share data, collaborate and guide future design decisions of the European ecosystem.
In binary, this translates into a Developer portal that allows to visualize and manipulate the data model(article to come) and the associated ontology.
From a constellation of isolated systems, we want to achieve a federated network whose core is the exchange of data in a secure, neutral and open manner. We first want to design the framework and the rules that apply to it, and then test what has been imagined in real conditions by actually choosing the services, technologies, programming languages, data models and data sets to be used. It remains to be understood, among other things, what the notions of"secure, neutral and open" contain.
The project promotes the desire to facilitate and maintain interactions between administrations and companies (first challenge), across borders (second challenge), while harmonizing data exchange practices (third challenge). Underneath the technical and technological veneer, there is a unanimous desire to reduce the "red tape" effect, i.e. to get rid of red tape and bureaucracy. Strangely enough, the expression " red tape " has no equivalent in Voltaire's country, where the art of satire and of the sharp word rarely spares the shortcomings of our bureaucracy or that of others.
The stakeholders on all sides seem to be shouting "Let's take out the mammoth!" without being able to abandon the duty of reserve of their official positions. On the front line, they want to provide users in the broadest sense with the means to communicate effectively, and for this to happen, the IT systems must also follow and understand each other behind the scenes.
Who is it?
Fifteen partners, public and private, from six EU member states are involved in the FEDeRATED project. If we want to put names and faces to it, we can mention Roeland van Bockel, the chief coordinator who initially works for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment of the Netherlands, and Guido Piccoli who manages the communication around the project and works for Codognotto (3PL service provider). Contact section
Three bodies that bring the project to fruition: two working groups on the theoretical aspects plus a constellation of projects - 23 - of various sizes on the practical side. The minds that theorize are divided between theArchitecture workshop and the Semantic workshop while the shapers express themselves in the 23 Living labs.
Global governance is ensured by a set of several official bodies, get out your anglicisms.
The Consortium Board is the supervisory body, all project beneficiaries are part of it, as well as DG MOVE and until 2020 INEA. INEA has been in charge of an allocation of 23.7 billion € for the transport market between 2014 and 2020. INEA has become CINEA, in charge of the CEF. The Project Board (PB) oversees the project coordination with members from the Consortium Board, DG MOVE and INEA. It is composed of a Coordinator and several Activity leaders. The Project Coordination Group (PCG) manages the operational aspects of the projects, in conjunction with the European Commission, and orchestrates the work of theIT Architecture Board and the Peer Review Team. TheIT architecture board (IAB) is a panel of 6 IT experts who assist the Activity leaders on the state of the art of data exchange in logistics, and in particular they make the link with the work of the DTLF. On the other side of the design, the Semantic modelling group (SMG) welcomes partners who are not direct beneficiaries of the project. There are 5 to 10 representatives who develop the semantic data model to prepare the ground for connections with the EU work and to achieve the holy grail: a multimodal and comprehensive semantic data model based on the state of the art in operational practices and IT platform design.
FEDeRATED deploys projects on a part of the European Union territories and does not exclude cooperation with countries or companies outside the EU for cooperation within the project.
List of countries directly or indirectly concerned by a Living Lab :
- United Kingdom
Regions outside Europe are also concerned, such as the Middle East, the United States, Turkey, Egypt, Singapore and China.
The working groups have been phosphating since the end of 2019 and plan to reach their final conclusions and recommendations by the end of 2023, i.e. a few months before the emergence of eFTI as an obligation for public authorities.
Four simultaneous phases are taking place since 2019 and will end in 2023: Vision, Master plan, Pilots and Living labs, and Consultation.
The core and opportunities of a federated network of platforms (i.e. a network of interoperable eFTI platforms or eFTI service provider platforms) are defined, the minimum dataset for the realization of such a network is designed, and the functional and technical specifications to be used to code the functionalities into a product are established. Finally, we put them into practice in the framework of a Living Lab (POC) from A to Z: registration of the participants, provision of access points for the different systems that must communicate together, sharing of information through the platforms, and finally we meet for huge feedback with the stakeholders of the FEDeRATED project and the other CEF projects (e.g. the FENIX project) intending to integrate the mechanisms tested on a European scale.
The progress of the various projects is regularly reported in the Mid-term event, Consultation report, and other Peer reviews.
The aim is to achieve convergence between transport and logistics services. For example, we can create a space to compare traffic, accessibility, weather, and price data with logistics data related to the goods, such as dates, names, weights, or transport modes. We thus reconstruct a (virtual) place where each actor has a direct access point to all the data that concerns him, rather than a constellation of actors who each have "a" truth and a part of the data that affects everyone.
We want to take a pragmatic approach that relies on "builders" above all, that reuses existing tools (geonames) rather than reinventing the wheel, that confronts public and private actors, develops existing links but above all creates links between entities that do not normally collaborate. And the fruit of this work must be available within a knowledge base accessible to all which will be one of the deliverables of FEDeRATED.
Beware of nebulous anglicisms. We often read that the tools created will be so many ramifications towards Smart mobility. This may resonate with a certain long-term vision of the market, but it has little resonance for the philistine mind of the author of these lines.
The initiative highlights the potential for digitization to act as a powerful catalyst for improvements that can benefit both the public and private sectors. However, this potential has not been fully realized due to historical standards that were not initially adapted to practices and the compartmentalized use of standards by transport mode. Additionally, a fragmented legal landscape has made it complex to understand and navigate.
From another angle, the evolution of the transportation market and associated technologies is pushing public authorities to question access to data, especially in a context where large companies and the platforms they manage can represent a threat to open access to data for SMEs and individuals.
Perhaps the reason for an initiative such as FEDeRATED is mercantile. Every new technology has its siren song and its hopes of profit, are existential. Who are we to see the future on such a scale? Or mixed - we are probably all learning as we walk, how to make good use of digitalization and the essence of such initiatives is perhaps simply to allow us to take a few steps, fall, and start again, a little stronger and a little more enlightened.
On March 29, 2022, the workshop "The Soul of the Machine" took place with 52 people to review three ongoing projects: architecture, semantics and living labs. The core of the efforts is now focused on reducing the gaps between the theoretical model (architecture and semantics) and its actual implementation in the living labs. Grimaldi and his Hermes Living Lab and Codognotto and his D4YOU Living lab were able to detail the content of their tests.
On April 11, 2022, Henk Mulder gave a series of webinars on some practical use cases of the FEDeRATED semantic model.