Utilizing data-driven collaboration as a competitive advantage

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ACStyria mobility cluster and Know-Center have created the “Styria Model Region – Data-Driven Ecosystem for Production” to make supply chains more profitable, resilient and sustainable, creating a competitive advantage for the continuously growing number of companies involved.

Utilizing data-driven collaboration as a competitive advantage

Modellregion beim internationalen Logistik Sommer Leoben, © ILS, Valerie Maltseva

Numerous companies are already optimizing their internal production and logistics processes via data and artificial intelligence. The next logical step, an optimization across the company boundaries and consequently a transformation of supply chains into data-driven value-added networks, has failed so far due to the lack of legal basis and trust between those involved. However, innovative data technology is now establishing new rules when it comes to sharing sensitive data and the related data-driven collaboration based.

Sharing sensitive data

A group of scientists at Know Center is working on new methods as part of a basic research project funded by the FFG, which will enable secure sharing of confidential data in the future. For example, so-called homomorphic encryption allows performing calculations based on encrypted data without ever revealing it. Based on this and other methods, an artificially intelligent system can be trained using large amounts of data from different sources according to the principle of federated learning, which forms the basis for further operations. In this case, data from the individual sources is revealed to the respective owners exclusively.

Utilizing data-driven collaboration as a competitive advantage

Föderales Lernen in der Produktion, © Know-Center

Securing a technological lead

Currently, research activities in this area are so advanced that companies that come first benefit by obtaining technological advantage due to early application. However, the new methods’ full potential is primarily revealed by the cooperation between companies within a larger economic ecosystem, such as along the manufacturing industry’s supply chains. Which is why cooperation is key to becoming one of those pioneers who benefit from new technologies. At International Logistics Summer 2021, Know-Center and ACStyria presented for the first time the “Model Region of Styria – Data-Driven Ecosystem for Production” to the public and a network of interested companies.

First use cases disclose potential

By means of its manufacturing industry, Styria creates a microcosm of supply chains, with several companies already working together in a spirit of trust. At the same time, the degree of digitization and the available data volumes resulting thereof are considerable. Based on that, use cases are jointly developed by a growing number of partner companies within the model region and translated into concrete projects. First examples have already demonstrated enormous potential: For instance, as part of a label of origin, certification across the supply chain and the calculation of conformity and sustainability parameters, such as the CO2 footprint, are carried out. Cross-company sales forecasts should enable global production optimization and transportation within an entire economic ecosystem, and high-tech production processes will offer more flexibility by expanding digital twins beyond the company boundaries.

For more information: www.trustyoursupplychain.com

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