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NTT DATA And DENSO Start To Build An Industry-wide Ecosystem For EV Batteries

In September 2022, NTT DATA Corporation ("NTT DATA") and DENSO Corporation ("DENSO") started to build an industry-wide ecosystem for electric vehicle (EV) batteries to create a global trusted dataspaces where only necessary data can be shared, while also protecting private data.

Overview of the Global Trusted Dataspaces

The new battery regulation currently being reviewed in Europe will require disclosure of CO2 emissions and the resource recycling rate throughout battery lifecycles to the European Commission. In the future, when Japanese companies sell EVs, including battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), in the European market, they will be required to meet this regulation in Europe. To make this possible, it is necessary to build a common platform for securely sharing data between suppliers in the value chain, instead of requiring respective companies to meet the regulation individually.

NTT DATA and DENSO have therefore jointly applied for the solicitation of proposals under the subsidy program of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to create an industry-wide ecosystem for EV batteries. The two companies were officially approved as business operators in September 2022.(1) In the future, the platform used for the ecosystem is intended to serve as a next-generation information infrastructure, allowing for the secure use of data among companies in different industries, including EV batteries.

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NTT DATA and DENSO will launch a study on a common platform for the automotive and manufacturing industries with the aim of commercializing services by the end of FY2023.

1. Background

To solve social issues such as attaining carbon neutrality, a recycling-oriented society, and human rights due diligence, a new mechanism is required for accurately distributing the data possessed by respective organizations across the supply chain. To prevent differences in business practices and legal regulations in respective countries and regions from hampering data distribution, data-sharing platforms have been studied in various countries in collaboration with many companies and organizations. Examples include building mechanisms such as Gaia-X,(2) which is a common standard for data distribution platforms in Europe, and Catena-X,(3) which is led by German automakers and IT companies.

It is expected that Japanese companies that do business with German automotive companies will be required to distribute data via Catena-X. If they do so in accordance with the batteries regulation in Europe, data related to trade secrets, such as information on the raw materials of automotive components and order taking and placement, in addition to the carbon footprint ("CFP") information, will be stored in data centers located overseas. This may raise concerns for Japanese companies from the viewpoint of information management. Thus, Japan needs a unique system which can be interconnected with data spaces(4) in Europe while safely ensuring data management based on Japan's policy.

To take on this challenge, NTT DATA and DENSO will launch a study on a data space for the automotive and manufacturing industries ("the data space") to manage life cycle data on EV batteries and build an industry-wide ecosystem for EV batteries.

2. Specific efforts

NTT DATA and DENSO will study a method for calculating the CFP information of the supply chain, which is required to build an industry-wide ecosystem for batteries that are crucial for the spread of EVs, and for visualizing environmental considerations in terms of scarce resources and human rights (human rights and environmental due diligence ("DD")) in the data space.

As part of such efforts, NTT DATA and DENSO jointly applied for a METI subsidy program for FY2022 and were approved as business operators in September 2022. The two companies will work with relevant organizations to study a way of sharing, accumulating, and exchanging information on the calculation of CFP and implementation of DD in an industry-wide ecosystem for batteries. NTT DATA has worked with Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation ("NTT") and NTT Communications Corporation ("NTT Com") to build the platform and create Japan's data space, which is connected to platforms for safely exchanging data between companies.Note 5 In this study, NTT DATA will collaborate with NTT Com and build the data space by leveraging the know-how of NTT DATA, which has a track record in building and operating large-scale social platforms.

Meanwhile, DENSO has been developing traceability technology for safely managing information of individual parts and products on data platforms by utilizing the QR Code, which was developed in-house, and block chain technology, which is used in all industries, and connecting physical "things," including in-vehicle batteries, with "data" on battery life and raw materials accompanying individual parts and products. In this study, DENSO will identify issues in the industry and study business requirements by harnessing its technologies and wealth of know-how in the automotive industry with a view to utilizing traceability technology in various industries in the future.

3. Future vision

NTT DATA and DENSO aim to commercialize the service by the end of FY2023 in anticipation of the batteries regulation in Europe, which will partially come into force in 2024. In line with this study, the two companies will also start to examine the establishment of a new organization for operating the data space.

NTT DATA and DENSO will also establish a structure and system in Japan and deploy them in Asian countries where Japanese cars are widely used, with the aim of creating a platform which will be widely used both in Japan and overseas in the future.

(1) NTT DATA and DENSO applied for the following subsidy program of METI (secretariat of the subsidy program: Green Investment Promotion Organization, a general incorporated association), and their proposal was accepted.
"Project Expense Subsidies for Demonstration and Support to Cope with CASE, Including Autonomous Driving, in FY2022 (Project to Promote Creation of a Healthy Product Ecosystem and Establishment of Rules)" (carbon footprint and reuse/recycling as well as creation of a global trusted dataspaces) (in Japanese) (in Japanese)
(2) Gaia-X is an initiative announced by the German and French governments in October 2019 to support data sharing via infrastructure that ensures data protection, transparency, reliability, and interoperability to protect the rights of European companies, governments, institutions and citizens.
(3) Catena-X is a data ecosystem operated by German automakers and suppliers for the secure distribution of parts information and other data among related companies.
(4) A data space is managed based on a single policy.
(5) Regarding past efforts, refer to the following press releases.
*NTT Com Demonstration Test to Link GAIA-X Platform's "IDS Connector" Technology and SDPF based on Data Trust (September 2020)
*NTT Com's Prototype Platform Securely Shares CO2 Emissions-related Data from Switzerland to Sites in Germany and Japan (April 2021)
*NTT Com Starts Interconnection Trials Using Platform Connecting Gaia-X (European Secure Data-sharing Platform for Supply Chain Companies) with Systems of Domestic and Overseas Companies/Organizations (October 2021)
*NTT Com and NTT DATA to Develop Data-sharing Eco-system that Interconnects with Europe's Catena-X Platform to Protect Data Sovereignty (May 2022)
*NTT DATA Publishes White Paper on the Architectural Concept for Its Global Trusted Dataspaces (June 2022)
(6) iQuattro is a business collaboration & IoT platform offered by NTT DATA. (in Japanese)

*The names of products, companies, and organizations in this release are trademarks or registered trademarks of respective companies.

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