Building the fair data economy for Europe

Sitra’s IHAN project 2018-2021 has ended

The work towards a fair data economy continues 

Finland is continuing to develop trusted data-sharing services, the associated architecture and the IHAN project’s testbed under a national eSociety initiative – Virtual Finland, now the responsibility of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs.


Towards a seamless and more sustainable digital world for individuals, companies and governments

Sitra's mission

Sitra is on a mission to make our digital world fair and more human-driven. The data economy has long been governed by companies and governments, but more human-driven ways of managing data are needed to enable greater well-being and to make it easier to live with data – what is known as the fair data economy.

IHAN project

Sitra’s IHAN project (2018–2021) made significant contributions towards the fair data economy and developed ways to build it. Although the IHAN project has now ended, Sitra is continuing the work to create a more seamless and sustainable digital world by ensuring the impact of the developed building blocks.

Foundations for Finland

The IHAN testbed is now being transferred to be the Finnish national data economy testbed under the control of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Stay tuned to hear more in early 2022.


Sitra together with the IHAN community defined the key building blocks for the fair data economy

A rulebook, a distributed architecture and standards are the key enablers for the emergence of the fair data economy. The IHAN project developed these building blocks to help organisations and individuals build more seamless, trusted and ethical data-driven services.


The rulebook sets out the juridical framework and defines the agreements needed for any data-sharing ecosystem to operate. It helps the ecosystem’s partners to set up a scalable operating environment for trusted data sharing.

Read more about Sitra's generic Rulebook


The IHAN data economy architecture defines the distributed and open standard-based components that allow companies, governments and individuals to share data in an easy and trusted manner with users’ consents.

Read more about the Blueprint and Finland's first iteration for the fair data economy architecture


Data interoperability and trust in digital services are built by creating open standards. The future data economy will require open standardisation for data products with contextualisation, user authentication and data consent. The IHAN project created a platform for standardisation by publishing the first CEN/CENELEC standard.

Read more about the first published standard

Access the technical data product definitions made for the use of IHAN testbed business pilots and created for future data standardisation work

Not just on paper but also in practice

The building blocks developed by the IHAN community helped create the first real-world business pilots using Europe’s first data economy testbed.

The IHAN project was not just about committing frameworks, architecture and standards to paper but also about the live implementation of the IHAN testbed to prove that the building blocks work in practice and that the various business pilot projects are relevant and meet real business needs.

Paperless trade finance

The global trade that moves the goods we consume still relies on paper-based processes that are centuries old. The exporter Wärtsilä and the bank SEB carried out an experiment in trusted digital data exchange in an effort to improve the out-of-date Letter of Credit processes without compromising any of their confidential company data. The results of the experiment were groundbreaking.

See the demo video

Press releases
Digital Living International

Seamless customer experience

As a public funding organisation, Business Finland provides its customers with a multitude of different services and funding instruments. Although relying on the market-leading CRM systems, they have been unable to provide the experience they would like for their customers. By testing the models and capabilities on the IHAN testbed they were able create a new development path towards interoperable services and seamless customer experience boosted by artificial intelligence.

See the demo video

Digital company service

The Finnish tax administration (Vero) and its partners have long been investigating and contributing to the development process needed to better serve both Finnish and foreign companies in Finland. The data sharing between companies and public and private stakeholders is still far too cumbersome and a lot of resources are wasted by siloed and untrusted data. The IHAN testbed was used to investigate whether the operating environment for companies in Finland could be improved with fully digital and trusted data sharing between the public and private sectors.

See the demo video



For further information please send email to Sitra team to:

© The Finnish Innovation Fund Sitra