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Shaping Europe’s digital future

Simpl: Cloud-to-edge federations empowering EU data spaces

Simpl is an open source, smart and secure middleware platform that supports data access and interoperability among European data spaces.

    someone accessing data on the cloud via a computer

© Miha Creative AdobeStock

Simpl plays a major role in the creation of the Common European Data Spaces. These are data ecosystems where users in the same ecosystem share data in a safe and secure manner. Simpl gives data providers full control over who accesses their data in such data spaces.

More about Simpl

Simpl is composed of 3 products: 

The three core products of simpl

  • Simpl-Open: an open-source software stack that powers data spaces and other cloud-to-edge federation initiatives.
  • Simpl-Labs: an environment for data spaces to experiment with open-source software and assess their level of interoperability with Simpl. Specifically, sectoral data spaces in their early stages of inception will be able to experiment with the deployment, maintenance, and support of the open-source software stack before deploying it for their own needs. Furthermore, more mature data spaces will be able to use Simpl-Labs to assess their level of interoperability with Simpl-Open.
  • Simpl-Live: distinct instances of the Simpl-Open software stack deployed for specific sectoral data spaces where the European Commission itself plays an active role in their management.

Simpl is guided by 5 principles: 

  1. Anchored to specific use cases: Simpl will ensure that data sets and their infrastructure can be seamlessly interconnected and made interoperable.
  2. Smart and modular: Simpl will allow the replacement or addition of components without affecting the rest of the system.
  3. Open source: Simpl will be publicly accessible, and allow anyone to see, modify and distribute it. This will insights into all parts of the architecture without any proprietary claims, and simple deployment.
  4. Green, scalable and agile: Simpl will allow the monitoring of its environmental performance, and the addition of new users without affecting performance.
  5. Secure and interoperable: Simpl will ensure trust, confidence and compliance with regulations are built into the system. This implies an effortless sharing of resources between participants, regardless of their data processing environment. It creates an abstraction layer that enables data to flow across multiple providers and Member States.

The European Commission's role regarding Simpl is to: 

Description of the European Commission's role for simpl

  • be the contracting authority procuring Simpl;
  • offer Simpl freely as an open-source tool that both public and private sectors can benefit from, serving European citizens;
  • deploy its own instances of Simpl as an active stakeholder of some forthcoming data spaces;
  • be the main operator of some public sector-specific data spaces;
  • make open testing environments available for stakeholders to try out Simply before deployment.

More details about Simpl are listed in the set of clarifications about Simpl (.pdf)

Getting Involved

The business requirements underpinning the development of Simpl are progressively published and open for comments;

A proof-of-concept will be released by summer 2024.

The repository for the source code of Simpl-Open will be released at the same time as the proof-of-concept.

A Minimum Viable Platform will be released by the end of 2024.

To learn more about Simpl:

Funding

Simpl is funded through the DIGITAL Europe Work Programme, under topic 2.1.1, and more generally across Specific Objective 2 (Cloud, data, and Artificial Intelligence) which considers Simpl for their deployment.

Procurement 

Simpl has been procured through two framework contracts.

The first framework contract concerns the development of Simpl itself. Following a Call for Tenders in Spring 2023, this framework contract was  awarded to 2 consortia in October 2023.

The first specific contract was awarded to the consortium led by Eviden Belgium (BE) and includes Aruba (IT), Capgemini Nederland (NL), Engineering International Belgium (BE), IONOS (DE), and COSMOTE Global Solutions (BE), a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. 

The second framework contract concerns the provision of administrative and quality assessment services for the developments of the first specific contract. 

This framework contract was awarded to Indra Soluciones Tecnologias de la Informacion SL (ES).

Preparatory Study

Background information on Simpl can be found in the following preparatory study conducted in 2022.

The handover report (.pdf)  best summarises its outcome.

The details are in the other deliverables (all PDFs):

Moreover, the contractor who conducted the preparatory work organised a presentation of its findings on 30 May 2022, where they provided details on the background, vision, and possible implementation of Simpl.

The video presentations are available here:

You may find further details about the policy context in:

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Big Picture

Common European Data Spaces

Common European Data Spaces will make more data available for access and reuse. This will be done in a trustworthy and secure environment for the benefit of European businesses and citizens.