Q&A with: Techniek Nederland
The Data Sharing Coalition is an open and growing, international initiative in which a large variety of organisations collaborate on unlocking the value of cross-sectoral data sharing. In our new, recurring blog section ‘Q&A with’, you learn more about our participants and their thoughts, vision and ideas about data sharing. Remco van der Linden, Director Techniek & Markt at Techniek Nederland, shares his thoughts.
1. Could you briefly introduce your organisation?
Techniek Nederland is the association of technical service providers, installation companies and technical retailers. More than any other sector, we make technical developments practically applicable and therefore socially relevant. We represent more than 6,300 companies and, as one of the largest employers’ organisations in the Netherlands, we are a significant factor.
2. To what extent is your organisation involved in data sharing (within and across sectors)?
Techniek Nederland is one of the initiators of the Digitization Deal Built Environment (DigiDeal Gebouwde Omgeving), in which the digital system thinking in the construction and technical industry is anchored. We have also been involved in chain collaboration regarding data and digital messaging for products and methods in installation processes. For this, we created an international classification standard for technical products (ETIM) and set up the 2BA data warehouse with chain partners. We encourage data sharing in projects, such as services “Open UOB” (Uniform Object Library) and the Central Register of Technology. Based on open standards and classifications, we connect the data we use within the industry in business processes, such as calculation time standards and product data. To this end, we participate in the various organisations that are established for this.
We are now also connecting with initiatives outside of our industry, for example energy and sustainability (Nationale Milieu Database, Materialen Paspoort). In relation to the energy transition, we are more frequently asked to supply data and standards from our industry. For quality and craftsmanship, we connect the information from quality schemes, certifications of companies and competences of professionals.
3. Why is or should sharing data be important for your industry or domain?
Sharing data enables you to reduce failure costs and collaborate more efficiently. Moreover, the delivered installations are used in all kinds of situations where both static information and process information are required, e.g. for predictable maintenance, remote maintenance and adopting installations during the lifecycle.
Sharing data also plays a role in various societal transitions such as sustainability, living independently at home for longer, and even in the job market. For all these transitions, cross-border data helps to get inside information to adapt installations to specific applications (e.g. type of energy source, energy label of buildings, specific kinds of households). We also contribute to the new, to be developed scheme called ‘Digitaal Stelsel Gebouwde Omgeving’.
4. What are the most promising data sharing developments and trends you see in your sector?
We make a ‘Digital Twin’ available during design (or renovation) of a building. We do this by setting up a digital model containing all the information required for the physical construction or renovation of the building. The Digital Twin is then made available as a building file. Furthermore, ‘real time’ information from various installations and sensors of building parts allows you to optimally perform maintenance and service. Thus, the Digital Twin is a perspective that enables you to add various types of information for the entire built environment. This could apply to all construction works, such as greenhouses, homes, office buildings, factories and even entire Digital Twin cities. The value of data sharing functionality and common agreements in this space is evident for predictable maintenance, managing energy flows and providing services.
5. How do you see the future of data sharing, and what steps are you currently taking in that direction?
Data sharing is the future. The ownership of the entitled party should be respected. Connecting initiatives is of great importance. Consider the statement ‘almost is fatal’: to have confidence in the data we receive from others, we must get reliable, secured data for specific processes. If that data is used in the construction, design and installation process, it has to be 100% correct. We are working on this through the system approach in the construction and technology sector. We also include that in our services at industry level.
Data sharing is the future and connecting initiatives is of great importance.
6. Why are you participating in the Data Sharing Coalition?
The Data Sharing Coalition is working on enabling cross-sectoral data sharing between companies and institutions. The entitled party must retain control over its data. In this way, new opportunities can be realised for companies and institutions from different sectors. Techniek Nederland can add value to this network. We represent most of the installers and contractors in the Netherlands. We inform them and start initiatives to demonstrate the added value of data sharing. That’s how we contribute to the vision of data sharing and the necessary preconditions.
Do you want to know which organisations are participating in the Data Sharing Coalition? Read more.