The EU’s GDPR and Data Governance Act will push the uptake of Web3 (which is all about trust, transparency, and self-control of data). Unlike competing ledger technologies, the Solid protocols are based on open & interoperable W3C standards. As such, following the Linked Open Data approach any kind of data can be used in a Solid ecosystem. Having said that, any data vertical needs its own specific end-to-end semantic descriptions, mappings, enrichment, publication and querying strategies, based on generic Open Source tooling. Scoping the required fundamental research (both technical and societal) is needed to advance the State of the Art in a timely and measurable way, hence, a Flemish academic consortium (UGent, KUL, VUB) with specific unsolved Solid related questions will jointly tackle here the urgent issues at hand. As such, both technological issues & optimisations, insights in new possible business models & market interaction, and end user experiences & (legal) adoption will be studied starting from the specific technical implementation based on Solid standards and related to the specific Use Cases we will get from our mutual interaction with the Solid Community Flanders (https://solidcommunity.be). As this is groundbreaking research in both a new and uncharted technological and business ecosystem the obtained initial technological, societal, and business insights will be directly broadly applicable within Flanders and other decentralized data ecosystems, such as International Data Space Association (https://internationaldataspaces.org/) & GAIA-X (https://www.gaia-x.eu/). Our research concretely covers 4 topics, i.e.,

1) Societal Research

  • User research on SOLID readiness
  • Research on business collaboration & new revenue models for SOLID-based services
  • Research into Interface & User Experience (UX) Design for SOLID-based Apps

2) Technical Research

  • Research on Interoperability of personal data sources
  • Research POD Integrity including access management & archiving
  • Research to scaling up the Solid network including caching mechanisms & federated querying
  • Research on optimizing SOLID Workflows, Processes and accompanying Orchestration
  • Research on Information Security including privacy, security, and identity management

3) Offering an open CSS, SDK, and E2E experimentation

  • Community Solid Server (CSS) – open software to provide data pods & an environment to create and test new Solid applications
  • Software Development Kit (SDK) – support sustainable & scalable apps via building blocks for the developer ecosystem
  • Experimentation Tech Environment – large-scale testing and simulation to automatically deploy thousands of pods with artificial data & accompanying & Interop testing
  • Experimentation Panel Environment – large-scale user experience testing both on user adoption, business value, and UX-design

4) Quadruple Helix Dissemination via

  • Solid Community Flanders (solidcommunity.be) get-togethers on potential Use Cases, Tech Knowledge Transfer, and Business Opportunities collaboration
  • White Papers (Societal, Legal, Business. Technical)
  • Solid Competence Centre  – courses for C-level decision makers, Tech engineers, Business Development, and Data Protection Officers