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SOFIE - Secure Open Federation for Internet Everywhere

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SOFIE (SOFIE - Secure Open Federation for Internet Everywhere)

Reporting period: 2019-07-01 to 2020-12-31

One of the biggest problem of IoT systems is fragmentation, which prevents different IoT systems interacting with each other. Most IoT platforms are vertically oriented closed systems, dedicated to specific application areas. Building systems that require connecting multiple silos, sometimes even owned and operated by different organisations, requires new approaches to also overcome these hurdles. The main goal of SOFIE is to enable diversified applications from various application areas to utilise heterogeneous IoT platforms and autonomous things across technological, organisational, and administrative borders in an open and secure manner, making reuse of existing infrastructure and data easy. The main innovation behind SOFIE is to use interledger technologies to connect the IoT silos by linking multiple DLTs. This allows us to use different types of DLTs to optimise the architecture and achieve sufficient level of trust in a decentralised manner, which in turn will lowers barriers of entry to the markets and fosters the competition.

The SOFIE project produced the following major outcomes: First, a technical solution comprised of:
1) a definition of a secure, open, decentralised and scalable IoT federation architecture,
2) a solution to enable IoT data usage and device actuation across applications and platforms in a secure and controlled way,
3) a solution to enable the simultaneous use of several blockchains and/or other Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs), and
4) an IoT Federation Framework to facilitate the creation of open business platforms.

Second, the solution was validate and disseminated by:
5) deploying and validating the SOFIE federation framework in laboratory environment and in four widely different real-life pilots,
6) evaluating the commercial viability of the SOFIE federation approach in creating business platforms, and
7) establishing the SOFIE IoT federation approach as a major enabler in the IoT industry.

SOFIE has raised its key technical contributions from Technology Readiness Level 2 (“technology concept formulated”) to Technology Readiness Levels 6 (“technology demonstrated in relevant environment) and 7 (“system prototype demonstration in operational environment”).

The SOFIE project has shown that interledger technologies and DLTs are suitable solutions for enabling interoperability and providing decentralised trust. This provides several major benefits for the economy and society including: lower barriers of entry to the markets especially for SMEs and other small players, more competition, and increased transparency. SOFIE Framework has been released as open source (https://github.com/SOFIE-project/Framework) and has already gathered interest from community.
SOFIE architecture development started with a state-of-the-art survey, covering the most important technologies related to the project. Afterwards, three iterations of the SOFIE architecture and framework were created. The SOFIE Framework has been published as open source at: https://github.com/SOFIE-project/Interledger-development.

Our integration environment, consisting of Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD), was tailored and deployed to streamline the development process and improve the code quality.

SOFIE pilots developed their respective use cases and scenarios, system architectures, and integrated SOFIE components to their on-site deployments. The evaluation work consisted of developing a joint DLT testbed between the partners, evaluating the SOFIE framework components, IoT resource access alternatives and related tradeoffs, researching business models, simulating and evaluating SOFIE pilot-related scenarios, and evaluating results from the pilots.

SOFIE has actively disseminated its results. SOFIE website, social media accounts, flyer, introductory video, and quarterly newsletter were created, and 31 blog posts were published on the website on relevant topics. SOFIE organised three workshops and actively participated in various events, including hackathons, IoT Week 2018 and 2019, ICT2018 conference, Cyberwatching.eu initiative, and IoTForum. Finally, results of the SOFIE were published in 34 scientific publications.
SOFIE's key contribution beyond the current state of the art are in the following areas:
1) Enabling industry-wide open business platforms for the IoT,
2) Enabling secure and open federation utilising multiple DLTs and other ledgers,
3) Extending inter-ledger transactions from payments to the IoT world and adding device actuation, and
4) Allowing user-controlled identities to be used in federation without additional certification or any global root of trust.

On the ecosystem level, SOFIE framework overcomes the limitations in conventional value chains and entry barriers related to the IoT, underpinning and accelerating the development of cohesive and productive innovation ecosystems – open IoT business platforms. Through enabling different distributed ledgers to be used simultaneously, SOFIE allows companies to leverage their competitive advantages and allows complementary product offerings, including new technologies and services. The SOFIE business ecosystem embraces complemental actors, enabling development and dynamism, resembling a living structure which evolves, emerges and develops dynamically. Finally, SOFIE reduces business friction by reducing transaction costs and allowing contractual obligations to be automatically verified.
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