1. Objectives and target groups

  • Creation of consistent data chains across the entire automotive value chain, 

  • a common standard for the secure exchange of data and information between all parties involved in the automotive industry, 

  • a network for automotive companies, their partners as well as for users, technical providers and suppliers, 

  • an open approach for the joint further development of a fair data economy. 


All enterprises involved in value creation can use the Catena-X data ecosystem: small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as large automotive manufacturers (OEMs) and their direct suppliers. 


No, Catena-X first defines guidelines and provides reference implementations for secure data exchange along the automotive value creation chain.  

We are currently focusing on the automotive value chain. We also include logistics, chemicals, services and other companies that make a corresponding contribution, for example, to traceability or the circular economy. 

Participation in the network is not mandatory. However, since consistent data chains provide benefits for the entire automotive industry, connectivity is also worthwhile for you. Perhaps you have been invited by one of your partners to join us? Or you are yourself interested in secure information exchange with full data sovereignty? Here you will find details: Introducing & implementing Catena-X 

Catena-X connects providers and users irrespective of their company size. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) also have the opportunity to take part in digital value addition. The development of "SME-ready" solutions that can be easily adapted for them is an essential objective of the development consortium.

2. Structure and procedure

Catena-X consists of three independent organizational elements:  

  1. The Catena-X Automotive Network e.V. 

  2. The Catena-X development consortium,  

  3. The planned operating environment. 

Please find details via this link.

Catena is the Latin Word for chain. The X symbolizes the network of partners. Catena-X therefore stands for the network of partners in the automotive value chain. 

Every development, every Catena-X project goes through three phases:  

Phase 1: Creation of the foundations for the data ecosystem 

As an association, we support the establishment of standardized interfaces and processes and develop proposals for governance and corresponding guidelines (policies). 

We are working closely with Gaia-X: Catena-X is the first implementation project of Gaia-X that stands for data sovereignty and transparency of the participants. See also Gaia-X.  

Important results of this phase are efficient organizational structures in the association, the structure of interfaces to the development department and the development of antitrust-compliant standards and certificates. 

Phase 2: Standardization, certification and establishment of the operation 

Catena-X is based on open source principles and opens up the possibility for companies that use it to establish further services and business models. At Catena-X Automotive Network e.V. we create the necessary standards for data exchange and prepare for the operation of the platform.  

Phase 3: Scaling and international growth 

The data ecosystem is being accepted worldwide and is used globally. International enterprises and organizations participate in this – taking into account the requirements described in phases 1 and 2.  


As currently conceived in the various use cases: The operator companies operate Catena-X independently. The first operating companies will start as early as 2023. In principle, any company can start an operating company if it is certified by us: Operating environment | Catena-X

Catena-X is a transfer and implementation initiative. We are thinking in terms of operational concepts and are planning the first independent operating companies for 2023, which will continue to run even after the end of the supported project.  

3. The Catena-X Automotive Network e.V.  

For enterprises that actively want to participate in the design of the future data ecosystem . In the association, we place a particular focus on the development of standards and certifications, but also drive forward new development projects.   

The members of the association have access to information and the collaborative use of data, can build up their own competencies or exchange information with scientific and research institutions in a targeted manner. You can find details here on our website: The Association | Catena-X


The Network is growing day by day, as you can see here on our Association site


Membership of the association provides you with insights into the work and content of current projects early on. You can actively participate in the further development of Catena-X via what are known as "use cases". As an early adopter, this can result in competitive advantages for you. 

Perhaps one of your partners has already invited you to participate? If not, you can find the link to the application form here: Become a Member | Catena-X.

4. Current topics and use cases 

Please feel free to follow us on LinkedIn or check our website regularly under News & Dates | Catena-X.

The consortium is working on the development of what are known as "shared services" that enable secure and self-determined access to the data ecosystem. Over the course of ten use cases, the consortium develops solutions by means of which companies can quickly derive specific added value for their production or service. As a standard applicant, these ideas are submitted via the Catena-X Automotive Network e.V. association.   

Essentially Catena-X focuses all processes of automotive value creation. We are currently working on ten use cases such as sustainability, demand and capacity management or modular production. See Benefits | Catena-X - more will follow. Maybe you also have ideas about what we might work on together? In this case, please write to us: info[@]catena-x[.]net.  

5. Platform connection and access 

Please feel free to follow us on LinkedIn or check our news regularly under News & Dates


The technical requirements are derived from your requirements. Do you want to offer services such as apps or exchange data with your partners? Do you want to improve your digitization status or use an external service provider for Catena-X? We and other licensed enterprises are happy to support you at the start of the Catena-X launch. 


The connection can be made via our platform or a platform already operated by you. 

If you are already registered on a platform that is integrated with Catena-X, you will also be able to use your access to this network for Catena-X via Single Sign-On (SSO). That means you do not have to create new users for your employees and your employees can continue to use their existing login. You can also start manual updates from your usual platform if they are integrated in the Catena-X data ecosystem. Please check with your platform provider for more information.

This will reduce the need for applications or platforms such as supplier or B2B portals in the future.


Yes, for example through semi-digital processes such as the CSV exchange or your own APIs. Alternatively, also via other sources such as various cloud providers, which protect and distribute the data according to their own specifications. 

Yes, absolutely. Our objective is to network across the entire supply chain. It is all the more important that as many participants as possible work together. Primarily, data about next-level partners should be exchanged, e.g. from Tier-3 to Tier-4 (supplier) or from Tier-3 to Tier-2 (customer). But, of course, data can also be exchanged across tier stages, provided that the partners have negotiated this with each other. Please inform your partners about the possibilities of Introduce & Implement | Catena-X.

You do not have to be a member of the association, see Introduce & Implement | Catena-X.

As soon as your enterprise is registered in the Catena-X Portal and has "subscribed" to applications, you can request and use this as a user. 

 For this, simply register your company in the Catena-X Portal.

6. Information security and data protection 

Catena-X stands for data sovereignty, i.e. your company retains control of your data. Accordingly, Catena-X does not store any data, but only forwards this data to partners defined by you. Catena-X thus enables secure data exchange, while you determine which data you provide to whom, when and for how long. 

Only if your company grants the corresponding rights to others. You can always only use data opened up to you by your partners in compliance with defined rules. This means that once you have registered in the Catena-X data ecosystem, you will only see your own data and, depending on the agreement, that of your direct partners (known as the "one-up-one-down principle"), which may be supplemented by what is known as value-added services.  

You decide and stipulate contractually which data you exchange with whom. Information about your production and supply chain is not disclosed in the Catena-X data ecosystem. Due to our goal of consistent data chains, however, you still benefit from (malfunction) messages, provided you release your data for corresponding use cases.

Gaia-X describes the requirements for secure data exchange. The collaboration between Catena-X and Gaia-X includes the alignment of technical architectures and standards, the development, testing and integration of reference services in the data space as well as the harmonization of onboarding and certification services. Just like Catena-X, Gaia-X ensures transparency, data sovereignty, openness and trust in the digital area. 

The standards defined by Gaia-X describe the minimum technical requirements for the structure of a federated and sovereign data infrastructure. These standards are the basis for all Catena-X use cases.  

7. Technical specifications

The Eclipse Dataspace Connector (EDC) ensures secure data exchange. You can think of it as a contractually secured interface, via which defined partners can exchange their data in a legible and legally compliant manner. The following is a summary of our offer: EDC.  

The BPN is a uniform ID for participating companies. With its help, a secure and automated flow of information is achieved between distinct partners, e.g. when working together on an application case. The BPN is purely for identification purposes and does not allow any conclusions about costs, delivery or production locations. 

We will offer what we call "KITs" to companies wishing to offer applications. These KITs define standards for the development and use of data. Anyone planning solutions for our use cases, for example, such as risk information in regions, CO2 calculations or similar, must use the standardized KITs and use their Software Development KITs (SDKs). In this way, we guarantee a uniform result, even if different suppliers are involved in the process.  

8. Expenses and savings

We recommend that you appoint internal contacts capable of exchange to and with Catena-X. The exact scope depends on the size of your company, the digital infrastructure and your project. Learn more about onboarding to Catena-X here

Evaluate the following points internally in order to capture possible potentials:   

  • Digitization of your company also during exchange with external  employees
  • Reduction of manual expenses
  • Transparency about your own supply chain
  • Early fault detection and elimination 
  • Reduction of rework and regression costs
  • Compliance with legal requirements (Supply Chain Diligence Act, CO2, ...) without your own solutions  
  • Greater resilience to short-term risks  
  • Reduction of own effort in data security  
  • New, suitable partners located fast 
  • Greater visibility in a modern, digital automotive network
  •  New business options in and with Catena-X 

Compare the following expenses in order to make the best use of Catena-X:   

  • Adaptation of organization and processes  
  • Adaptation of IT landscape  
  • Adaptation of own application(s)  

9. Advantages and business model

Catena-X is designed for interoperability as well as the digital cooperation of partners across the entire automotive value chain. Depending on the application case, participants from Development and Design through to Production and the Circular Economy are networked with one another. See also Benefits | Catena-X.

Today, your customers often ask you to use a specific customer portal or platform and a specific application for a use case.
This happens because different applications are usually not interoperable across companies.

You can only communicate with one customer via a customer/supplier portal.
Catena-X wants to improve the situation by providing data separated but still interoperable applications and integrated platforms for diverse use cases.

Using a common digital network reduces system interfaces and avoids the need to develop and implement your own IT solutions. In addition, standardized data models and semantics reduce the effort required for data exchange.

Thus, in the future, a tier-1 will only need digital interfaces to its customers and, if applicable, to its own suppliers. If these are also connected in the Catena-X network, this reduces multiple, manual data entry. In addition, data collection is simplified, standardized across companies and traceable.

In general, any business ideas are open to you for our use cases: you can license your service for instance as app(s) and offer it via the Catena-X platform.  
In addition, the network offers you the opportunity to get in contact directly with new partners you know or have found via Catena-X. This allows you to exchange information quickly and generate joint business.  

10. Contacts and responsibilities

Depending on the technical prerequisites you already meet, on the one hand you can provide information for the independent connection and development of what is known as Eclipse Data Space Connector (EDC). Alternatively you can ask for personal support when you launch Catena-X

Already at the time of participation and/or membership of Catena-X, we will clarify a wide range of legal issues with you. Further support can be obtained from the association’s support, the operating company (-ies) or the company that required you to use Catena-X. 


You can apply to us as an onboarding partner: info[@]catena-x[.]net. We will then check your aptitude and carry out any certification. 

We look forward to the conversation and cooperation with you!  

Ralph  Greiner

Ralph Greiner

Transfer and Communication: Ressort Supplier Activation

Odo  Naaber

Odo Naaber

Transfer and Communication: Ressort Supplier Activation

Do you want to implement Catena-X?

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