Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions:
- Objectives and target groups of Catena-X
- Structure and procedure of Catena-X
- The Catena-X Automotive Network e.V.
- Current topics and use cases
- Platform connection and access
- Information security and data protection
- Technical specifications
- Expenses and savings
- Advantages and business models
- Contacts and responsibilities
What are the objectives of Catena-X?
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.
Who is the target group of Catena-X?
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.
Is Catena-X a standard for the automotive industry?
No, Catena-X first defines guidelines and provides reference implementations for secure data exchange along the automotive value creation chain.
Is Catena-X only aimed at the automotive industry?
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.
Do companies have to use Catena-X?
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 .
What are the advantages of Catena-X for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)?
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.
Who or what is Catena-X?
Catena-X consists of three independent organizational elements:
The Catena-X Automotive Network e.V.
The Catena-X development consortium,
The planned operating environment.
What does the name Catena-X stand for?
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.
How does Catena-X work?
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.
How do application and operation work?
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.
What will happen if the federal funding expires in 2024?
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.
Who is interested in being a member of the association?
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.
How many members does the Catena-X Automotive Network e.V. have?
The association is growing day by day, as you can see in our current list of members.
What are the advantages of being a member of the association?
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.
How can my company become an association member?
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.
Where can I find up-to-date information about Catena-X and associated developments?
What development projects are currently available?
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.
What are the ten use cases?
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.
When does the Catena-X data ecosystem go live?
What are the minimum technical requirements for connection to Catena-X?
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.
Do I need access via (another) platform to connect to Catena-X?
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.
Is the connection also possible without its own Eclipse Data Space Connector (EDC)?
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.
Can I also use the platform as a tier-n for exchange with suppliers?
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.
How can I exchange data in the Catena-X network without being an association member?
You do not have to be a member of the association, see Introduce & Implement | Catena-X.
How do I gain access to a Catena-X application?
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.
How does my company become visible to others in the Catena-X network?
For this, simply register your company in the Catena-X Portal.
Who has access to my company’s data?
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.
Can all partners use all the information?
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.
Who can read the details about my company's production and supply chain?
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.
What role does Gaia-X play for Catena-X?
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.
What do the GAIA-X and Catena-X standards describe?
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.
What is the EDC?
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.
What is the Business Partner Number (BPN)?
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.
What is a kit?
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.
What capacities do companies require to work with Catena-X?
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.
What are the resultant savings for participating enterprises?
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)
What advantages will Catena-X bring for me?
What is the advantage of the Catena-X data ecosystem compared to other platforms?
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.
What are the advantages for suppliers in particular?
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.
What business models does Catena-X offer?
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.
Who supports new participants to connect to Catena-X?
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.
Who can assist with legal questions on the topic of data exchange?
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.
How can I become a service provider for Catena-X onboarding?
You can apply to us as an onboarding partner: info[@]catena-x[.]net. We will then check your aptitude and carry out any certification.
Transfer and Communication: Ressort Supplier Activation
Transfer and Communication: Ressort Supplier Activation