The Vision of Catena-X 


The transformation of the automotive industry is in full swing. Electric vehicles replace combustion engines. Circular economy enables resources to be recycled. At the same time, digitalization creates completely new opportunities to fulfill customer wishes, to make production processes more climate-friendly and generally increases competitive pressure.

The necessary transformation of the automotive sector is additionally massively influenced by geopolitical disputes, pandemics and climate change. These are all challenges that no company can meet on its own today. 

Material flows should be digitally traceable throughout the entire supply chain. Last but not least, legislators will demand transparency in the near future.  The mission of Catena-X is therefore to enable the digital flow of information across the entire supply chain. Many suppliers in the automotive industry are extremely uncertain about the added value of sharing their data and rate the risk of data loss or the negative consequences of so-called lock-in effects as very high. Consequently, there is a lack of business models, incentive mechanisms and the right technology.  Therefore, the idea behind Catena-X is to connect automotive manufacturers, suppliers and service providers of the entire supply chain.

The Catena-X vision: With Catena-X, the automotive industry of the future uses a trustworthy, collaborative, open and secure data ecosystem. All players are networked in end-to-end value chains, in which all partners are on an equal ground, have sovereign control over their data and no lock-in effects occur, which provides a sustainable solution for the digitalization of supply chains, especially for medium-sized and small companies, and supports the cooperation and collaboration of market participants and competitors.

The Goals of Catena-X

The Catena-X data ecosystem will increase the resilience and flexibility of supply chains. For example, thanks to end-to-end digital documentation, the integral carbon footprint can be determined or traceability can be provided in accordance with the Supply Chain Act. (link to the corresponding use cases). Standardized data exchange and the possibility to use cross-company applications offer all companies - from SMEs to large enterprises - investment security and strengthen their competitiveness in the long term. 

Catena-X is a collaborative effort that only works through the participation of many stakeholders. The goal is to establish a globally active network. Users meet suppliers, SMEs meet large companies, resource suppliers meet recyclers: all companies can achieve new value creation, especially through the cross-company use and exploitation of data. This is how new business models are created in the supply chain. Join us in shaping this path together.

The Catena-X Automotive Network creates the first open and collaborative data ecosystem.

For Catena-X, collaborative means concretely:

  • On equal footing: all partners have equal rights and sovereignty. Access to the data ecosystem is non-discriminatory for all participants.
  • Trustworthy: The provided solution and governance are convincing and provide a basis for trust in the community.
  • Open: The foundations of the Catena-X ecosystem are based on open source solutions that are transparently available to all.
  • Standardized: Open (industry) standards are welcomed. 
  • Certified: Catena-X will test and certify services and applications.

The data ecosystem is based on a system architecture that meets the following technical aspects based on the preliminary work of Gaia-X and the International Data Space Association (IDSA):

  • Data Sovereignty and Security, and Interoperability:
  • Implementation of contractually secured, technologically secure and highly efficient peer-to-peer communication with end-to-end semantics, provided with the Eclipse Dataspace Connector (EDC) designed within Catena-X as the central communication component.
  • Provision of network services for data discovery and mediation as well as certified applications based on contractual agreements (brokers)
  • Policies and services for identification, authorizations and their monitoring for cross-company cooperation (in terms of federated services)
  • One of the most user-friendly environments for setup, operation and collaborative use.

Technologically, all the groundwork for a stable foundation is in place. The ecosystem itself can be connected to other markets at any time thanks to its open architecture, opening up further new business opportunities.

Competition at the application and network level

With its open system architecture and the principles of data sovereignty and interoperability, Catena-X lays the foundations for a new market and new business models:

  • Application providers will serve the different customer requirements in a competition of the best solutions
  • The decentralized operator model prevents lock-in effects while providing access to additional platforms and ecosystems
  • Platform economy is rethought and implemented for the industry