Testbed for fair data economy – ihan.fi

A testbed and a toolkit for building services that comply with a fair data economy were compiled on the Ihan.fi website. The update of the site ended for Sitra in 2021 and development will continue as part of the Virtual Finland project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

What is it about?

With our IHAN® project (2018–2021), we laid the foundation for a fair data economy, in which successful digital services are based on trust and create value for everyone. The testbed, tools and demo applications for creating fair data economy services were compiled under the ihan.fi platform to support service development on a one-stop-shop basis.

The tools of the testbed implemented as part of the site can be used to develop and test services that comply with a fair data economy. The testbed was the first comprehensive implementation of the IHAN requirement specification reference architecture.

The long-term goal of ihan.fi was to support new internet standards for data productising, portability and interoperability, and to boost the emergence of global data markets.

What was achieved?

In the first phase, the website included the basic tools of the fair data economy, such as a rulebook, requirements documentations and a glossary. The most important requirement specifications were packaged into a pre-standard approved by CEN, the European Committee for Standardization.

Some of the showcases that were introduced, of which a well-being app demo set up according to IHAN requirement specifications offered a great example of a fair data economy service. The first actual experiment involved the creation of a company in a digital service and was carried out by the Finnish Tax Administration and the Finnish Patent and Registration Office and partners.

IHAN trial projects

Dealflow connects investors and companies

Business Finland, a provider of internationalisation services for Finnish companies, operates the Dealflow.fi service, which brings together financing providers, investors and companies. The current service uses publicly available data collected from various sources, such as data obtained from the Finnish Patent and Registration Office with the company’s business ID.

The service analyses data with the help of artificial intelligence (AI). The analysis can help companies find suitable investors and help investors find appropriate investment targets.

In a pilot project carried out on Sitra’s IHAN testbed, the AI-based analysis was enhanced by augmenting the data content with the company’s internal data. The project used the key functionalities of the testbed, such as strong authentication and data-use authorisation.

The project participants were Business Finland, Digital Living and Nixu. Business Finland will continue the development of the service.

Digitisation revamps export letter of credit process

Letters of credit (LCs) used in import and export trade are a long-standing term of payment which is still implemented slowly using paper documents. Finnish marine energy producer Wärtsilä and its partners productised and tested a digital LC process using Sitra’s fair data economy IHAN testbed.

The aim was to prove that sharing company data between partners is technically and operationally feasible by following good management practices without fear of the misuse of critical business data.

In the trial, a significant part of the letter of credit process based on paper documents and PDF files was digitised by data productisation. The digital process shortens the time required for processing, reduces error sensitivity and improves security.

Wärtsilä, SEB, Digital Living and Nixu took part in the project, which was run using the IHAN testbed created by Sitra’s fair data economy project.

See the video Paperless trade finance on a data sharing nexus:

Practical testing of a real-time economy: a digital service for setting up a company

The Finnish Tax Administration is aiming to develop a service through which a foreign company can digitally set up a company in Finland. In the experimental project realised using the IHAN testbed, the objective was to simplify the process for setting up a company by authorising and sharing information between different organisations. The project created a concept for setting up a company digitally and tested the solution in practice on the IHAN testbed.

The information sharing was tested using two data sources: the trade register and the company’s ownership registry as well as the company’s consent for sharing its information. The solution proved that once a company has consented to it, the sharing of standardised and machine-readable information is possible with modern technology.

On the basis of the trial results, testing of a similar concept is being prepared together with Estonia, and its X-Road (known as a Data Exchange Layer in Finland and which offers a standardised method for transferring information between systems) will be used as the vehicle for the company information. The trial results will perform the same task in the Nordic Smart Government project together with Norway and Sweden.

Sitra provided the fair data economy IHAN testbed for the project led by the Finnish Tax Administration, which was the first experiment to use the testbed.

Project parties: Finnish Tax Administration, Finnish Patent and Registry Office, Digital Living and Nixu.

Who were involved?

Digital Living built the ihan.fi website together with Sitra. The components in the fair data economy testbed were jointly built by HiQ, Digital Living, Nixu and Vastuu Group.

In addition, several of the practical tools, such as the requirements documentation and the rulebook, were created as part of extensive co-operation with some of the leading experts in the field.

Where are we?

The first version of IHAN testbed was released in June 2020. Since the IHAN project ended in 2021, development will continue as part of the Virtual Finland project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Hand holding a mobile phone with a screenshot of Wärtsilä's press release on the topic of this article.

Wärtsilä and SEB to digitise the export letter of credit process

press release text on mobile phone screen

The Finnish Tax Administration aims to digitalise the company founding process


The call for applications for a fair data economy testbed is now open


Call for pilot projects for the IHAN testbed


Ihan.fi – frequently asked questions

Contact us

Juhani Luoma-Kyyny
Juhani Luoma-Kyyny
Katri Korhonen
Specialist, Competitiveness through data
Kirsi Suomalainen
Specialist, Communications and Public Affairs

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