Sitra’s IHAN® project aims to build the foundation for a fair and functioning data economy. The main objectives are to create a method for data exchange and to set up European level rules and guidelines for ethical use of data. Join the pioneers of the fair data economy!

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Your digital behavior is constantly creating data that companies use. However, that data and its management belong to you. Your data should be utilised fairly and transparently. Together, we can create rules that are fair to everyone.


Europe can lead the way to a human-centric model of data economy. Are you with us?


We’re piloting new concepts that utilise personal data with pioneering companies that trancend the borders of business, industry and states.


We will put together principles and components of the IHAN® operating model as well as an assembly guide for fair data solutions to work together.


We’re creating new rules for fair data exchange and utilisation. Pioneering companies can multiply the amount of data they use for product developent and gain unique opportunities for new business.

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Significant amounts of data are collected from individuals for systems administered by companies and organisations. Nowadays data is administered mainly by whoever collects it. The growth of platform companies is based on data and its ownership, and the current Data economy The data economy is a universe of initiatives, activities and/or projects whose business model is based on the exploration and exploitation of the structures of databases to identify opportunities for generating products and services. largely relies on individuals giving up any rights to their data. Would it be possible to build an alternative system under which individuals can actively define the services and the conditions under which their personal information is used?

For data to be used fairly and in a human-oriented manner, we need shared rules and procedures for an ecosystem of fair exchange of information.

A Fair data economy The part of the economy that focuses on creating services and data-based products in an ethical manner. Fairness means that the rights of individuals are protected and the needs of all stakeholders are taken into account in a data economy. benefits everyone. Management of personal information makes everyday life easier and adds to well-being. A unified procedure opens up opportunities for user-oriented innovations and business activities.

The set of projects connected with a data economy with a human face is a continuity of our previous projects for boosting electronic business: the data exchange layer is already speeding up the transfer of data from one system to another in Finland and in Estonia, the country that gave birth to the system. We are also involved in preparing a permit service and the Digital Health HUB to enable the secondary use of social and health data.

What are we doing?

We are building an ecosystem for a fair data economy, together with citizens and different organisations. Our goal is to establish an ecosystem for a fair and functioning data economy. The main objectives are to create a method for data exchange and set up European level rules and guidelines for ethical use of data.

We are producing European level road map for a fair data economy. We are creating common rules and a concept for information exchange. We are developing and testing a technical platform for information exchange. We are defining common standards, principles and an administrative model.

The “Anatomy of a selfie” video marks the start of a discussion on the various ways our data is used and why we need fair rules for the use of data – rules that are fair for everyone.


The practical pilot projects are connected with areas such as well-being, health, transport, agriculture and forestry.

The IHAN® system that transcends organisational and national boundaries and is linked by individual data could be adopted across the European Union and, in the longer term, on a global level.

We are building the IHAN® system for the use of governments, and for standardising communities, companies and the ecosystems that connect them.

Who is involved?

We are developing the ecosystem together with the future users – the potential customers. In the early phases, co-operation will take place between the private, public and third sectors.

Our partners in the proof-of-concept pilots are developing further IHAN® technical specifications. We are also drafting a plan on how to cooperate with other key stakeholders regarding business models, EU collaboration, standardization, and ethical aspects of fair data economy.

The first version of the rulebook sets out the guidelines for a fair data economy. The rulebook is developed in an open process.

Where have we got to so far?

IHAN® project was launched in April 2018 and it will conclude in 2021.

How can I get involved?

We would like to welcome you to be among pioneers of the fair data economy revolution and to contribute towards shared goals of IHAN® technical principles and solutions. We are currently gathering together a network of experts to join our project. There are multiple ways of contributing.

We are seeking ongoing projects or projects that are ready for a quick launch, from various sectors examining solutions related to technical requirements for human-driven data exchange, such as self-sovereign identities, block-chain thinking, authorisations and data transmission. Everybody can apply, but If you are a company or otherwise engaged in an economic activity you have to be able to receive the funding as de minimis aid.

We are also organizing multiple workshops concerning business models, technical aspects and ethical questions.

Anyone interested may sign up to the network by emailing us at ihan@sitra.fi.



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