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Economy of Things


What drives the research team? On which principles is the research on an Economy of Things based?

Building blocks for digital sovereignty in Europe

15.10.2020 | Motivation/principles

Secure, efficient building blocks for the economy of the future that adhere to European values – harnessing Europe’s strengths as it moves toward a fair digital economy based on socio-economic principles. Image source: ©

The team behind the “Economy of Things” strategic advanced engineering project at Bosch Research is working on building blocks and solution concepts for digital sovereignty in Europe. The researchers are convinced that by establishing suitably organized marketplaces, along with payment and incentive systems, based on European values, Europe’s diversity and individuality will be leveraged as strengths to provide an efficient and globally competitive basis for a European digital economy.

The evolution of the cooperative model in the digital age

06.08.2020 | Motivation/principles

Tokenomics concepts are basically the evolution of the cooperative model in the digital age.

GAIA-X, the initiative to build an efficient and competitive, secure and trustworthy cloud and data infrastructure for Europe, is particularly committed to the European principles of subsidiarity, supranationality and solidarity. The team behind the “Economy of Things” strategic advance engineering project at Bosch Research is therefore convinced that the corresponding digital ecosystems can best be built on the basis of decentralized approaches and well-balanced token concepts. Accordingly, the team contributes its profound knowledge in both areas to the GAIA-X project.

Principles of the Economy of Things support GAIA-X project

15.07.2020 | Motivation/principles

Michael Bolle
Dr. Michael Bolle, member of the Bosch board of management and CDO/CTO, gives a video statement on the role of Bosch in the GAIA-X project.

In June 2020, GAIA-X, the initiative for establishing a high-performance, competitive, secure, and trustworthy cloud and data infrastructure for Europe, entered its extended project phase. Bosch has two roles to play in GAIA-X as it stands today. Firstly, it uses the digital infrastructure to develop innovations in the fields of industry, buildings and mobility. Secondly, Bosch contributes precisely the kind of technological expertise GAIA-X needs to establish trust in a sovereign data economy. This includes distributed ledger technologies (DLT), multi-party computation (MPC) and decentralized identity management (e.g. self-sovereign identity (SSI)). “Our vision is to create digital marketplaces that are built on the foundations of fairness and neutral competitive conditions. This is precisely what we are working on in the ‘Economy of Things’ strategic advance engineering project at Bosch Research,” explains project director Nik Scharmann. “The principles we have worked out for platforms fit perfectly with GAIA-X, so we are very involved in the project.”

There is a fairer way – the winners and losers of digital marketplaces

15.07.2020 | Motivation/principles

Platform operators pair up customers and producers on digital marketplaces. This matchmaking depends on various types of data – including the type of request and market knowledge, i.e. knowing about specific offerings, for instance.

The operators of digital marketplaces are among the most valuable groups of companies in the world. Their market dominance is based on strong mechanisms that are difficult to break, give them a monopoly position and can be detrimental to market participants. The “Economy of Things” team at Bosch Research is investigating what these mechanisms are and how they could be changed.

Bitkom paper with use cases for master data and certificate management from Bosch

06.07.2020 | Motivation/principles

Self-sovereign identity (SSI)
Self-sovereign identities with verifiable credentials enable any person, organization, or thing to interact directly with any other entity in a way that is reliable and preserves privacy. Image source: ©

The Bundesverband Informationswirtschaft, Telekommunikation und neue Medien e.V. (the German industry association for information technology, telecommunications, and new media) – Bitkom for short – has published a paper presenting real-life application scenarios involving self-sovereign identity (SSI) that have already reached a very advanced stage of implementation. In simple terms, SSI means that users manage their digital identity themselves, without relying on a central identity provider. This is also a matter of crucial importance for the “Economy of Things” (EoT) research team, a strategic advance engineering project at Bosch Research. In its article, Bitkom clearly outlines the advantages of companies sharing, validating, and updating master data and supplier certificates automatically in line with the SSI principle.

Research paper validation of crypto-based systems

04.11.2019 | Motivation/principles

Supermodular digital society: It is now possible to convert the Internet of Things (IoT) into an Economy of Things (EoT), which basically refers to a heterogeneous digital Economy of Everything (dEoE).

On the importance of system-view centric validation for the design and operation of a crypto-based digital economy.


Nik Scharmann

Nik Scharmann

Project Director "Economy of Things"

Nik Scharmann has been leading Bosch’s research activities in the field of the Economy of Things since 2017.

Christian Heise

Christian Heise

Deputy Project Director "Economy of Things"

Since 2018 Christian Heise has been working as Deputy Project Director in the Economy of Things project on the topics of energy and mobility.