9.3.1 Onboarding

Onboarding, in this context, refers to the systematic process of integrating new participants into the Federated Data Space (FDS). This process is an important part of FDS governance, as it sets the foundation for the entire data sharing relationship. It involves several steps, each with its own legal implications.


The onboarding process typically begins with an application from the participant (e.g., a company, research centre, or public body) expressing interest in joining the FDS. This is followed by a review of the application by the governing body of the framework to ensure that the participant meets all necessary criteria.

Legal requirements for Onboarding

Whether a participant applies to join the FDS or is invited by the administration entity of the data space, they must comply with all relevant legal requirements. This process can be broken down into several steps:

  • Invitation to join: The administration entity may invite a potential participant to join the FDS. This invitation can be sent via an official communication channel, such as an email, outlining the benefits and responsibilities of joining the data space.
  • Creating a company profile: Upon accepting the invitation, the participant is directed to a secure login form where they can create a company profile. This profile includes information about the company, such as its name, size, industry, and role within the data space (e.g., data provider, data user, or both).
  • Agreeing to Terms and Conditions: Before finalizing their profile, the participant must agree to the terms and conditions of the FDS. These terms outline the legal obligations of each party and include clauses related to data protection, privacy, intellectual property rights, and dispute resolution.
  • Review and Approval: Once the company profile is complete and the terms and conditions are agreed upon, the administration entity reviews the application. If all legal requirements are met and the administration entity approves, the participant becomes an official member of the FDS. 

By following these steps, participants can ensure they are in full compliance with all legal requirements of the onboarding process.

Data Sharing Agreements and Contracts

A key part of the onboarding process is the negotiation and signing of data sharing agreements and contracts. These documents outline the rights and responsibilities of each party, including how data will be shared, used, and protected.

Compliance with Data Protection and Privacy Laws

In Europe, participants must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which provides strict guidelines for how personal data can be collected, stored, processed, and shared. Participants must demonstrate their compliance with these regulations as part of the onboarding process.

Technical Requirements for Onboarding

Finally, participants must meet certain technical requirements to ensure that they can effectively participate in the FDS. This may include demonstrating their ability to securely transmit and store data, as well as their ability to implement necessary data protection measures. In conclusion, the onboarding process is a complex but necessary step in establishing a successful data sharing relationship. By carefully navigating this process, participants can ensure that they are legally compliant and technically prepared to share data in a secure and effective manner.