Digital Trade Infrastructures and Big Data Analytics: The concept of Value as a Linking Pin

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This paper is largely empirically driven and reflects research and insights gained in the last 13 years of involvement in a series of innovation projects (ITAIDE, CASSANDRA, CORE1, PROFILE2) related to scaling-up digital infrastructures in the area of international trade. Most of the project efforts and related research have been focus on the processes of upscaling of digital infrastructures from initial R&D and proofs of concepts towards large-scale piloting. As part of the CORE project, piloting took place also with the IBM and MAERSK-led blockchain-enabled digital trade infrastructure, which is now commercialized to a global scale under the name Tradelens3. In the context of these projects authorities at the border were major stakeholders involved in the innovation process. The goal was that by accessing commercial and supply chain data available via the digital trade infrastructures authorities could perform better risk analysis and provide trade facilitation to companies in return. At the end of the CORE project massive amount of data became available to the authorities for piloting. In order to be useful for the risk analysis processes this external data however needed to be further combined with internal data from the systems of the authorities and further analyzed . As a result, the PROFILE project was initiated in 2018 which focuses on the use of data analytics on internal and external data sources to improve risk assessment. From a theoretical perspective it appears that the literature on big data and analytics and the literature on upscaling of digital trade infrastructures focus on quite different issues. However, based on the flow of the projects where we have been involved they appear closely inter-related. The main question that we aim to explore is: What is a potential conceptual ground to link research on upscaling digital trade infrastructures with research on big data analytics? In this paper we propose to use the concept of Value as a linking pin. Understanding this link is essential, as it can reinforce both data analytics research and upscaling of digital trade infrastructures research. While this paper is predominantly focused on the trade domain insights may be useful in the broader setting for exploring conceptual links between information infrastructure research and big data analytics research.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication6th Innovation in information infrastructures (III) workshop
PublisherUniversity of Surrey
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event6th Innovation in information infrastructures (III) workshop - Surrey, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Sep 201920 Sep 2019


Conference6th Innovation in information infrastructures (III) workshop
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Digital trade infrastructures
  • big data analytics
  • value


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