BOOSTER project: Secure solution, unlocking the full potential of data

The ability to rapidly process and analyse massive amounts of data to improve processes, products and services, is one of the main benefits associated with industry 4.0. However, until today, much of this immense potential is still unlocked due to the difficulty in protecting and ensuring data confidentiality and sovereignty.

BOOSTER, one of EIT Manufacturing’s 2021 projects, aims at changing data crunching forever.

“Today, we are starting to be pretty good at ensuring the data confidentiality and sovereignty when sharing and storing data. However, ensuring data confidentiality and sovereignty when computing and analysing the data has been a blocking point. The questions we answer is how to use partner data without having access to them, and how to respect privacy regulations while still being able to analyse the data”, said Frederic Surleau, Responsible for Business Development at CEA List, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.

Tapping into big business and improvement potential

Cybersecurity and data breaches is a big risk for industrial companies protecting their data and innovations, as well as for finance and insurance companies. The challenge is how to guarantee the confidentiality of data from collection to processing including involvement of remote third parties, while respecting regulatory and commercial constraints. As a result, most companies are reluctant to allow data computing by external parties unless confidentiality can be 100% ensured. BOOSTER, benefiting from the new Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) Technology intends to change the game.

The BOOSTER project consortium has developed a solution ensuring full confidentiality and data sovereignty for cloud computing. The aim is to deliver an industrial “secure by design” solution to accelerate the execution of data processing applications meeting even the most stringent privacy requirements. BOOSTER aims at demonstrating the practical integration of the Homomorphic Encryption (FHE) technology combined with an accelerated computing engine, deploying them in a cloud computing environment for a low software engineering cost.

“We are confident that this will pave the way for a wide deployment, boosting data-enabled improvements, but not only that – potentially resulting in completely new business offers and solutions”, said Charly Bechara, founder and CEO, Scalnyx.

This new integrated solution combines so-called homomorphic encryption technologies developed by CEA List with a high-performance software acceleration from Scalnyx. Homomorphic encryption is a PET (Privacy-Enhancing Technologies) and a form of encryption allowing to perform calculations on encrypted data without decrypting it first. Homomorphic encryption can be used for privacy-preserving outsourced storage and computation. This allows data to be encrypted and outsourced to commercial cloud environments for processing, all while encrypted.

“Heverett Group is committed to develop of digital solutions to ensure a secure, sovereign data transfer between suppliers and factories. Moreover, leveraging artificial intelligence for industrial asset maintenance is one of our development axes in Europe” said Hervé LABARGE, Chief Innovation Officer, HEVERETT GROUP.

Joint venture startup to be launched at the end of 2021

The newly formed BOOSTER Consortium consisting of CEA List, Scalnyx, as technology providers and Heverett Group and Prima Industries as end-users aim at launching a joint venture startup focusing on cyber security.

The main benefits of the solution are:

  • Ensuring fully cybersecure and high-performance cloud-based data computing
  • Unlocking the full potential of industry 4.0 and big data
  • Open doors for new business models and business, such as the creation of a European cloud, Gaia-X.