Fragmentation and lack of security are among the biggest problems of IoT platforms. Most IoT platforms are vertically oriented closed systems, dedicated to specific application areas. The major challenge in the evolving IoT world is the fragmentation of vertically oriented, closed systems, architectures and application areas and moving on towards open systems and platforms.

There are today more than 360 different IoT platforms. While many of these platforms are built on standardised interfaces, interoperability between most of them is not possible. The main goal of SOFIE is to enable diversified applications from various sectors to utilize heterogeneous IoT platforms and autonomous devices across technological, organizational and administrative borders. This should be done in an open and secure manner, making reuse of existing infrastructure and data easy.

Secure open federation is the key concept of SOFIE approach, aiming to enable creation of business platforms, based on existing IoT platforms and distributed ledgers, without needing to negotiate with any gatekeeper (neither technology- nor business wise).
SOFIE project is based on four pillars: 

● Federation: Instead of integration, we have chosen federation as SOFIE’s approach. This means that each siloed IoT platform remains internally intact.

● Openness: From the business point of view, anyone can join an open system, as there are no gatekeepers or organisational architectural barriers. At the technical level, virtually any IoT platform can be joined to the federation, provided that it has some open interfaces, often even without support of the technology vendor.

● Security: We exercise security by design. We build the necessary new security and privacy features to offer better protection against cyber-attacks through the unforgeable DLTs establishing transparency and accountability, and give users better control of their data.

● Data sovereignty: In SOFIE, data is shared in a controlled way, within the bounds of security and privacy policies defined by the owner of the data. While strongly coupled with security, this aspect has characteristics which go well beyond traditional information security.