Research at Adaptant

Adaptant’s research focuses on developing socially-responsible, data ethical, privacy-enabling technologies for individuals by enabling individual empowerment and control over their data, and for businesses by developing novel ways to operationalize data potential while building more meaningful relationships with their customers.

The Adaptant Group covers the complete R&D lifecycle from end-to-end: Our fundamental research and thought leadership activities are housed within the Adaptant Foundation, which acts as a Think-and-Do Tank for the Group as a whole. Adaptant Labs further carries out applied R&D, bridging the gap between research and product. Final Products, Solutions, and Services are gradually brought to market through Adaptant Solutions, as the for-profit commercial arm of the Group. Our unique organisational structure allows us to incorporate meaningful user-centric technologies and methodologies at any stage of development, from concept to market. Tight coupling and alignment between the different businesses ensure that activities remain aligned and complementary while being able to support research collaborations at any stage of maturity.

Adaptant Labs

Adaptant Labs is the applied research and development arm of the Adaptant Group and is the primary vehicle for technology transfer, and intellectual property realisation. Its mission is to facilitate and drive cross-cutting open innovation and applied research in privacy-preserving technologies across a diverse range of applications while driving the continued evolution of Adaptant’s Products, Solutions, and Services. Its remit further involves incubating research results from the Adaptant Foundation and closing the gap to market, in alignment with Adaptant’s commercial needs.

Adaptant Labs currently conducts applied R&D in the areas of:

  • Cloud/Fog/Mobile Edge Computing
  • Distributed Data Processing
  • Privacy & Security in Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Personal Information Management Systems (PIMS) / Personal Data Stores
  • Future (Next Generation) Internet

Adaptant Foundation

The Stichting Adaptant Foundation supports the Group as a classical Think-and-Do Tank and is the primary vehicle for Group knowledge dissemination. Its goals are two-fold:

  1. To carry out advanced interdisciplinary research in the fields of privacy-preservation and ethical data usage, providing thought leadership, raising awareness, and advancing policy; and
  2. To support organisations in the development of privacy-preserving and ethical data-driven products, solutions, and services.

The Foundation is further responsible for:

  • carrying out market and policy research, providing inputs for the Group’s overall strategic direction;
  • driving standards and policy contributions for the Group as a whole;
  • managing strategic alliances in the research community and pursuing collaborative research opportunities.

Research Areas

Adaptant pursues research in a range of areas. A non-exhaustive list of some of our current areas of interest include:

  • Data privacy & security
  • Data ethics
  • Data subject impact
  • Self-sovereignty

  • Multi-source data fusion & compliance
  • Data flow control
  • Data usage control
  • Data economy

Current Activities

Ongoing Research Projects

Adaptant participates in a number of ongoing research projects. For a listing of projects that we are presently participating in, as well as for a more detailed description of our precise activities within each project, please refer to our ongoing research projects page:
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Collaboration Opportunities

We are always interested in exploring new opportunities for collaboration within our areas of interest and expertise. A curated list of prospective calls, ideas, and expertise offerings can be found on our research-oriented collaboration opportunities page:
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Core Competencies

Policy Analysis and Inputs

Adaptant is an active member of a number of European Technology Platforms (ETPs) and contractual Public-Private Partnerships (cPPPs) across a range of technology areas, and a regular contributor to the Strategic Research and Innovation Agendas (SRIAs) that intersect with our areas of interest. Adaptant is furthermore a regular participant in EC Public Consultations, Policy Workshops and related events, with a focus on privacy, data ownership/usage/liability, IoT and the data economy. Where relevant, Adaptant also proactively contributes policy inputs to countries outside of the EU looking to evolve their own privacy laws.


We believe that standards and increased interoperability will be key to realizing the advantages of IoT and the data economy. Adaptant aims to maintain a forward-looking outlook on the standards landscape in its areas of activity in order to leverage standards for processes and system design wherever possible, and proactively contribute back to both existing and emerging (pre-normative) standards wherever gaps or opportunities are identified. Adaptant is one of the founding members of the CEN Workshop 84 on a ‘Self-Sovereign Identifier(s) for Personal Data Ownership and Usage Control’ (CEN WS ISÆN), as well as an Invited Expert in the IEEE P2301 Cloud Portability and Interoperability Profiles standard.

Market Analysis and Business Model Innovation

While many see the GDPR and supporting legislation as a compliance burden, we consider this a pivotal point in evolving innovative, privacy-preserving, and inclusive business models that directly engage the data subject/data controller in value co-creation, further facilitating the right to individual informational self-determination and ultimately turning privacy-preservation and compliance into a source of competitive advantage for European industry. Beyond the opportunities presented by the GDPR in enabling the Digital Single Market (DSM) in the EU, Adaptant also closely monitors and contributes to emerging policy in countries aiming to follow the GDPR’s lead, allowing us to contribute differentiated, longer-term, growth-focused, commercial exploitation and go-to-market strategies that continue to respect privacy.

Open Source Focused System Integration & Software Engineering

Adaptant employees have contributed thousands of changes to prominent Open Source projects, such as the Linux kernel. With strong expertise in the Open Source community, we appreciate the value of component reuse and of knowing when to extend or to start over. As Open Source contributors, we understand the importance of giving back to the community and the need for community-focused development methodologies to facilitate the acceptance of project results during and beyond the project lifecycle. As a member of the Open Invention Network (OIN), we are also committed to the non-assertion of patents against Open Source components, providing a basis for unique commercial exploitation strategies that are both Open Source and IPR friendly.

Multi-National IPR Management

With IP holdings in Germany and the United States and a research Foundation in the Netherlands, Adaptant is uniquely positioned to develop and manage multi-national IPR strategies for project consortia across multiple IP jurisdictions, increasing the amount of realisable IP from projects, while helping growth-oriented SMEs, with a focus on commercial exploitation, compete on a level playing field with larger multi-national organisations.

Privacy by Design / Data Ethics by Design

While Adaptant has extensive experience in considering privacy aspects during all stages of the product design lifecycle, in line with the requirements set out by PbD methodologies (and the GDPR), we also believe that with the shift towards AI, machine learning, and predictive analytics, PbD principles on their own are insufficient for addressing the legal/ethical tensions arising from the use of data, particularly in the area of autonomous decision-making. To this extent, we also suggest going beyond PbD to promote the inclusion of Data Ethics by Design into the design process, facilitating ethical decision making across the entire data lifecycle.

Contact Adaptant

If you would be interested in talking to us about possible research collaborations, please contact us.

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