“Working in collaboration with industry and government, IB1 is helping to bring stability and trust to data sharing that will enable the market to invest”, Gavin Starks, Founder.  

At Icebreaker One, we are building the foundations of data infrastructure for the benefit of the whole market.

Today, as part of our Trust Framework development, we are rolling out a verification and assurance programme for organisations who wish to access, share and use data (to make a shallow comparison—imagine an equivalent of the Twitter ‘blue tick’ on your data).

Assurance will give confidence both to people inside companies that they are allowed to share data externally, as well as those externally knowing that they have permission and confidence in what is being supplied.

The IB1 Trust Framework helps organisations both share and use data in a manner that can scale. By being part of a Trust Framework, organisations can verify who they are and assure that they are working in a manner aligned with existing and emerging standards.  This helps pre-authorise access to trusted data, streamlining secure data sharing and accelerating innovation. 

By joining IB1, organisations can also participate in the development of rules that build trust. Over recent years, IB1 has been building on the principles of Open Banking (which is used by thousands of organisations and millions of people worldwide), and Open Energy (which it has developed with public and private sector funding over the past two years).  

Based on extensive feedback from the market, it is now entering its next phase to enable data to be shared in a trusted manner, with common market rules for licensing, security, technical, and legal principles and standards. 

We are also delighted to announce today that we are moving forward with the water sector with the Stream initiative, led by Northumbrian Water and including seven leading water companies as well as supporting partners.

As with all IB1 work, we are co-developing solutions with the market, for the market with the objective to enable both sector-wide and cross-sector data sharing. If you would like to get involved, please contact us partners@ib1.org 

Our initial focus areas of development are: 

We are now piloting Energy and Water in the UK. With ESG reporting, our focus is international (including cross-border data sharing).

Future development will include the built world, transport, and agriculture. 


  1. the IB1 Trust Framework creates no ‘central database’ and IB1 never interacts with the underlying data being exchanged—it oversees a framework for trust between organisations and systems. 
  2. IB1 founder, Gavin Starks was recently appointed to the UK Government Smart Data Council, whose mandate includes to “build on the success of Open Banking and spearhead measures in sectors like SME finance, energy and telecoms, increasing competition and putting more money in the pockets of consumers and small firms”. 


Tiers for verification and assurance will include verification and assurance at organisational and dataset levels: 

  1. Organisational checks
    For example, are a legal company entity with a Membership Agreement, signed up to the ICO. Higher levels will include KYC checks.
  2. Organisational alignment and/or compliance with policies and standards
    For example, alignment with regulatory guidance such as Open Data Best Practices; Published data strategy; Published Net Zero related reports (e.g. TCFD, PCAF)
  3. Dataset alignment and/or compliance
    For example, license checks for Open Data licenses, machine-readable meta-data, usage of Open Data Certificates, alignment with Data Sensitivity Classes, compliance with IB1 Trust Framework License Agreements.  We fully support industry efforts to standardise data formats (preferably to open ones), models and quality measures, and expect to signal these as part of data verification as consensus is reached.