A Security-enhancing Initiative With Far-reaching Impact


European Internet of Things (IoT) company builder, Next Big Thing AG, is pleased to announce that Weeve, our IoT-blockchain venture, together with our deHub partner Fraunhofer FOKUS and the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation, launched a security-enhancing initiative with widespread benefits in an era when data privacy matters most.

Building on the trust established through a previous partnership between NBT and Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fraunhofer and Weeve have now realized a cooperative agreement to integrate Weeve’s proprietary MQTTS – a secure communication protocol for IoT devices– into Fraunhofer FOKUS’ OpenMTC, a Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communication platform for open-technology.

Weeve's protocol, called TEE-MQTTS, will make Fraunhofer's OpenMTC platform even more secure by implementing a more protected communication protocol, making interactions among ‘things’ more trusted and reliable.

“The OpenMTC is an M2M platform for IoT services that provides an Open Source reference implementation of the OneM2M standard. It interconnects various sensors and actuators from different vertical domains. Here, security is central. I’m very excited about the collaboration with Weeve, as it greatly helps securing M2M communication already at the M2M protocol level” states Dr. Florian Schreiner, Head of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) Center at Fraunhofer FOKUS.

With about 440 employees in Berlin and an annual budget of 33 million euros, Fraunhofer FOKUS is internationally renowned and the largest ICT institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the leading organization for applied research in Europe. The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation is a cooperation of the four Berlin Fraunhofer-Institutes: FOKUS, HHI, IPK and IZM.

MQTT is a client server publish/subscribe messaging transport protocol that has been internationally approved as an OASIS Standard and also been ratified by ISO/IEC. It is well known for being lightweight, open, simple, and designed for easy implementation. This makes it ideal for constrained environments such as M2M communication and IoT, where minimal code footprint and efficient network bandwidth are needed.

In the world where data privacy gains increasing importance, Weeve is contributing to a more secure world by spreading its version of the protocol.


Weeve borrows from the standard MQTT protocol, but enhances it with distinct advantages. Weeve’s TEE-MQTTS adds essential elements visible in the name itself: the prefix TEE and suffix S, explained below. This results in a highly scalable, secure publish-and-subscribe mechanism.

Security-hardening: Weeve leveraged the Trustzone approach to isolate the protocol logic from the cryptography (TEE), providing additional shielding against any compromised IoT devices.

Cryptographic: Weeve’s protocol establishes an authentic and confidential connection to transport digital assets from an IoT device and a broker (e.g. cloud backend), keeping it private (confidential) and protected against manipulation, origin impersonation (authenticity) and replay in transit. These additional security benefits are reflected in the protocol’s name as “S”.

Low-latency: TEE-MQTTS is more efficient in the number of rounds needed to convey a message.

Lean: Using contemporary cryptographic algorithms and avoiding any unnecessary features ensures the protocol’s leanness and lightweight nature. More details can be found in Weeve’s whitepaper.

Next Steps

Weeve is implementing their protocol as of April. Chief Scientist & Co-Founder of Weeve, Prof. Dr. Sebastian Gajek, says “Integrating weeve’s TEE-MQTTS into the Fraunhofer FOKUS’ OpenMTC communication platform is an important step towards implementing the Weeve network of a machine-to-machine economy. I am excited to partner with Fraunhofer FOKUS as a leading R&D institute for ICT.”

Fraunhofer FOKUS is onboarding the Weeve developers to the OpenMTC platform. The researchers will handle the integration, testing, and documentation.

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Press Contacts:

Elisheva Marcus | Next Big Thing AG
Next Big Thing AG
c/o Factory Works GmbH
Lohmühlenstrasse 65
12435 Berlin


Natalie Nik-Nafs | Berlin Center for Digital Transformation
+49 (0) 30 3463-7210
Kaiserin-Augusta-Allee 31
10589 Berlin