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Article - Digital Technologies

GAIA-X A Federated Data Infrastructure for Europe

Introduction

GAIA-X: Driver of digital innovation in Europe

With GAIA-X, representatives from business, science and politics on a European level create a proposal for the next generation of a European data infrastructure: a secure, federated system that meets the highest standards of digital sovereignty while promoting innovation. This project is the cradle of an open, transparent digital ecosystem, where data and services can be made available, collated and shared in an environment of trust.

GAIA-X is a project initiated by Europe for Europe and beyond. Its aim is to develop common requirements for a European data infrastructure. Therefore openness, transparency and the ability to connect to other European countries are central to GAIA-X. Representatives from several European countries and further international partners are currently involved in the project. We want to invite other European and international partners to join the project and to contribute to its development. Many dialogues are already underway and will be further intensified. Furthermore, GAIA-X is in continuous exchange with the European Commission.

Europe makes extensive investments in digital technologies and innovative business models. We must ensure that those who drive innovations forward are also those who benefit in economic terms. This will help to secure value creation and employment in Europe.

An open digital ecosystem is needed to enable European companies and business models to compete globally. This ecosystem should allow both the digital sovereignty of cloud services users and the scalability of European cloud providers.

Within GAIA-X, we are developing the foundations for a federated, open data infrastructure based on European values. GAIA-X connects centralised and decentralised infrastructures in order to turn them into a homogeneous, user-friendly system. The resulting federated form of data infrastructure strengthens the ability to both access and share data securely and confidently.

Building a solid structure for GAIA-X

The GAIA-X, European Association for Data and Cloud, AISBL

In September 2020, 22 companies and organisations (11 from Germany and 11 from France) have taken an important milestone and finally transferred the joint project into solid structures: The 22 founding members signed the notarial founding documents in order to establish an international non-profit association (French: association internationale sans but lucratif, in short: AISBL) under Belgian law, the GAIA-X, European Association for Data and Cloud, AISBL.

Meanwhile, the GAIA-X AISBL announced that it has hit the milestone of 200 applications from companies and research organisations around the world to join the association in early January. Eighty-five percent of the project’s applications are from European companies, however, the GAIA-X AISBL has also received many applications for membership from non-European organisations.

The association’s purpose and objective will be to consolidate and facilitate work and collaboration within the GAIA-X Community – which is consisting of companies and organisations that actively participate in the development of GAIA-X. The GAIA-X AISBL will be representing its members and promoting international cooperation. To this end, the association will develop regulatory frameworks, and ensure that necessary services are made available.

Members of GAIA-X AISBL are required to uphold the European values of enhanced data privacy, transparency, security and respect for data rights. In the interest of guaranteeing a European direction and destiny for the project, the association’s Board of Directors will consist entirely of Europe-based companies.

The application process is still ongoing and formal admission beyond the existing 22 founding members is still pending. As soon as the GAIA-X AISBL is legally established, further members will be admitted, especially from other European member states. Meanwhile, the founding members will continue to prepare and develop the associations headquarter in Brussels and its key organisational structures. If you are interested in becoming a member of the association, please send an e-mail to aisbl@data-infrastructure.eu.

Statements by some GAIA-X founding members

The establishment of national Hubs

Our aim is for GAIA-X to be a trustworthy option for a data infrastructure ecosystem across Europe and beyond. Thereby the user side is the key for scaling up the services of GAIA-X, based on GAIA-X principles and standards, and developing data spaces. We strive to build on existing initiatives that are already driving forward the development of new business models and data spaces in the EU and its Member States. These initiatives could form nuclei for a GAIA-X Hub.

The GAIA-X Hubs act as the voices of user ecosystems on a national level. Their main objectives are to develop ecosystems, to bundle national initiatives, and to provide a central point of contact to interested parties on their respective countries. All GAIA-X Hubs are in close exchange with each other in order to ensure international alignment regarding their activities, the definition of requirements, and the identification of regulatory hurdles. A future network of GAIA-X Hubs will support the growth of a dynamic ecosystem bottom-up, from the national toward the European level.

GAIA-X Hubs provide important functions that complement the GAIA-X AISBL. on a national level:

  1. They serve as a first point of contact for interested parties in a country.
  2. They align GAIA-X with all relevant initiatives that share the same goals and visions of GAIA-X as an open sovereign data infrastructure.
  3. They consolidate regional domain-specific expert communities and prepare input for discussion on a European level.
  4. Requirements articulated in GAIA-X Hubs are validated in European Domain Working Groups in close alignment with User Group representatives and with European Data Space initiatives in mind.
  5. GAIA-X Hubs contribute to the goals of the European Strategy on Data, especially towards developing European Data Spaces.

Members of the nationally organised GAIA-X Hubs can contribute to and work on several data spaces to shape an innovation-friendly data-ecosystem on GAIA-X. The membership of all national GAIA-X Hubs is free of charge for all companies and organisations. The Hubs aren’t a body of the GAIA-X AISBL., but they are in close touch to define user requirements.

You like to contribute? Please contact the spokesperson for your country (see below). If a Hub has not yet been established for your country, please contact the coordinator of the German GAIA-X Hub.

The GAIA-X community

GAIA-X will foster and support an open source software community in which all contributors – including natural persons – are invited to participate. The GAIA-X Community collaborates on a common platform on defined work packages. Here members and non-members work together side-by-side, both from the user and provider perspectives. If you are interested to join, contact us on contact@data-infrastructure.eu.

Invitation to participate

Together for a European Data Infrastructure

We are banking on Europe’s enduring strengths. Among others, these include the diversity of offerings, together with strong decentralised structures suitable to small and medium-sized enterprises. In this way, we link up the many investments in digital technologies made throughout Europe, enabling them to unfold an even greater effect.

Open for further participation

GAIA-X is defined by openness and transparency. The openness to national and European initiatives with similar objectives as GAIA-X gives the project a strong momentum for joint European cooperation. Building upon existing solutions and their further development, we want to launch competitive offers from Europe out onto the world market.

More than 500 organisations from various countries are already involved in GAIA-X. Still, GAIA-X is open to new European interested parties to join us in its development. Participation in GAIA-X is also possible for market participants outside Europe who share our goals of data sovereignty and data availability. In total, there are three ways to participate:

  1. Membership in the GAIA-X AISBL
    If your company or institution is interested in becoming a member of the GAIA-X AISBL, please contact aisbl@data-infrastructure.eu
  2. Participation in the national GAIA-X Hubs
    You like to contribute? Please contact the spokesperson for your country! If a Hub has not yet been established for your country, please contact Peter Kraemer, who coordinates the German GAIA-X Hub.
    Austria: Brigitte Barotanyi brigitte.barotanyi@oesterreich.gv.at and Horst Bratfisch horst.bratfisch@msg-plaut.com
    Belgium: Jelle Hoedemaekers, jelle.hoedemaekers@agoria.be
    Finland: Laura Halenius, laura.halenius@sitra.fi
    France: Marine de Sury, mdesury@cigref.fr
    Germany: Peter Kraemer, kraemer@acatech.de
    Italy: Michele D'Ambrosio, m.dambrosio@confindustria.it
    Luxembourg: Yves Reding, yves.reding@ebrc.com
    Netherlands: Jesse Robbers, jesse.robbers@tno.nl
    Slovenia: Andreja Lampe, andreja.lampe@gzs.si
    Sweden: Tony Hallén, coordinator@gaia-x.se
  3. Involvement in the open source software community
    The GAIA-X community works on defined work packages on a common platform. Are you interested in joining the community? Contact us at contact@data-infrastructure.eu.

Contact

Contact

You would like to participate in the GAIA-X project? Then feel free to get in touch with the contact persons mentioned above or fill out the contact form.

 

Kontaktinformationen

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The German GAIA-X Hub

The German GAIA-X Hub

In the German GAIA-X Hub, the user perspective is represented by a large number of companies and experts. Until now these Hub members are organised in the following nine domain working groups: Agriculture, Energy, Finance, Geoinformation, Health, Industry 4.0/SME, Mobility, Public Sector and Smart Living. It is the explicit goal to expand the scope to further domains that reflect the potential of a sovereign data infrastructure in industry, science, and society.

Members of the German Hub in full force gather, analyse, and evaluate use cases, in order to consolidate requirements towards GAIA-X and to illustrate the need for and the added benefit of a sovereign European data infrastructure. So far more than 50 use cases had been verified, you can find them in the Use Case Gallery. The work also focuses on defining domain-specific and cross-domain requirements. These form the basis for the growth of data infrastructures. Everyone interested in shaping the future of the European Digital Economy is invited to contribute.

Use Case Gallery

GAIA-X Use Cases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technical Concept

How does GAIA-X work?

Federated services provide value if they are based on common standards which ensure transparency and interoperability. GAIA-X addresses this requirement by aligning network and interconnection providers, Cloud Solution Providers (CSP), High Performance Computing (HPC) as well as sector specific clouds and edge systems. Here, mechanisms are developed to find, combine and connect services from participating providers in order to enable a user-friendly infrastructure ecosystem. GAIA-X identifies the minimum technical requirements and services necessary to operate the federated GAIA-X Ecosystem. The development of these services will follow the principles of Security by Design and also include the concept of Privacy by Design in order to ensure highest security requirements and privacy protection.

Technical implementation of these Federation Services will focus on the following areas:

  • the implementation of secure federated identity and trust mechanisms (security and privacy by design)
  • sovereign data services which ensure the identity of source and receiver of data and which ensure the access and usage rights towards the data
  • easy access to the available providers, nodes and services. Data will be provided through federated catalogues
  • the integration of existing standards to ensure interoperability and portability across infrastructure, applications and data
  • the establishment of a compliance framework and Certification and Accreditation services; and
  • the contribution of a modular compilation of open source software and standards to support providers in delivering a secure, federated and interoperable infrastructure

The initial set of federation services will be expanded. The roadmap is aligned with the development of ecosystem participants’ requirements.

Blog - Where does the GAIA-X project stand?

Current developments and findings on GAIA-X

 

Blog - Where does the GAIA-X project stand?

With the aim to create a secure and federated data infrastructure for Europe, the project GAIA-X is being continuously developed. This blog collects the latest developments and findings and informs about events and other news.

Overview

Publications

All publications on GAIA-X

 

Videos

All videos about GAIA-X

 

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on the GAIA-X project

 

1. What is the GAIA-X project?

See answer Open detail view

2. Why do we need GAIA-X? What is the added benefit?

See answer Open detail view

3. What are the key elements? Are you building another hyperscaler, that will compete against existing market offerings?

See answer Open detail view

Glossary

In this glossary you will find explanations of the most important terms and topics concerning GAIA-X 

 

Glossary

Symbolicon für Buch

GAIA-X

Overview

Press Release

  • 04/06/2020 - Joint press release - Digital Technologies

    Germany and France take the lead as Europe makes first step towards building a European data infrastructure

    Video

    Open detail view
  • 29/10/2019 - Joint press release - Digital Technologies

    Press Release on Franco-German common work on a secure and trustworthy data infrastructure

    Open detail view
Project GAIA-X