European data infrastructure "GAIA-X" to enable data and cloud sovereignty: Official launch with 22 founding members

June 04, 2020

A total of twenty-two founding members today officially started the development of a European data infrastructure "GAIA-X". The aim of the infrastructure is to raise and use the data treasure available in European companies. Data availability, interoperability, portability, data sovereignty and transparency are important aspects for the development and operation of this infrastructure.

The "International Data Spaces" (IDS) initiative jointly launched by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and industry already provides a decisive basis for a secure and open data ecosystem in Europe. This preliminary work is now to be taken to a new level in collaboration with the GAIA-X initiative. After all, resilience and technological sovereignty are becoming increasingly important in the post-Corona era. Although the German and European economy has a wealth of data at its disposal (e.g. process data or usage data of machines and plants), it has not yet raised the associated innovation and benefit potential. Fraunhofer will work to create the conditions for the secure exchange of this data in order to send a strong European signal in the highly competitive market for industrial cloud-based solutions. One thing is clear: We need a European alternative to existing cloud infrastructures as quickly as possible, because this is the only way to secure European data sovereignty with European values," explains Prof. Dr. Boris Otto, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST and Deputy Chairman of the Board of the International Data Spaces Association.
 


 

GAIA-X is a broad-based European project under the direction of the GAIA-X Foundation AISBL, an international non-profit organisation. All companies will develop a common set of rules to ensure that the objectives as defined in the European Data Strategy and the Franco-German position paper are met by all ecosystem participants. It will work closely with other initiatives to define an architecture of standards.

The project will be open to all companies committed to the common principles of GAIA-X from the formal establishment of the GAIA-X Foundation in the third quarter. This means that European organizations, but explicitly also non-European companies, can become members of the GAIA-X Foundation.

The organisation, founded by providers and users of cloud services, science and associations, underlines the commitment to a transparent European process, openness and broad participation. Thus, the chosen path will be continued with a steadily growing number of European and international partners. All companies are expressly invited to participate in jointly providing an infrastructure for the fair and secure exchange of data in the European Digital Single Market.