BMBF project FAIR Data Spaces brings together Gaia-X and the National Research Data Infrastructure

Presse Release /

In FAIR Data Spaces, the federated secure data infrastructure Gaia-X and the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) are developing a shared cloud-based data space for industry and research. The FAIR principles will be taken into account, meaning that the data will be shared in a findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable manner (findable, accessible, interoperable, reusable). The FAIR Data Spaces project is scheduled to run for three years and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

The project creates the roadmap for collaboration between the two initiatives and clarifies ethical and legal frameworks for data exchange between science and industry. In addition, the project develops common technical foundations and demonstrates the use of Gaia-X technologies for providing and using research data along FAIR principles in various scientific disciplines and industries.

The NFDI Association and numerous universities organized in NFDI consortia represent the science application domain. The business-oriented Gaia-X side is represented by the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as well as Atos as representatives of the companies involved in Gaia-X. Other partners, especially small companies, will be involved in the development of demonstrators through an open call for proposals starting in early 2022.

As coordinator, the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology FIT will take over the management of the roadmapping and community tasks in the initial phase and maintain the dynamically updated topic and technology map.

In the further course of this work package, Fraunhofer FIT and the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST represent the perspectives of Gaia-X and the International Data Spaces and, in particular, prepare the publication of the results planned for 2023.

The two Fraunhofer institutes are leading the contribution of the Gaia-X-based architecture concept to the technical foundations of the project. Fraunhofer FIT leads the development of distributed analysis of research data, building on preliminary work, including in NFDI4Health, and brings this to the project's demonstrator for cross-platform data analysis. In addition, two further demonstrators are being implemented in the areas of biodiversity and quality assurance of research data.

The Fraunhofer Institutes continue to be involved in building a cloud-native architecture, storage infrastructure, monitoring for compliance and FAIRness, building the FAIR Identity Space, and building and validating terminologies for data and metadata.

They will also be responsible for tendering, awarding and monitoring subcontracts for the development of further demonstrators by SMEs from 2022 onwards. Interested companies can already contact the collaborative coordinator Dr. Christoph Lange-Bever (, head of the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence department at Fraunhofer FIT.

"In recent years, both science and industry have made great strides towards standardized data infrastructures. The FAIR Data Spaces project now provides the link between the two worlds at the interface, namely in the sharing of research data - in organizational, legal and technical terms. Companies that are compatible with Gaia-X or would like to become so will thus gain easier access to research data," says Dr. Christoph Lange-Bever.

"What is special about the FAIR Data Spaces project is the creation of a trusted data and analytics infrastructure based on the common European values defined by Gaia-X. In this respect, the project also contributes to the realization of this vision in practical terms by implementing several demonstrators and helps to establish a common platform for data exchange between science and industry," adds Marcel Altendeitering, who is in charge of the project at Fraunhofer ISST.

Other partners in the FAIR Data Spaces project are Justus Liebig University Giessen, TIB - Leibniz Information Center for Technology and Natural Sciences, the University of Cologne, the University of Leipzig, RWTH Aachen University, FIZ Karlsruhe - Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructures GmbH, Heidelberg University Hospital, Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences, European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL, Philipps University of Marburg, Westphalian Wilhelms University of Münster, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics and Atos.

The project thus includes areas of numerous NFDI consortia, the Medical Informatics Initiative (MII), Gaia-X Association for Data and Cloud (AISBL) and International Data Spaces Association (IDSA).

For more information, visit the project page:

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