GAIA-X - the digital future of Europe

Published on

December 01, 2020

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GAIA-X is a joint project of several European countries. The goal is to create a networked, secure and digital ecosystem for Europe. In this way, one is not dependent on large IT groups from China and the USA. In this article we explain everything about GAIA-X.

What is GAIA-X? 

GAIA-X is a joint project of several European countries to create a networked, digital ecosystem for Europe. At a time when control over digital infrastructures has become an increasingly competitive and powerful issue between the world's three major economic blocs (the European Union, the United States and China), some European states want to take the reins of action and not leave the design of the next generation of a data infrastructure to other world powers. GAIA-X was initiated by representatives of politics, business and science from Germany and France. In the meantime, numerous other parties from other European countries have joined the project  

What are the goals of GAIA-X? 

The main objective of GAIA-X is to create a secure and networked data infrastructure that meets the highest standards of digital sovereignty while promoting digital innovation. Based on fundamental European values, the digital ecosystem targeted by GAIA-X should emphasize openness and transparency. Data and services are to be aggregated for the states, companies and citizens of Europe in a homogeneous and user-friendly system, and it is to be possible to share them securely and confidentially. 
The project pursues the following sub-goals: 
  • Digital sovereignty and data sovereignty: GAIA-X aims to create a European data infrastructure in which control over the storage and processing of data lies with Europe  
  • Reduction of dependencies: The market for data storage and processing is currently dominated by non-European cloud providers with whom many companies are in a relationship of dependency. Against this background, GAIA-X aims to strengthen the freedom of action of companies and facilitate data migration to other providers  
  • Attractiveness of cloud services: Many European companies are still sceptical about using cloud services. By creating a transparent and trustworthy European data infrastructure, GAIA-X aims to increase the attractiveness of cloud services for companies  
  • Promotion of innovation: GAIA-X's digital ecosystem is designed to provide European IT companies with a better environment for developing innovative products and services. This is intended to strengthen the European IT industry in general in global competition  

What technology is behind GAIA-X? 

The GAIA-X project follows an approach that combines secure and open technologies. Interfaces between the technologies of different providers ensure that data exchange is simple and secure. Existing technologies are to be used in the best possible way and missing technology modules are to be supplemented by new developments of the project participants  

What are the added values and advantages of GAIA-X?

GAIA-X offers the states, companies and citizens of Europe three essential added values: 
1. data sovereignty: Currently, the market for cloud services is dominated by American corporations such as Amazon and Microsoft. Against the backdrop of growing international trade conflicts, European states and companies are regaining sovereignty over their data. 
2. data availability: the provision of a European digital infrastructure will create the conditions for scaling up large data stocks in Europe  
3. innovation: a common European digital ecosystem creates the conditions for more innovation in the IT sector and for strengthening the competitiveness of European companies  

Where is GAIA-X used? 

GAIA-X will be used in a wide range of industries, from financial services and construction to transportation, industry, public sector and healthcare. Three use cases of GAIA-X are: 
- In the financial sector , key players are to join together to form a Financial Big Data Cluster and build a cloud-based data platform  
- In the public sector, digital assistants are to be made available to citizens as text- or language-based contacts  
- In the transport sector , the processes along the travel chain in public transport are to be digitised  

Conclusion on GAIA-X

The creation of a new digital ecosystem for Europe is now taking shape. In September this year, the founding members of the project signed the founding documents. A prototypical implementation of the first GAIA-X services is to take place as early as the beginning of 2021. As an open project, all European countries and companies are invited to participate in the services and innovations of GAIA-X.

Here are all the articles from our blog series "Cloud providers and their advantages - a technology with future potential".


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