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Project GAIA-X

GAIA-X: A Federated Data Infrastructure for Europe

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With GAIA-X, representatives from politics, business and science from France and Germany, together with other European partners, create a proposal for the next generation of a data infrastructure for Europe: 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. 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 seven European countries are currently involved in the project. We want to invite other European 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 the GAIA-X project, we are developing the foundations for a federated, open data infrastructure based on European values. ‘Project 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.

We invite you to participate in GAIA-X

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 300 organizations from various countries are already involved in GAIA-X. Still, the project is open to new European interested parties to join us in its development. Participation in the project is also possible for market participants outside Europe who share our goals of data sovereignty and data availability.

We welcome all interested parties who want to contribute their domain-specific and technical requirements and who want to actively participate: Both by contributing technical expertise, by submitting new use cases and by an active and continuous participation in a working group. Please indicate your interest by sending an e-mail to contact@data-infrastructure.eu.

Statements by some GAIA-X founding members

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.

GAIA-X in practice

Use Cases: GAIA-X from the user perspective

GAIA-X gives users access to a broad and highly useful range of specialised products and services from cloud providers, thus enabling the use of tailored solutions. In this context, GAIA-X offers full transparency through the self-description, provides certified data protection and supplies regulatory criteria for the products and services offered.

Clear conditions for participation in GAIA-X and for collaboration, and common rules for cross-company authentication and access management will strengthen the underlying level of trust, bring down the obstacles to participation and reduce the amount of work involved in bilateral coordination between individual users.

A further important added benefit of GAIA-X is the guarantee of data sovereignty: Each user decides for herself where her data is stored, as well as who may process it and for what purpose, based on the user’s own data classification. In that sense GAIA-X enables modular solutions. Users can also access AI applications and data pools via the trustworthy data infrastructure. Based on standardisation rules and the different options for managing and controlling the transfer of data, data can be exchanged between the companies, linked with other data, processed, evaluated, and monetised in value creation networks. The opportunities of data and service sharing can promote innovations, exploit synergies and enable new business models to be developed and scaled up.

The aim of Workstream 1 ‘User ecosystems and requirements’ is to achieve the stated added benefits through a broad and sustained mobilisation of the user and demand perspective. This occurs through continual identification, integration, development and implementation of domain-specific use cases, which illustrate the need for and the added benefit of a sovereign European data infrastructure. The work also focuses on defining domain-specific and cross-domain requirements. These form the foundation for the growth of data infrastructures.

In the meantime, more than 40 use cases have been submitted in eight domains (‘Industry 4.0/SME’, ‘Health’, ‘Finance’, ‘Public Sector’, ‘Smart Living’, ‘Energy’, ‘Mobility’ and ‘Agriculture’). They come from various companies and organisations from European countries, including Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland. On the one hand, they illustrate need for and the added benefit of GAIA-X. On the other hand, they each represent a domain and serve as basis to identify and validate domain-specific and cross-domain requirements and to allow these to be incorporated into the development of GAIA-X.

All project participants are invited to participate in Workstream 1 ‘User Ecosystems and Requirements’: Both by submitting new use cases and by active and continuous participation in a domain-specific working group. The establishment of further domains is welcome. Of course, use cases can also be developed and implemented outside the GAIA-X working structure.

Use Case Gallery

GAIA-X Use Cases

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Project Structure

Project Structure

The GAIA-X project is divided into different workstreams for specific topics:

  1. User ecosystems and requirements
  2. Technical implementation

There is also a cross-functional unit known as the ‘Joint requirements’ expert tribe. This unit consists of two groups that are convened on a flexible basis and that deal with topics where there is a strong interdependency between the workstreams. The project structure is agile, can be adapted over time in line with the framework conditions and guarantees collaboration across separate topics.

Project Structure GAIA-X

Project Structure GAIA-X

© BMWi

1. Workstream 1 ‘User ecosystems and requirements’

Workstream 1 ‘User ecosystems and requirements’ focuses on broad and sustained mobilisation of the user and demand perspective. This supports the building and development of a European data infrastructure through continual implementation of the first domain-specific examples of need (use cases) that have been selected. The work also focuses on the definition of domain-specific and cross-domain requirements, as well as existing approaches on which GAIA-X should build. The domains of ‘Industry 4.0/SMEs’, ‘Healthcare’, ‘Public sector’, ‘Finance’, ‘Energy’, ‘Mobility’ and ‘Smart living’ are currently represented and organised in relevant working groups.
The companies and/or organisations essentially develop and implement the use cases outside of the workstreams in the relevant use case teams. The use case teams can provide their input to the workstream and the domain-specific working groups.

2. Workstream 2 ‘Technical implementation’

Workstream 2 ‘Technical implementation’ is concerned with the building of the legally compliant and sovereign European data infrastructure. The contributions from members and the well-established bottom-up approach mean that the structures and working groups of the workstream are agile and can adapt to the user requirements and the legal framework conditions. The working groups in the workstream focus on various subject areas, for example: framework architecture; technical description of the functionalities; physical and infrastructural criteria for the self-descriptions of providers, services and nodes; recommendations for storage, computing and network services; the definition of suitable testing criteria for performance commitments; concept design for a continual QoS process; and the development of user stories.

The workstream is currently developing a technical concept to provide the technical definition of the required reference architecture and to describe the basic technical functionalities of the data infrastructure. The domain-specific requirements from the user perspective are the key contributing factor for the further development and implementation of the basic technical functionalities and are incorporated into the technical concept.

3. ‘Joint requirements’ expert tribe

The cross-functional unit known as the expert tribe is formed of two expert groups from the different workstreams, which are convened on an ad hoc basis to identify common requirements. The expert groups deal with topics where there is a strong interdependency between the workstreams. This includes areas such as the general technical requirements and regulatory aspects.

The ‘Technical requirements’ expert tribe gathers, evaluates and coordinates shared, general and technical requirements for a European data infrastructure from domain-specific user perspectives. The work provides a fundamental basis for the development and implementation of basic technical functionalities and is incorporated into the technical concept. Requirements relating to the legal framework conditions that must be met are defined in the ‘Regulatory’ expert tribe.

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.

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions on the GAIA-X project

 

1. What is the GAIA-X project?

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

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

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Glossary

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

 

Symbol Book

Glossary GAIA-X

Press Release

Project GAIA-X