Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Peter Altmaier and his French counterpart Minister Bruno Le Maire today held a conference to jointly present the results achieved under the GAIA-X project and the next steps that will be taken. The virtual event was attended by representatives from business and science from both countries and by members of the European Commission.

Minister Altmaier said: "The coronavirus crisis is making the whole world aware of the importance of digitisation, be it in the health sector, schools, companies and at home. Europe must emerge stronger from the crisis and become a strong driver of digital innovation to be able to safeguard its competitiveness and create jobs for the future. With GAIA-X, we are taking a major step towards building a data economy. Our objective is to create a digital ecosystem in Europe that will foster innovation and spawn new data-driven services and applications. We encourage all European and international partners who share our guiding principles of openness, transparency, trust, sovereignty and self-determination to join us in this endeavour."

French Minister of the Economy and Finance, Bruno Le Maire, said: "France and Germany are resolved to lay the foundations for a true European data infrastructure. Drawing on cooperation between eleven German and eleven French companies, Europe can promote a new culture of artificial intelligence based on the principles of openness, interoperability, transparency and trust. The coronavirus crisis has shown that our data help us overcome epidemics faster and more effectively to the extent that Europeans have confidence in data collection and storage. GAIA-X meets this need for data security.”

Germany and France have launched the GAIA-X project to pursue the goal of establishing a trustworthy and secure data infrastructure for Europe.

Today, 22 companies, eleven from Germany and eleven from France, will officially present the organisation which they are establishing together to set up the framework for the GAIA-X ecosystem. These companies represent both the supply and demand side of GAIA-X. All members of the organisation commit themselves to the following guiding principles: protecting data sovereignty, data availability, interoperability, portability, promoting transparency and fair participation.

Today’s event will serve to present a first technical concept for the GAIA-X architecture. It contains the details of the services that are crucial for the GAIA-X ecosystem, the European rules and standards to be observed, and the requirements from the users’ point of view. These requirements were derived from more than 40 use cases.

Five publications are being published today, which have been developed with the companies and organisations involved in order to identify and prepare the next steps:

  1. GAIA-X – the European project enters the next phase: overview of the goals, results and further process under GAIA-X.
  2. GAIA-X: A Pitch Towards Europe – status report on user ecosystems and requirements: more than 40 use cases from eight domains (Industry 4.0/SMEs – small and medium-sized enterprises, healthcare, finance, public sector, smart living, energy, mobility and agriculture) demonstrate the added value that GAIA-X can provide in comparison with the status quo. The use cases were utilised to derive cross-sectoral requirements for GAIA-X.
  3. GAIA-X: Technical Architecture - release May/2020: the first architecture paper presents a concept for GAIA-X, which describes the technical details of essential functions of GAIA-X, i.e. the ‘federated services’ and roles as well as functionalities of the GAIA-X ecosystem.
  4. GAIA-X: Policy Rules and Architecture of Standards: the federated architecture is based on European rules and standards and will enable them to be implemented effectively. The paper contains a first overview of the proposals for ‘Policy Rules and Architecture of Standards (PRAAS)’ and outlines the process of how they will be developed further in a systematic manner.
  5. GAIA-X: Driver of Digital Innovation in Europe - featuring the next generation of data infrastructure: the publication offers a high-level view of GAIA-X and explains the features and functions within the system in an easy-to-understand way.

The GAIA-X Virtual Expert Forum to be held in the afternoon with experts who are directly involved in the project will provide an insight into the concepts and further implementation of the project. The forum will also be used to present the first use cases.

The idea of working together on a data sharing project was first raised in February 2019 on the occasion of the publication of a Franco-German manifesto on European industrial policy in Berlin. On the occasion of the 21st Franco-German Council of Ministers in Toulouse in October 2019, Minister Altmaier and Minister Le Maire agreed on a roadmap for Franco-German cooperation in the field of AI and on a joint approach for a European data infrastructure that will enable us to preserve our data sovereignty. At the Digital Summit in October 2019, the idea for a European data infrastructure was presented to the public for the first time. Currently, representatives from around 300 European and international companies and scientific organisations are working within GAIA-X to turn this idea into reality.