Common digital infrastructure for Europe
What is GAIA-X?
GAIA-X is a project for a federated data infrastructure in Europe. It is a platform for storing data in external data centres. It aims to guarantee performance and competitiveness, as well as security and trustworthiness. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has taken over the lead role within the Federal Government for GAIA-X.
How we will benefit from the project?
GAIA-X should support the development of a digital ecosystem in Europe, which enables innovations, new data-driven services and applications. GAIA-X aims to establish data sovereignty in Europe, to counteract monopolistic tendencies. Many people can soon benefit from the added value of this project: it will enable a sovereign decision on data-based business models. GAIA-X supports innovative cross-sector collaborations, to aggregate and increase the value of data. In addition, the platform promotes fair and transparent business models. For this purpose, rules and standards for collaborative approaches, including the legally compliant use of data, will be provided.
How does it work?
Through the decentralised approach, GAIA-X links different infrastructures to form a homogeneous system. Security, sovereignty and trustworthiness are fundamental elements for the digital ecosystem this creates. GAIA-X is also transparent in numerous respects: on the one hand, the idea is based on the open source approach, and on the other hand, smaller companies can also benefit from the guaranteed market transparency. The ecosystem built on the infrastructure strengthens both the digital sovereignty of the users of cloud services, as well as the ability to scale and competitive position of European cloud providers.
No competitive product to existing offers should be created through the implementation of GAIA-X. Rather, through GAIA-X, various elements should be interlinked via open interfaces and standards, to link data and to create a platform for innovation.
What is the timetable?
After the GAIA-X concept was presented at the Digital Summit in autumn last year, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Altmaier presented further project steps in May 2020. The French and German governments are working closely together on this initiative. A prototypical implementation should take place by the end of 2020. An important step towards this goal will be the summit of the EU telecommunications ministers on 15 October this year in Baden-Baden, when other states will announce their participation in the GAIA-X-Project.
The name GAIA-X comes from a goddess in Greek mythology. There, Gaia is the wife of the sky god Uranus. In addition to the personification of the Earth, Gaia also symbolises one of the primordial deities, in the sense of an original element of the universe.