This new federated data infrastructure is:
- Decentralised: GAIA-X connects centralised and decentralised infrastructures within a homogeneous system.
- Secure, trustworthy and confidently: The goal is to create a modular, secure, trustworthy and user-friendly system, that brings together existing cloud providers and their services and in which data and applications can be handled in a way, that ensures full control over these.
- Transparent: Small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, benefit from transparent markets, broad access to customised services and the options becoming available as a result.
- Open: The data infrastructure will be based on the open source principle.
- The basis for creating an ecosystem: The infrastructure will lead to the emergence of an ecosystem that strengthens the digital sovereignty of cloud service users and helps European cloud providers scale their business and improve their competitiveness. This ecosystem will foster innovation and provide easy access to new digital technologies.
GAIA-X is not intended to compete against existing offerings (such as hyperscalers). Instead, GAIA-X is intended to connect different elements via open interfaces and standards in order to aggregate data and create a platform for innovation. The project is open to all interested stakeholders, whether large industrial companies, SMEs or start-ups. The focus will be on the users – who are a key factor in the success of the digital economy.
GAIA-X is characterised by the following core elements:
- We want to create the next generation of data infrastructure for Europe, its states, its companies and its citizens.
- This infrastructure needs to meet the highest standards in terms of digital sovereignty and fostering innovation. We regard this infrastructure as the cradle of an ecosystem, where data and services can be made available, collected and shared in an environment of trust.
- The concept focuses on the precise needs of users and the added benefit as shown with the use cases.
- The existing concepts are to be understood as a proposal to Europe as we developed them with our French partners. We are pursuing this path also together with other European partners and in alignment with the European Commission.
- Our goal is to establish a more solid framework for this idea in 2020 and to launch some first use cases by the end of that year.
There are three reasons why we need GAIA-X:
- Data sovereignty: Existing cloud offerings are currently dominated by non-European providers, that are able to rapidly scale their infrastructure, and that hold significant market power and large amounts of capital. At the same time, we are seeing growing international tensions and trade conflicts across the globe. Europe needs to ensure that it can establish and maintain digital sovereignty permanently.
- Data availability: We need a trustworthy, secure and transparent data infrastructure that can be used to exchange and process data. This is the only way we can use the economies of scale created by the availability of large data sets in Europe.
- Innovation: We need a digital ecosystem that allows for the development of innovative products and helps European companies and business models scale up and be globally competitive. GAIA-X provides the basis for this.