Launching Europe’s digital future with “GAIA-X”

When GAIA-X[1] was unveiled at the 13th Digital Summit in late October of 2019, it marked the official kick-off of the development of a data platform and software infrastructure aimed at strengthening Europe’s digital sovereignty and global competitiveness. What began as a Franco-German initiative has now evolved into a pan-European project in the context of the EU digital strategy prioritized by the European Commission, which Fabasoft is now helping to develop.

The EU Digital Single Market and GAIA-X

Europe is committed to increasing its technological competitiveness through cooperation in the Digital Single Market. This necessitates, first and foremost, a powerful European platform for transparent and secure data transfer, which guarantees digital sovereignty in compliance with European standards such as the EU Cloud Code of Conduct (CoC)[2] while at the same time providing sufficient latitude for innovation. And that’s where GAIA-X comes in.

Objectives and opportunities

Founded in June 2020, the GAIA-X Foundation brings together partners from more than 300 companies and organizations based in a number of European countries.

Its aim is to network currently existing centralized and decentralized data infrastructures to form a homogeneous, transparent system – a “European platform with software infrastructure” – operating at the highest level of data protection and security. This involves developing software, drawing up common standards, and establishing an organizational framework. Open technologies are meant to ensure the interoperability of the infrastructures and the secure exchange of data, applications, and expertise as well as the use of services. This will generate new opportunities for both cloud service providers (CSPs) and users to develop innovative business models and products and to secure their competitive position internationally.

Already today, GAIA-X is a flexible platform with an architecture that maps data and software without any system discontinuity. To date, more than 40 use cases have been compiled from the eight categories of Industry 4.0/SMEs, Health, Finance, Public Sector, Smart Living, Energy, Mobility, and Agriculture to illustrate the kind of innovations that might also be relevant for other industries or sectors.

Fabasoft’s involvement in GAIA-X

Fabasoft regards the EU’s Digital Single Market and the strategies connected with it to be essential prerequisites for a strong, competitive Europe. As one of the leading software product companies and providers of cloud services, Fabasoft has always maintained the highest standards in terms of data protection, information security, and compliance. Fabasoft’s active involvement in the GAIA-X project is a logical consequence of the shared understanding of these values.

In the beginning, Fabasoft plans to contribute to the technical workstream and take part in designing content in the Compliance and Interoperable Data Exchange working groups. As the project progresses, Fabasoft intends to provide specific use cases and to be listed as an accredited service in the GAIA-X catalog, where certified CSPs present their products and services.

In Europe, for Europe: The next steps for the GAIA-X project

In mid-September 2020, the 22 founding members signed the charter for the foundation of GAIA-X AISBL (association internationale sans but lucratif), a non-profit association under Belgian law. The purpose of the association is to promote continued development of the technology solutions and regulations of the GAIA-X European data platform.

Developing competitive approaches for straightforward data exchange while adhering to stringent security standards is a major step on the road to European digital sovereignty. Through a joint European effort, GAIA-X has a real opportunity to shape the digital future of Europe. With Fabasoft’s profound expertise, gained through decades of experience, the company will actively support these endeavors and continue to establish itself as a trusted and reliable partner – in Europe, for Europe.

 

[1] The name “Gaia” has its origin in Greek mythology, referring to the Greek goddess of the Earth and the ancestral mother of many other deities.

[2] In his corporate blog post, Fabasoft CEO Helmut Fallmann discusses why digital sovereignty must go hand in hand with European data protection.