Europe is pushing for more independence from cloud giants in the US and China with GAIA-X, which aims to create an ecosystem of cloud and data services protected by EU laws. GAIA-X is an initiative that hopes to create a unified ecosystem of cloud and data services protected by European data laws
The system would see various suppliers of cloud services linked up via a transparent data exchange that would act as a vessel for data across industries. It will also act as a repository that businesses can search when looking for specific data services – such as artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), analytics and big data.
It is an attempt to link existing cloud services from European companies into a unified ecosystem as well as making domestic cloud providers more visible. GAIA-X will make it easier for businesses across various industries – such as healthcare, finance, energy and public services – to exchange data.
With GAIA-X, representatives from politics, business and science from France and Germany, together with other European partners, created 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 initiative for 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, with an invitation to other European partners to join the project and to contribute to its development. Furthermore, GAIA-X is in continuous exchange with the European Commission.
The initiative’s 22 founding members signed the documents in Brussels to create an association for securing funding and commitment from members to fulfil the initiative’s vision for Europe.
The GAIA-X Association is led by CEO Francesco Bonfiglio, who explains
“We are building this common set of rules encompassing data security, interoperability, transparency trust and sovereignty. Cloud providers from anywhere in the world can be part of GAIA-X as long as they follow the rules and offer a compatible architecture, Bonfiglio says, and the world’s biggest public cloud operators, including market leaders AWS and Microsoft Azure, have all signed up’’
GAIA-X specifies a standard technical architecture, which will be made available with an open-source license so that organizations developing new cloud platforms can ensure they are compatible with all other systems.