What is Gaia-X?

Gaia-X represents the next generation of data infrastructure ecosystem: an open, transparent, and secure digital ecosystem, where data and services can be made available, collated and shared in an environment of trust.

The architectural structure of Gaia-X is based on the principle of decentralisation. Gaia-X is the result of many individual data owners (users) and technology players (providers) – all adopting a common standard of rules and control mechanisms – the Gaia-X standard.

What are the key elements of Gaia-X?

Are you building another hyperscaler, that will compete against existing market offerings?

This new federated data infrastructure is:

  1. Decentralised: Gaia-X connects centralised and decentralised infrastructures within a homogeneous system.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Open: The data infrastructure will be based on the open source principle.
  5. 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.

Which industries are/will be represented?

  • Agriculture
  • Aviation
  • Energy 
  • Finances
  • Geoinformation
  • Health
  • Industry
  • Logistics
  • Mobility
  • Smart Living
  • Space

What do I want to get out of it in the end? What benefits do I get?

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.

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.

Why should companies use Gaia-X? Why is it so important?

Gaia-X aims for creating standards, fostering software communities and facilitating data spaces creation. Therefore Gaia-X AISBL focuses on three outcomes:

  • Architecture specification which describes the functionalities of Gaia-X and provides conformity criteria.
  • Open-source software code in order to ensure open implementation of federation services and open-source community.
  • Instruments of certification including methods and tool for conformance testing and certification of services.

The goals are:

  • Interoperability between different data nodes
  • User-friendly service opportunities
  • Exchangeability among different service providers in a sovereign data market
  • And the collaboration and data exchange between edge instances and cloud instances.

What is the vision behind it? How should it look and be used in the end?

Digital Platforms are becoming the digital twin of VISION physical environmental, e conomic, political, and societal e cosystems. Our ability to ensure their respect of fundamental principles of freedom, transparency, and sovereignty, will d etermine the future of Europe and any civil society.

Who can take part?

Gaia-X remains open for new interested European parties to join and to contribute. Participation in Gaia-X is also possible for market participants outside Europe who share our goals of data sovereignty and data availability.

How can I participate?

Gaia-X is open to new interested parties to help it to develop further. Everyone can get involved in a way that best suits their needs – for example, through the contribution of technical expertise, suggestion of new use cases or through active and continuous participation in one of the various open working groups.

In general, there are three ways to get involved:

  1. Represent the project as an AISBL member
  2. Contribute to the national Gaia-X Hubs
  3. Participate in Gaia-X Community.

What is GXFS?

The Gaia-X Federation Services represent the minimum technical requirements and services necessary to operate federated Gaia-X Ecosystems of infrastructure and data. These services will leverage existing standards and open technology, e.g. open-source software. 

GXFS is a Gaia-X deliverable. It is the Gaia-X toolbox to create interoperable ecosystems following Gaia-X Reference Architecture.

Where can I find use cases?

How is security and privacy ensured?

To ensure security and privacy as an integral part, each Federation Service has to ensure security and privacy by design. This topic explains the overall lifecycle and how security and privacy need to be integrated into each lifecycle step of an Federation Service.