What is GAIA-X? What is the status quo of the project? What are the next steps? These and more questions will be addressed in the coming weeks in our series “GAIA-X for Austria”.

What is GAIA-X?

GAIA-X is an EU-funded Franco-German flagship project, and now an organisation in its own right, which aims to create the next generation of data infrastructure for Europe. The framework is designed to meet the highest standards of digital sovereignty and innovation support. European data providers and users will be able to provide, collect and share their data and services in a trustworthy environment and in compliance with European legal and ethical frameworks.

What is data sovereignty?

Data sovereignty means the greatest possible control and dominion over (one’s own) data. This means that the decision on what happens with which data is left to the data owners. In order to achieve data sovereignty, transparency is needed. Only if it is comprehensible who uses which data where and how, is sovereign and self-determined action with data possible.

Why does Europe need its own data infrastructure?

“Data is the raw material of our century. But why should we sit on our data treasures? Only when we process our data together will the true value be released. But of course it’s not that simple – data sovereignty is the order of the day. Keeping sovereignty over the data and thus not only becoming more competitive, but also being able to appear more stable in data ecosystems.” – DIO President Günther Tschabuschnig

Apart from an economic aspect, Europe has high goals when it comes to ethical guidelines in dealing with data. Therefore, a European data infrastructure should, on the one hand, secure Europe’s data sovereignty, build and maintain its digital sovereignty permanently. Furthermore, it is important to create an environment in which data can be exchanged and processed in a trustworthy, secure but also transparent manner.

What should such a federated data structure look like?

The infrastructure according to European standards should be decentralised, secure, transparent and open. This is to ensure that a balanced ecosystem is created in which innovations are promoted and small and medium-sized enterprises also have simple and uncomplicated access to the data market. It is important to note that the aim is not to create a platform that seeks to outdo existing offerings from the Asian or North American regions. GAIA-X is supposed to connect different elements via open interfaces and standards in order to aggregate data and enable user-friendly access to the digital economy.

You can find more information on the GAIA-X project page.