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One Cloud for Europe – GaiaX

US companies have a monopoly position in the cloud business. To enable Europe to operate independently of these groups, Germany and France are planning a cloud with servers located in Europe: GaiaX. The cloud is to be non-profit data sovereignty is in the spotlight.

The cloud should offer the possibility of exchanging data quickly and easily. For example, if a customer wants to switch from one Internet network to another, all his data can be transferred – without effort or loss of the data. This is to end the dependence on specific companies, said Economics Minister Altmaier.

Deutsche Telekom has been working on sovereign data platforms since 2017. Therefore, Telekom experts are also contributing to the GaiaX project. Claudia Nemat, member of the Board of Management of Deutsche Telekom, explains GaiaX in the following video:

Claudia Nemat, Board Member of Deutsche Telekom, explains GaiaX

GaiaX enters the next round

At the beginning of June, 11 companies from France and Germany joined forces to further develop GaiaX – on a non-profit basis. At the beginning of 2021 GaiaX is to be implemented as a prototype in about 300 companies. Currently, companies such as SAP, Deutsche Telekom and Siemens are playing a leading role in the project realization. So far, plans for data infrastructure and technical architecture have been developed. Requirements and rules were developed. Applications could be, for example, autonomous driving or intelligent energy networks.

Sovereignty and transparency as standards

Sovereign data handling in Europe should create confidence in the data infrastructure. With GaiaX, Altmaier as well as the French Minister of Economic Affairs, Bruno Le Maire, want to set a standard that can be used internationally – with European rules and values. In this way, it could also withstand international competition. The expertise of companies such as Amazon AWS or IBM is also used. An integration of international providers into GaiaX, however, only takes place if transparency of data handling is guaranteed. A complete move of data from one provider to another must always be possible.

GaiaX standards already available

The Data Intelligence Hub already implements the requirements for data sovereignty. Highest security standards are guaranteed when exchanging data at the DIH. The data is stored decentrally. The reference architecture is provided by the International Data Spaces Association implemented. GaiaX also planned to use this architecture. In addition, the Data Intelligence Hub ensures compliance with all legal standards. Thus, the platform is very close to the GaiaX project already.