Run by the Franco-German couple since August 2019, the GAIA-X project aims to build a data-sharing space, supported by and promoting, in particular, sovereign European cloud solutions, so as to provide companies with an alternative to the American and Chinese digital giants.
The objective is not to build a new platform but to federate existing service and infrastructure providers. To this aim, GAIA-X will establish transparency rules as well as a set of common standards to guarantee interoperability of data and cloud service, and to establish trustworthy environments.
By creating these “data spaces”, the aim of this European cloud ecosystem is to foster data sharing within economic sectors such as healthcare, finance, automobile, or aeronautics. It is also about facilitating data and service portability so as to be able to migrate easily from one referenced provider to another.
What’s more, GAIA-X intends to protect European companies’ trade secrets from extraterritorial laws, such as the US Cloud Act, which under certain conditions can authorise the requisition of data by foreign legal authorities, often unbeknownst to the users concerned.
For Orange, the main challenge of GAIA-X will be to materialise the notion of “data space”, where sovereign and less sovereign services can be combined, all the while guaranteeing data tightness.
This objective relies on bringing together a large amount of expertise and adding the user vision to this.
Twenty-two founding French and German companies, providers such as Orange or users such as EDF, have already joined the project to establish the GAIA-X foundation, the future governing body of the ecosystem.
In order to remain a perennial innovative space, GAIA-X will have to stay open to non-European players, without compromising its basis of trusted space.