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    ECB Joins an Initiative on European Data and Cloud Network

    November 17, 2022

    The European Central Bank (ECB) joined Gaia-X, which is a Belgium-based non-profit organization that develops common standards for digital services like cloud services. Gaia-X is an initiative working to help build the European data ecosystem and to allow data to be collected and shared in an environment of trust.

    The common standards developed by Gaia-X will enable users of digital services to retain control of their own data. For instance, data owners can ensure that their data are solely stored in Europe and subject to European law. These common standards will make services interoperable, allowing users to combine different digital services in the way that best meets their specific needs. For example, users will be able to store their data with one service provider and analyze those data with the services offered by another service provider. Gaia-X is believed to have the potential to create unprecedented opportunities for innovative, data-driven business models and new solutions to help European industries and companies of all sizes to scale up and compete globally. This move from ECB will support digital transformation of the economy and is in line with the digital strategy of the European Commission. Joining Gaia-X means that ECB will pay a membership fee, contribute its information technology expertise, and participate in the governance of the association.

    Twelve significant partners (including companies and associations) were recently awarded to setup and operate the Data Spaces Support Center, which will facilitate common data spaces in different sectors that collectively create an interoperable data-sharing environment. Funded by the European Commission as part of the Digital Europe Program, the project is scheduled to setup and run the Data Spaces Support Center. It includes a consortium of the leading associations and knowledge centers in the domain of data spaces, with a broad membership, an extensive network, national hubs, open-source communities, and data space pioneers. The Support Center explores the needs of the data spaces initiatives, including common requirements, and best practices. It delivers the Data Spaces Blueprint, composed of common building blocks in business, legal, operational, technical, and societal aspects. The Support Centre will support the Data Innovation Board to propose guidelines for common European data spaces, such as cross-sectoral data sharing standards, requirements for security, and access procedures.

     The organizational structure of Gaia-X is based on three pillars: the Gaia-X Association, the national Gaia-X Hubs, and the Gaia-X Community. The exchange within, between, and beyond these pillars to other stakeholders (for example, EU Commission, international initiatives) is ensured. Gaia-X Hubs are the central and country-specific contact points for companies, stakeholders, initiatives, associations, and public institutions that want to contribute to the success of the Gaia-X project. The goal is to set up a national Gaia-X hub in each participating country, which will act as a representative of the user ecosystems and provide a central point of contact for interested parties at the national level. Gaia-X promotes and supports an open source community in which all contributors are invited to participate. The goal of Gaia-X is to create an open, transparent, and secure federated digital ecosystem, where data and services adhere to common standards and can be freely and securely built, collated, and shared. Gaia-X was founded by 22 companies and organizations in January 2021, has no business interest of its own, and will develop federation cloud services within the existing cloud infrastructures.

     

    Related Link: Press Release

    Keywords: Europe, EU, Banking, Gaia-X, Cloud Service Providers, Data Sharing, API, Open Data, Open Finance, Regtech, Cloud Infrastructure, ECB

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