Andreas Weiss, Head of Digital Business Models at the eco Association, explains in an interview why we need a trustworthy digital space that is consistently oriented towards European standards and values.
Mr Weiss, what is special about GAIA-X?
GAIA-X is a federal concept as a basis for innovation according to EU standards and regulations. This creates a space for self-determination, which we in Germany and Europe greatly appreciate. In this sense, the federation services within the GAIA-X ecosystem will also be created as open source. On this basis, user groups can also organise themselves as part of GAIA-X, provided they conform to the relevant rules.
The eco Association is working on the GAIA-X Federation Services, right?
Yes, we coordinate the development of service specifications and have set up a Project Management Office (PMO) for this purpose and defined five work packages. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) is funding the project with around 13.5 million Euro. With the start of the project, we have laid the foundation for translating the performance promise of GAIA-X into concrete functionality and making it usable.
What are the next steps?
The five GAIA-X core services Identity & Trust, Federated Catalogue, Sovereign Data Exchange, Compliance and Federation Services Integration & Portal are at the centre of the first specification round which runs until spring 2021. The five work packages are primarily concerned with supporting further development and ensuring the interoperability of all subsections. The project will start with a requirements specification phase with the aim of launching the tendering process for the individual subsections in April.
Why is GAIA-X so important for eco?
The goal of GAIA-X is a trustworthy digital space that is consistently oriented towards European standards and values. We want to create a connected data infrastructure – as a prerequisite for stable, sovereign and resilient digital infrastructures and services. The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly shown us how important they are. In addition, it is also about enabling the application of digital services on the Internet even in system-critical areas, up to real-time applications. These include issues of latency, interchangeability of services and generally applying trust and transparency mechanisms for wide adoption. As eco – Association of the Internet Industry, we represent the major providers of digital infrastructures and services and help to identify requirements from the business community.
Mr Weiss, thank you very much for the interview.