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Data spaces

Home » What is Gaia-X » Core elements » Data spaces

What are they?

The term ‘data space’ refers to a type of data relationship between trusted partners who adhere to the same high level standards and guidelines in relation to data storage and sharing within one or many Vertical Ecosystems.

A critical aspect of the data space notion is that data are not stored centrally, but rather at the source. Thus, they are only transferred through semantic interoperability as necessary. Data in the Gaia-X Data Spaces context are kept exclusively by the Association’s members.

A data space is the sum of all its participants, which may be data providers, users and intermediaries. Data spaces can be nested and overlapping. For instance, a data provider can participate in several data spaces all at once.

Data sovereignty and trust are essential for data spaces to work and support relationships between participants. To ensure this, the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), a founding member of the Gaia-X Association, has proposed a reference architecture model for participants.

Each Data Space provides specific data. Thereby, it forms a solid ground for one or many ecosystems. The software required to implement data spaces runs on cloud/edge cloud infrastructures.

Which data spaces exist?

An initial description of some of these Data Spaces may be seen below

More than 50 participants have joined the Industry 4.0/SME data space, which is steadily growing. This data space currently comprises six use cases arising from production scenarios, including collaborative manufacturing and supply chain processes, machines with virtual avatars and interfaces between two separate industries, such as supply chains, transportation and health.

The Health Data Space is working to build a consortium of public bodies and private companies to promote the use of digital technologies and cloud solutions that will transform the health sector. The Gaia-X secure ecosystem will address some of the problems highlighted by the Covid-19 pandemic, including the absence of interoperability between systems and the prevalence of health data silos.

The Education and Skills data space (DaSES) will create a data space for the benefit of the educational community. Starting from a French initiative in 2021, gathering public and private stakeholders, DaSES has set up different working groups and is now extending invitations to other countries, to build a European roadmap to promote an open and interoperable digital ecosystem of transparent and ‘trusted’ data, for quality education and lifelong learning.

Trusted data space supporting energy services and fostering collaboration between all stakeholders is a cornerstone of the decarbonisation of the energy sector.

Today, a broad representation of European energy companies, and academic and technological partners have joined Gaia-X to build the European energy data space.

In a transparent and secure manner, the energy data space addresses the following challenges, thanks to data-sharing possibilities:

  • Accelerate the deployment of low carbon energy solutions
  • Foster energy efficiency and sector coupling (integration of power, gases, hydrogen across buildings/heating systems, mobility, and industry…)
  • Enable more flexibility to integrate renewable energy into the European electric system
  • Accelerate the energy system digitalisation
  • Maintain the European Union’s technological sovereignty and global competitiveness in the energy sector.

We project to develop use cases on eight key energy topics: renewables, hydrogen, nuclear, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, local energy communities, networks and compliance and traceability.

We invite all European companies, including start-ups, suppliers and energy producers working in the energy sector to join us! Have a look at the energy data space presentation.

The Mobility Data Space will enhance the mobility user experience, while creating new business opportunities for its members. While addressing the challenge that travel data tends to hold in many different places and by a wide range of actors such as airlines and hotels, the key question is how to ensure data sovereignty, guarantee privacy and nurture trade, while this industry is in a state of flux.

The Finance and Insurance data space was founded by the French and German banks, European cloud service providers, public institutions, and insurance firms, and is now expanding to Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium, Finland, Austria, and Poland. Other countries are equally welcomed to join.

A data space focusing on Space was established at the end of November 2020. Given the extent to which our everyday lives depend on space data, it is crucial that this data can be handled securely and efficiently, ensuring European data sovereignty.

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