In general, the term ‘data space’ refers to a type of data relationship between trusted partners who adhere to the same high standards and guidelines when it comes to data storage and sharing. However, a critical aspect of the data space notion is that data are not stored centrally, but rather at the source and are thus only transferred (through semantic interoperability) as necessary. The data in the data spaces in the Gaia-X 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, so that a data provider, for instance, 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 and thereby forms a solid ground for each ecosystem. The software required to implement data spaces runs on cloud/edge cloud infrastructures.