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Who are we?

The Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL represents the core of the organisational structure. It is an international non-profit association under Belgian law (French: association internationale sans but lucratif, shortened to AISBL). It was founded to develop the technical framework and operate the Gaia-X Federation services.

Officially, the Association was founded by 22 companies and organisations in January 2021. Until today, over 340 members have joined and more are welcome. Its members are committed to upholding the values of data protection, transparency, openness, security, and respect for data rights. They are either companies with a provider or user background of data infrastructures, IT-start-ups, research institutions or business associations.

The Association has no business interest of its own. It will develop federation cloud services within the existing cloud infrastructures. To achieve this and to ensure an open and transparent character the Association facilitates the development of an open software infrastructure.

The Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL represents the core of the organisational structure. It is an international non-profit association under Belgian law (French: association internationale sans but lucratif, shortened to AISBL). It was founded to develop the technical framework and operate the Gaia-X Federation services.

Officially, the Association was founded by 22 companies and organisations in January 2021. Until today, over 340 members have joined and more are welcome. Its members are committed to upholding the values of data protection, transparency, openness, security, and respect for data rights. They are either companies with a provider or user background of data infrastructures, IT-start-ups, research institutions or business associations.

The Association has no business interest of its own. It will develop federation cloud services within the existing cloud infrastructures. To achieve this and to ensure an open and transparent character the Association facilitates the development of an open software infrastructure.

Organisational structure

The Gaia-X Association’s General Assembly is composed of all of its members. The General Assembly has complete authority to carry out the objectives of the Gaia-X Association

The Board of Directors decides on important matters regarding the Gaia-X Association. It is headed by a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson.

The Management Board manages the daily activities of the Gaia-X Association. The Management Board is composed of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), the Chief Operating Officer (COO), and the Chief Technical Officer (CTO).

Who is who (see profiles)

Francesco Bonfiglio

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Francesco is the CEO of the Gaia-X Association. He is responsible for the overall strategy and execution of the program. With more than 30 years’ experience in the business of consulting and information technology, he brings his knowledge of the cloud and digital market needs, and his vision on how Gaia-X should revolutionise it. Independent Advisor since 2020, he has worked as an executive in many multinational contexts.

Co-founder and Board Member of FOOLFARM (first Italian AI centric Startup Studio), Formerly Chief Executive Officer for ENGINEERING D.HUB (Hybrid Cloud and Digital Transformation company), Vice President for Technology Services at AVANADE and Managing Director within ACCENTURE Group, Chief Technology Officer for HEWLETT-PACKARD EMEA, SW Factory Director at UNISYS, Technical Director and Professional Services Director at RATIONAL SOFTWARE amongst his positions. Of Italian descent, he resides in Milan. He is a father of three sons and speaks English, and Italian.

Gabriela Condis

Personal Assistant to the CEO & HR Staff Coordinator

Gabriela is the PA and HR Staff Coordinator of Gaia-X. For 13 years, she has been working in international and multicultural contexts, providing daily support to decision makers to find solutions in compliance with regulations and protocols. Her role aims to directly collaborate on strategic conception; manage action plans and to ensure operational coordination with various interlocutors.

Activities included the organisation of big events, acting as a first point of contact, managing agents, financial, research and operational functions, within local, national and international authorities etc.

Working with elected officials (keeping agendas, writing minutes, official letters or messages) with local or regional organisations and associations have allowed her to grow across various political and diplomatic settings, with the ability to hold a hey role in identifying, analysing and assessing organisational needs. Autonomous, versatile, with a positive aptitude and proactivity, she is able y to be both proactive and reactive to meet all set-out requirements. She speaks English, French, Spanish, and Romanian.

Pierre Gronlier

Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

Pierre is the CTO of Gaia-X. He has been working for the last 12 years in the IT industry with a particular interest on operationalising and scaling systems in the field of real-time communication and cloud services.

With an academic background in real-time embedded systems and applied mathematics in signal processing and machine learning, he started as a research engineer in video compression before joining Skype and Microsoft.

He then joined OVHcloud as a cloud solution architect, advising and helping key accounts with their IT resources architecture and consumption. He participated in the development of the first Gaia-X prototypes.

Cristina Pauna

Open Source Community Manager

Cristina is the Open Source Community Manager of Gaia-X. She has fifteen years of professional experience covering the full lifecycle of software development, with extensive team leadership experience. She has been involved in Open Source for more than half a decade, holding a range of roles from contributor to elected Technical Steering Committee member. The projects she was involved in cover the full cloud stack on multiple platforms, from infrastructure to VNFs and orchestration. As an Open Source enthusiast she fosters openness, collaboration and finding ways to achieve common goals.

Valentin Misiaszek

Software Developer

Valentin is a Software Developer for Gaia-X, he works to make CTO Office Team life easier with automation processes and user interfaces, he also participate to Gaia-X Lab projects. Valentin is passionate about development and new technologies, he appreciates teamwork, injecting positive energy and carrying out his projects.

Viridiana Alverde

Project Manager to the CTO

Viridiana is the Project Manager of the Gaia-X CTO office. She holds over 10 years of international working experience in the Tech sector. She brings her experience in Marketing and Project Management acquired from organizing and delivering large scale events and conferences such as: TEDx events, FinTech Belgium Summits, Sustainability Summits. Prior to Gaia X, she worked at Microsoft Europe organizing digital policy events and leading digital marketing initiatives.

Viridiana has a demonstrated track record in developing and executing integrated marketing and communications plans from end-to-end. She grew up in Mexico and followed her University Studies in Sweden, Canada, and Belgium. She holds a master’s in international business and a diploma from University College of Dublin in Digital Policy. She speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian.

Roland Fadrany

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Roland is the COO of Gaia-X from May 2022 onwards. He establishes effective policies, processes and organization that promote the Gaia-X vision and mission.

With over 20 years of international management and consulting experience in the IT industry, he brings strong leadership and digitalisation knowledge to the team. He has led a global service line, successfully delivered complex, critical programs and managed multinational development-, delivery- and partner organisations at companies like EDS, HP, A1 Telekom Austria, Microsoft and Detecon.

Roland oversaw comprehensive innovation and transformation initiatives in various industries in Europe and the USA. He holds a masters degree in “Engineering Management” from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. He speaks English and German and lives in Vienna.

Petra Makovec

Operations Manager

Petra is the Operations Manager of the Gaia-X COO office. She has 20 year’s experience in Organisational Development, Portfolio Management and Program Management. Since 2009 she is running her own company delivering various Transformation Projects for clients in different Industries.

The last three years she was managing contractors on pharmaceutical and chemical construction Projects in Germany. She was responsible to ensure the quality and in time production of the deliverables by setting up clear working procedures, supporting the team in achieving the milestones, assuring good communication and relationship within a multi-company environment. She is known for her solution-driven, results-oriented and agile work-methods. She speaks German and English.

Przemek Halub

Program Manager

Przemek is the Program Manager of Gaia-X. He has 15+ years of experience in project management and has led multidisciplinary teams across service delivery, presales, and software development areas.  His main duties are:

Definition; planning; monitoring and control of program; program requirements; milestones; risk planning and documentation; program reporting; coordination and support of Gaia-X Hubs in relation to their project activities.

Prior to this role Przemek has spent 5 years at Atos and was assigned to the Siemens Account.  He managed large global IT presales programs in the areas of  digital transformation, digital workplace, application management and could. Previously Przemek led projects in R&D  (technology transfer area) and the banking industry (management and implementation of new processes for stock exchanges in Singapore and Asia-Pacific region). He is certified in Agile Project Management (Agile PM) and is a project management graduate and a scholarship holder from the University of Stanford.

Guiditta Del Buono

Committees and Working Groups Manager

Giuditta supports the management of the Gaia-X Committees and Working Groups. Previously, she contributed to the Gaia-X project by participating in the WG Provider and OWPs Self Descriptions and Cross-Environment Service Orchestration for Netalia, an Italian cloud provider that is a Day-1 member of Gaia-X. As Regulatory Compliance Manager for Netalia, she was in charge of the analysis and implementation of regulatory rules, guidelines, and industry standards, representing the company within the Associations CISPE (Cloud Infrastructure Service Providers in Europe), among the founders of Gaia-X, and SWIPO (Switching Cloud Providers and Porting Data).

From a Chemical Engineering perspective, she is passionate about collaborative innovation projects and holds over ten ten years of experience in the innovation & technology transfer sector, where she carried out research activities and contributed to the implementation of scouting and acceleration programs addressed to high-tech startups, both for public business incubator and for private VC firms.

Alberto Curatolo

Head of Finance & Administration

Alberto leads financial, and administrative tasks for Gaia-X. He holds a Master Degree in International and Diplomatic Sciences from Bologna University and a Master’s in European Law and Economics from Sorbonne. He has been working as a project manager in the social economy sector, being responsible for corporate, legal and financial matters. During his years as a legal officer and public procurement correspondent at the European Commission, he acquired an extensive experience in all legal, administrative and financial aspects of EC funded projects and procurement processes.

As a Financial Director at the European Organisation for Security (EOS), he was in charge of the company’s financial management, the EU Project Management Team and the HR department. He speaks English, French, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese.

Alessandra Perna

HUBs and Data Space Manager

Alessandra oversees the relations with Gaia-X members and leads the Gaia-X Project and Proposal Office. She also supports the management of the Finance Working Group within the Data Space Business Committee and the operations of the Data Space Business Alliance for Gaia-X.

Alessandra previously worked on project management and governance in International Associations of different sectors. She holds a degree cum laude in Philosophy, a master’s degree cum laude in Neuroethics and a Master in European Project Management. She speaks English, Italian and French and a beginner’s level of Hungarian.

Francesca Nista

Membership Relations Manager

Francesca works in the Membership department at Gaia-X and assists the Community and Funding Manager in providing support to Gaia-X members. She also supports the Financial Department and the Gaia-X Project and Proposal Office. Francesca has been previously working as a Policy and Administration assistant in different NGOs in Brussels and holds a master’s degree in Comparative International Relations at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. She speaks English and Italian.

Cosmina Gantner

Digital Communications Director

Cosmina is the Digital Comms Director of Gaia-X. She supports the 360 communications efforts of Gaia-X, mainly responsible for digital communications, website management and social media.

Previously, Cosmina managed the communications strategy and media relations for a Brussels based organisation in the Social Policy field. Prior to that, she was responsible for events communication in the field of Research and Innovation in the European Parliament, including the European Innovation Summit and the EU Top 50 Startups Competition.

Cosmina holds a MA in Visual Communication & Advertising and a BA in Communications and Public Relations awarded by the West University of Timisoara, Romania. She speaks English and Romanian and has an intermediate understanding of French.

Thomas Stevens

Digital Media Manager

Thomas is the Digital Media Manager of Gaia-X. Prior to joining Gaia-X, Thomas worked as a Communications officer for an NGO that aims to advance the exchange of knowledge in European public social services and has experience as a project manager for an NGO involved in European youth work. His interest in communications started when he was enrolled in an internship for a research centre promoting European defence cooperation and has grown ever since.

Thomas holds an MA in International Politics from Ghent University, Belgium, and a BA in Social Cultural Work from the University of Leuven, Belgium. Outside Gaia-X, Thomas enjoys going for a run in Ghent or, weather permitting, soaring the skies of the Belgian Ardennes with his paraglider. He speaks English and Dutch (Flemish), while he has an intermediate knowledge of French.

Robert Goia

Stakeholder Engagement Officer

Robert is the External Stakeholder Engagement Officer of Gaia-X. He has advocacy experience in the civil society, and he particularly specialised in EU political rights advocacy and citizenship education. Throughout the years he has been extensively involved in civil society advocacy and has acquired important skills related to project management. By organising conferences and engaging mobile European citizens in political rights discussions, he has improved both his creative and advocacy writing and speaking skills.

Outside work, he enjoys playing music, both in terms of producing and listening, and he has decent bass guitar skills as well as stage experience. Hiking is also an activity that he is particularly interested in. He speaks English and Romanian and a beginner’s level of Hungarian and French.

Krzysztof Lechowski

Key Research & Comms Officer

Krzysztof supports Gaia-X’s communication team. Prior to joining Gaia-X, Krzysztof worked at the Chancellery of the Senate in Poland and most recently volunteered at the Italian Red Cross during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Krzysztof is a graduate from the University of Southern Denmark and the University of Bialystok. Outside of Gaia-X, Krzysztof likes to relax by cooking, reading, and playing volleyball.

He speaks English, and Polish and he has an intermediated knowledge of French and Italian.

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Committees & Working Groups

Data Spaces Business Committee (DSBC)

The Data Space Business Committee is driven by a business ecosystem and strives to proactively support the creation of Data Spaces by third parties across Europe and beyond.

The DSBC collects and prioritises economic, functional, operational and legal requirements that facilitates seamless collaboration and interconnection between Data Spaces, Lighthouse Projects and Hubs.

The DSBC also supports the link with Lighthouse Projects and the Vertical Ecosystems.

For detailed information about the Vertical Ecosystems please visit the corresponding page here.

The working groups currently active within the DSBC, are the WG Governance, WG Finance, WG Operational Requirements, WG Technical and WG Hubs.

Among the main deliverables of the DSBC are the Business Models for and with Gaia-X data spaces’ (WG Finance) and the Hub Handbook (WG Hubs).

Lead and Vice-Lead: Sebastian Schlosser (BMW), Thomas Hahn (Siemens)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

Working Groups

The group is working on a paper to define Governance as this would apply to data-sharing initiatives, and representing the landscape of existing items, needed items and associated stakeholders related to Governance, analysing both Gaia-X and other initiatives in relation to data sharing. Furthermore, the WG has developed a questionnaire proposing to various data spaces initiatives to gather input on existing practices and needs in terms of Governance.

Lead: Lars Nagel, CEO International Data Spaces Association

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The WG aims to identify business models and value propositions related to the data spaces ecosystems, based on players role, data space types, operational models and types of data exchanged.

This work converges in the ‘Business models for and with Gaia-X data spaces’ Handbook.

The group is analysing concrete examples from existing initiatives, which are reported in the Handbook to ensure that the readers, both decisions makers and people involved at a more operational level, get an understanding of why Gaia-X data spaces are needed and represent an added value for the companies’ business, compared to the use of the classic platform and digital marketplaces.

Through a collection of practical use cases, the benefit for companies in sharing data and cooperating within a data space is represented.


Lead and vice-lead:
Dominique Epardeau (EONA-X), Hilko Hoffmann (DFKI)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The group is working on the identification of the minimum legal and regulatory attributes of data-sharing events.

Lead and Vice-Lead: Rebekka Weiß (Bitkom), Isabella De Michelis (ErnieApp)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The group is currently supporting the “Requirements to Product Process” which has been implemented to gather requirements from Gaia-X members and process them to improve the Gaia-X Framework, by doing a quality-check of requirements together with the requestors.


Lead and vice-lead:
Felix Gerbig (BMW), Stephan Stryhanyn (EDF)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The group presents a place of coordination, interaction and information exchange between Hubs and supports the definition and implementation of the working model between Gaia-X and its European and Global Hubs.

The group is in charge of drafting the Hub Handbook, which will provide guidelines to set up and operate a Gaia-X Hub.

The group is also conducting a collection of use cases coming from National Hubs and is cooperating in streamlining the process to get requirements from Hubs, providing at the same time information to Hubs to support them in developing use cases and business cases.

Lead and vice-lead: Peter Kraemer (Acatech), Jelle Hoedemaekers (Agoria)

 


Lead and vice-lead:
Peter Kraemer (Acatech), Jelle Hoedemaekers (Agoria)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

Policy Rules Committee (PRC)

The Policy Rules Committee (PRC) aims to translate the guiding principles of the Gaia-X initiative, e.g., transparency, data protection, cyber security, portability, and openness, into High-Level Objectives to safeguard the added value of the Gaia-X ecosystem.

Furthermore, the PRC has the role to monitor, integrate and define the relationship with EU regulations and external standards.

Specifically, the Committee guides and delivers the Gaia-X Trust Framework, prepared by the WG Compliance, and the Gaia-X Policy Rules and Labelling Document (PRLD), resulting from the merger of the Policy Rules Document and the Gaia-X Labelling Criteria, prepared by the Policy Rules Document and Labels & Qualification WGs.

Lead and Vice-Lead: Ulrich Eichhorn (Volkswagen), Frédéric Etheve (OVHcloud)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

Working Groups

The group is responsible for the Gaia-X Labelling Framework and the “Gaia-X Policy Rules and Labelling Document”, being developed together with the Policy Rules Document Working Group.

The Labels aim to increase trust in services with regard to the implementation of European values and standards. They are issued for Service Offerings, are optional and built on top of the Trust Framework, which represents the reference for Gaia-X compliance.

The Gaia-X Labelling Framework defines the Labelling principles and the three levels for the Gaia-X Basic Label, based on criteria related to data protection, transparency, security, portability and flexibility, and European control.

Further labels, sector or country-specific, can be built on top of these three basic labels and owned by different subjects.


Lead and Vice-Lead:
Martine Gouriet (EDF), Martin Chapman (Digitaleurope).

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The group is responsible, together with the Labels & Qualification WG, for the “Gaia-X Policy Rules and Labelling Document”. The group works especially on the definition of High-Level Objectives reflecting the values and principles of the Gaia-X Ecosystem, taking into account external legislation and certification schemes, as well as feedback collected through public and members consultations.

Lead and vice-Lead: Bert Verdonck (Philips), Lorelien Hoet (Microsoft)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The group owns the Gaia-X Trust Framework, which represents the reference document for the Gaia-X compliance, providing the compulsory set of rules of the Gaia-X Ecosystem. Those rules ensure a common governance and the basic levels of interoperability across individual ecosystems, while allowing the users to be in full control of their choices.

The Trust Framework is drafted in close alignment with the Gaia-X Policy Rules and Labelling Document, which is under the responsibility of the Policy Rules Document and Labels&Qualification Working Groups.

Together with the definition of the measurable and comparable attributes, which raise the level of trust, create awareness, and reduce the risks of participant decision making, the Trust Framework contains the list of Trust Anchors – the Gaia-X endorsed entities that manage the certification process to sign claims.


Lea and Vice-Lead:
Thomas Niessen (Trusted Cloud), Felix Beckmann (AIRBUS)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

Technical Committee (TC)

The Technical Committee defines and implements the technological vision of Gaia-X. It plans, develops, and is accountable for the Gaia-X technology roadmap and its contributors. It further communicates the Gaia-X technological vision and its related objectives to establish trust and credibility with members and third parties.

The inputs to define the technology roadmap are represented by the high-level objectives of Gaia-X and by the requirements collected from other Committees and members.

The current main deliverables of the TC are the Gaia-X Architecture Document, drafted by the WG Architecture, the Gaia-X technical specifications and related reference implementation that the WG Federation Services is responsible for, and the set of common service characteristics schemas and Service Taxonomy, which are delivered by the WG Service Characteristics.

Lead and Vice: Pierre Gronlier (Gaia-X CTO), Klaus Ottradovetz (ATOS)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

Working Groups

The Federation Services Working Group owns the Gaia-X Federation Services toolbox, aiming at creating interoperable ecosystems following the Gaia-X Reference Architecture and allowing Gaia-X Federations to become operational. Its main deliverable is represented by the GXFS technical specifications, being currently developed through the two sub-working groups; Identity, Credentials & Access Management and Data Exchange Services.
The group also provides operational guidance from a Federator’s role and supports the coordination between the GXFS national-funded projects


Lead and
Vice-Lead: Andreas Weiss (eco), Anne-Sophie Taillandier (IMT)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The group drafts the Gaia-X Architecture Document, where the founding concepts to establish the Gaia-X Ecosystem are described.

The Architecture Document focuses on conceptual modelling and key considerations of an operating model, integrating the Providers, Consumers and Services needed for their interaction, and is agnostic regarding technology and vendor.

The document reflects the evolution of technical and business functional requirements and provides a reference for the Gaia-X Federation Services

The sub-WG under the Architecture WG is the sub-WG Service Composition owning the Service Composition model inside the Architecture Document.


Lead and Vice-Lead:
Klaus Ottradovetz (ATOS), Arnaud Braud (Orange)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

The group specifies the Schema for the Self-Descriptions of Providers, their Service Offerings, and the Resources they are composed of.The Self-Description schema comprises of a taxonomy of specific classes of Service Offerings and Resources, as well as the attributes to describe instances of these classes. This information is released as part of the Trust Framework , led by the WG Compliance.

Furthermore, the WG Service Characteristics works on the Self-Description Information Model, which will be released together with the Sub-WG ICAM specifications. It also contributes to the Architecture Document.

 

Lead and Vice-Lead: Christoph Lange-Bever (Fraunhofer), Anja Strunk (Cloud&Heat)

For more information & inquiries, please fill-out the form at the end of the section.

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Inquiries about the Committees & Working Groups

For more information, please reach out to Gaia-X via the following form

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