European cloud collaboration GAIA-X expands to Sweden
The project, which was initiated by companies and organizations that use cloud services and need an open and flexible environment for innovation based on European data law, is now establishing an organization in Sweden.
Stockholm, April 20, 2021 – The European collaborative project for cloud services, GAIA-X, has established an organization for cooperation in Sweden. The overarching goal of GAIA-X is to increase Europe’s self-sufficiency in digital infrastructure and to create an open and flexible environment for digital innovation based on the region’s data legislation. The initiators of the Swedish organization are Ericsson, Netnod and City Network. The Swedish Tax Agency has been tasked by the Swedish government to monitor GAIA-X.
GAIA-X was formed by the German and French governments as a direct response to the needs of a number of heavy industrial enterprises to find alternatives to non-European cloud services for their digitalization journeys. European companies, government authorities and private individuals are today almost entirely dependent on non-European cloud services, which are often not compliant with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Europe’s need to strengthen its digital sovereignty is also a key issue for the European Commission, which considers the creation of European digital infrastructure as crucial for Europe’s long-term competitiveness.
“Over the past 10–15 years, Sweden and the rest of the EU have gradually become dependent on a small number of companies outside the EU to handle our data infrastructure. This not only impedes the potential autonomy of the world’s largest economy, it also places our most valuable asset, our data, outside of European jurisdiction. As an advocate of legal and compliant information processing, it was natural that we would be one of the initiators of the Swedish GAIA-X organization,” says Johan Christenson, CEO and founder of City Network.
At the center of the project is a digital marketplace where the private and public sector in Europe can access digital services in eight domain working groups for innovation: Industry 4.0/SME, Smart Living, Finance, Health, Public Sector, Mobility, Agriculture and Energy. The services in each domain are under development to enable their use across national borders throughout the EU. In light of this, openness and transparency are central to all subprojects in GAIA-X.
“We consider it a matter of course that transport infrastructure is transparent and robust. The choice of cloud service should not be dependent on connectivity but on other parameters,” says Patrik Fältström, Technical Director and Head of Security at Netnod.
The Swedish GAIA-X organization is directed at everyone active in the digital industry, businesses, academia and the public sector. This may involve organizations with a specific digital service or technology that they wish to make available via GAIA-X, or operations interested in participating in existing projects within the framework of GAIA-X in Sweden or other member country.
“Europe must build data infrastructure based on values, such as openness, accessibility and the protection of privacy. In this context, GAIA-X has a key role to play in the creation of the next generation of data services in Europe. In view of the breadth of potential users of GAIA-X’s data services – everything from storing personal data, such as photos and letters, to process-critical industrial data – it is crucial that GAIA-X makes available a wide range of user cases and requirements. We are therefore encouraging Swedish industry and Swedish authorities to become involved in GAIA-X and in particular in the Swedish GAIA-X hub to create user cases and requirements that can help to ensure the success of the venture from a Swedish perspective,” says Per Beming, Head of Standard & Industry Initiatives, Ericsson.