A group of 22 German and French companies are aiming to set up a legal entity to run the Gaia-X cloud computing platform. The entity will be registered as a non-profit firm under Belgian law, according to a status update picked up by Reuters. The German and French Economy Ministers, Peter Altmaier and Bruno Le Maire, respectively, will brief reporters on progress on the initiative on Thursday, June 4.
With a targeted launch for early 2021, the Gaia-X cloud computing platform is Europe's bid to break its reliance on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and the Google Cloud Platform. Germany and France have brought up the topic of sovereignty and security when their data is hosted remotely on the cloud servers hosted by Silicon Valley giants.
Gaia-X will employ AI-based software and analytics while providing a cloud computing platform that is in line with the security interests of the European Union. BP Delivery's public briefing encapsulates Gaia-X's raison d'etre:
The global public cloud computing market is currently dominated by Amazon Web Services (47,8%), followed by Microsoft Azure (15,5%), Alibaba (7,7%), Google (4%) and IBM (1,8%). None of these players are European. Geopolitical tensions and trade wars, however, are making European politicians and companies cautious about storing data in the cloud on American or Chinese servers. To come to a more secure Cloud environment that is full European and in line with the Digital Single Market strategy from the European Commission, the project GAIA-X was masterminded in Germany, with Minister Peter Altmeier as the frontrunner in the initiative.
More than 100 companies and research institutions from 17 countries are currently involved in the initiative. Some of the prominent names include SAP, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens and Bosch of Germany and France’s Atos.