“The goal is a European secure and networked data infrastructure”.
Interview with Dr Dominik Rohrmus about the Gaia-X project
Lesedauer: 5 Minuten
In the age of Industry 4.0, data is one of the most important factors in the operation of a digital factory. After all, data and the evaluations decide how challenges and problems in companies can be managed and solved. But how can companies retain sovereignty over their data and still provide business partners with the necessary information and thus make the data usable? These and other questions are addressed by the Gaia-X project. Dr Dominik Rohrmus has been on board as COO of Gaia-X since June 2021.
Dr Rohrmus, what does Gaia-X stand for?
Gaia-X is a project by Europe for Europe and beyond. With Gaia-X, representatives from business, science and politics are developing a sustainable contribution to shaping the next generation of a European data infrastructure on an international level. The architecture of the project is based on the decentralisation principle. Gaia-X is the interaction of numerous independent platforms that follow a standard. They follow the Gaia-X standard.
Thus, a data infrastructure is developed that is based on the values of openness, transparency, and trust. A cloud and a networked system are created that connect many cloud service providers. The structure of Gaia-X is built on three pillars: the Gaia-X Association, the national Gaia-X Hubs and the Gaia-X Community.
Gaia-X promotes and supports an open source community in which all contributors are invited to participate. The aim is to establish a national Gaia-X Hub in each participating country, which will act as a representative of the user ecosystem and provide a central point of contact for interested parties at national level. The name of the project is derived from the Greek deity Gaia, the deity that emerged from chaos. In mythology, Gaia stands for the personification of the earth in childbirth. Gaia-X is run from Brussels and is founded as a non-profit association under Belgian law.
What are Gaia-X’s goals?
The goal is a secure and connected data infrastructure that meets the highest standards of digital sovereignty and promotes innovation. In an open and transparent digital ecosystem, data and services are to be made available, brought together, shared, and used with confidence.
Why is a common European digital ecosystem so important?
Companies and users should collect and share data – and do so in a way that they retain control over it. They themselves should determine what happens to their data and where it is stored, so that data sovereignty is guaranteed in any case.
What are the concrete benefits for SMEs?
How can they already benefit from Gaia-X today?
The Federation of German Industries e. V., Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e. V. (German Engineering Federation), and Zentralverband Elektrotechnik- und Elektronikindustrie e. V. (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers‘ Association) show that in the field of Industry 4.0 – especially medium-sized – companies are facing very similar challenges with regard to the integration and evaluation of data and their solution in a uniform language, semantics and in open and modular structures. In the business relationships of component manufacturers, machine builders and system operators, questions of the ability to control data transmission and transmission and thus the protection of intellectual property play a major role. The associations are members of Gaia-X and represent SMEs in Gaia-X working groups that develop Gaia-X standards.
Who can interested companies contact?
Further information is available from the Gaia-X Association or from the Gaia-X Hubs that may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and will be put in contact with the right representatives.
These are the central and country-specific contact points for companies, stakeholders, initiatives, associations and public institutions that want to contribute to the success of the Gaia-X project. All Gaia-X Hubs are in close exchange to ensure international coordination of their activities, definition of requirements and identification of regulatory hurdles. Membership in all national Hubs is free of charge for all companies and organisations. In Germany, we are supported by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection. The first grants have been approved and others are expected.
About the author
Dr Rohrmus, who did his doctorate in mechanical engineering, is a member of several industry associations and supports international standardisation. Dr Rohrmus had worked for German small and medium-sized companies covering the industry and healthcare sectors before returning to Siemens in 2005, where he held various positions in manufacturing and production development. From 2013 onwards, he led the research group responsible for operational equipment and standardisation of the future in Siemens plants worldwide. From 2016 onwards, Dr Rohrmus held the CTO role of a non-profit and pre-competitive German association Labs Network Industrie 4.0 e.V. (LNI 4.0).