The ELKH Institute for Computer Science & Control (SZTAKI) and Gaia-X, the European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL (Gaia-X), announced the establishment of the Gaia-X Hungarian National Hub on April 27, 2022. The European Gaia-X project aims to create an open, decentralized and transparent digital ecosystem where data and services can be accessed, collected and shared securely. The event was attended by Dr Károly Balázs Solymár, Deputy State Secretary for Digitalization at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Marco-Alexander Breit, Head of the Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies Working Group at the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and several members of the Gaia-X Board.
The initiative will create a European data-sharing platform linking a number of cloud providers to provide regulated access to data for European businesses. Data can come from a variety of sectors such as transportation, manufacturing, healthcare and other applications using artificial intelligence. The system will ensure transparency, verifiability, portability and interoperability of services, which will, among other things, bridge the trust gap that limits data exchange between organizations. The platform also protects data sovereignty, as data cannot leave Europe from it, or can do so only under controlled circumstances.
The European presence of Gaia-X is implemented through national contact points, and Hungary has now joined this system under the leadership of SZTAKI. This brings the number of local Gaia-X contact points to 18, which work closely together but organize their national programs and activities themselves.
European data spaces for the European economy
The hybrid event was opened by Mr Hubert Tardieu, an independent member of the Gaia-X Board of Directors, who outlined the main features of international cooperation. Marco-Alexander Breit, head of the Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies Task Force at the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate, and one of the founders of Gaia-X, said in his welcome speech that Europe has great potential for data-related cooperation. For this to be of real benefit to European businesses, however, we need institutions to design, regulate and execute data sharing.
Representing the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), Dr Károly Balázs Solymár, Deputy State Secretary for Digitalization, underlined that data has become an indispensable source of economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, prosperity, and even security and sovereignty. According to the Deputy State Secretary, European strategic autonomy can be achieved by developing and, where appropriate, pooling national capabilities, of which the grassroots Gaia-X cooperation is an excellent example.
In his introduction, Dr Maximilian Ahrens, Chairman of the Board of Gaia-X, presented the mission of Gaia-X in the European data industry, emphasizing the importance of the Hungarian connection.
Dr Róbert Lovas, deputy director of SZTAKI, representing the coordination team of the newly established Hungarian contact point, pointed out that SZTAKI has become a leading player in the research, development and utilization of state-of-the-art data and cloud infrastructures, both in Hungary and internationally, in recent decades. “Our institute is committed to further fostering the development of the ecosystem around the data industry and data assets, which we can take to an even higher level in the future with our existing and new partners through the Gaia-X collaboration,” he said.
Gábor Érdi-Krausz, coordinator and researcher at SZTAKI, presented the structure of the new contact point, its planned organizational structure and its working groups, covering the areas of mobility, manufacturing and Industry 4.0, energy and agriculture. Dr Dominik Rohrmus, Senior Manager of Gaia-X, presented Gaia-X’s organisational structure, operational mechanisms and reference projects. The event was attended by representatives of Gaia-X, ITM, SZTAKI, the Eötvös Loránd Research Network, several professional organizations, and the corporate sector.