One of those beacon projects was launched by a group of European cloud providers called Structure-X. It is an ecosystem of independent cloud providers that use a common certificate and use the same approval stamps. The European automotive industry, agriculture and finance sectors also now have a ‘beacon program’ from Gaia-X. During the 2022 summit, it will be demonstrated, among other things, how cooperation within these programs is progressing.
“Currently eight projects have been launched in different sectors. Doors are definitely open to other fields,” says Bonifoglio. Currently, around 2,000 people are involved in the project, all at different stages. “Some beacons are only use cases, others are business cases and some projects have reached the production stage.”
Few companies left the Gaia-X in the early years, as major US technology companies were also involved in the development. “There is indeed a debate about it, but it happens in a ‘natural way’,” says Maximilian Ahrens, Chairman of the Gaia-X Board, when asked. “There are always different opinions on how things should be organized. It is part of a course that is very important and has more than 350 members. If there is no discussion, the topic is not good enough.
Membership has continued to grow despite some defections, the board asserts. “Remember, we started from scratch. Over the past few years, the focus has been on making clear to members what we want to achieve and deliver.
It seems that the fierce storm of criticism of the participation of American parties is behind us. “The fact that the most dominant American companies have come to us is a sign that they are not our enemy. We have now opened several centers in the US. They build our antennas there and research the needs of the local market. It also happens in many non-European countries like Switzerland, United Kingdom and Eastern countries.
To protect European interests
Despite its operations in non-European countries, Gaia-X’s priority lies with Europe, the board stresses. To really succeed, it’s important that as many international organizations as possible join forces and use Gaia-X’s standards, Ahrens stresses. “We are very successful because our European standards are accepted by the global market. Technology does not respect national boundaries. It is not possible to build a car with only European raw materials. You are dealing with a global value chain.
According to Bonifoglio, although non-European organizations are also members, Gaia-X always protects European interests. “If Kia-X expands globally, that can only be a good thing. It means that non-European countries are also interested in adopting our principles. At our centers in the United States, there seems to be a high demand for good standards.
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