Digital summit: New cloud network

Germany's Economics Minister is to unveil his cloud computing plans at the digitalization summit in Dortmund.

Digital summit: New cloud network
dpa

Berlin (dpa) - German Economics Minister Peter Altmaier is soon to unveil his plans for a European solution to cloud computing. The aim is to establish a "performance oriented and competitive, secure and trustworthy data infrastructure for Europe," according to a joint paper by the ministry and participants in the planning which the German Press Agency dpa obtained a copy of. 

Altmaier is to present the project titled "Gaia X" at the digitalization summit in Dortmund on Tuesday. Previously, the daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung had reported on the project.
 
The summit is being held under the auspices of the Economics Ministry, providing a platform for the "cooperation of the political sphere, business, science and society in shaping the digital transformation," according to the internet page of the summit. The focus of this year's meeting in Dortmund will be on digital platforms.

Companies and organisations in Europe have until now chiefly turned to providers from the United States for their cloud applications. The Economics Ministry said that the ministry "in the past few weeks has, together with numerous participants in the economy, mapped out the first steps towards a networked data infrastructure in Germany and Europe."

"Data will become the most important raw material of the future," the ministry added. "Germany and Europe therefore need a data inftrastructure which guarantees our data sovereignty and will enable making data more broadly and more safely available than at the present." The network should also be open to "market participants outside of Europe (...as long as they share) our goals of data sovereignty and data availability." 

Participants in the "Gaia X" project include both users and providers from the public administration, health sector, corporations and scientific bodies. Its aim is for a networking of decentralised infrastructure services "esp. cloud- and edge instances into a homogeneous, user-friendly system," the ministry paper said. In contrast to cloud computing, data in edge computing are processed decentrally.

The next step, according to the ministry, will be to establish the project within a suitable legal framework. A corresponding organisation for the project is to be set up in the first half of 2020.