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Gaia-X builds foundation for data markets

Jointly agreed standards and technological solutions, open interfaces and rulebooks will play a key role in the data economy of the future. These are built in the GAIA-X project – a major opportunity for Finnish companies, whether industrial corporations, SMEs or startups.


Laura Halenius

Project Director, Competitiveness through data


The economy of the future will be increasingly built on the use of data and the functioning of ecosystems that sustain co-operation. Data will be used to create increasing value together with partners.

This will also entail practical challenges. New ways of using data require new rules, and ecosystems will include diverse parties with a huge need for diverse agreements. Managing technical solutions will be a headache. Finding suitable data may also be hard, and a lack of trust could be a problem.

Even though data already flows through API interfaces, we still lack the mainstays of a European data market: trust and a working infrastructure.

The pan-European Gaia-X project was established to solve this problem. Openness and co-operation between EU member states are central to the project. Gaia-X co-operates closely with the European Commission. The German-French joint initiative has grown quickly and already involves seven different EU member states, including Finland.

Gaia-X is not creating a competing ecosystem, but aims to establish a means for sharing data between different ecosystems, plus data availability and scalability solutions.

Once the technical data transmission solutions have been defined and reliable operators have been certified, future joint work and the production of new kinds of services will be straightforward.

From opportunities to more definite solutions

At the Gaia-X – Lupauksista kohti konkretiaa webinar held on 5 February, Ilkka Lakaniemi from Aalto University School of Business explained why companies should get involved in the Gaia-X co-operation early on:

  1. Influencing the business environment: Gaia-X offers a vantage point, network and opportunities to influence the European data market taking shape with EU regulations and projects.
  2. Growth: scaling the national and Nordic solutions and best practices already implemented to the EU and global markets will pave the way for growing new business for companies.
  3. Financing: the networks emerging in Gaia-X projects will facilitate co-operation across sector boundaries and offer a way for new development financing.

So, there are many benefits available to those that get involved in the development work.  The project is open to all interested parties, from large industrial companies to SMEs and startups. Research also plays an important role in the development work.

Developing the Finnish Gaia-X hub

Sitra will co-ordinate the preparation phase of the Finnish Gaia-X hub during the spring. The hub is intended to bring the parties and their projects together and create a direct channel of influence to the rest of Europe. In other words, it is like glue between different data ecosystems, political measures and practical experiments.

High expectations have already been placed on the hubs in Europe. They focus specifically on co-operation with the other European hubs and the Gaia-X foundation that co-ordinates the development and on monitoring and observing the implementation of the European strategy for data in practice.

Under the preparatory phase of the project, the first concrete activities have already begun to take shape around the Finnish Hub. The industrial data space work has already started, led by Aalto University and DIMECC. Other interested parties are being sought to join this work.

Also, the GAIAXPACE project co-ordinated by VTT involves implementing a test environment for Gaia-X services, data spaces relating to eight different industries and creating business models and experiments based on them as well as supporting research. Altogether, over 20 companies and research institutions are taking part.

How to get involved

  • For additional information about the activities of the Finnish Gaia-X hub, please contact We will also be organising webinars on the operation of the hub during the spring.
  • Basic information about the Gaia-X project is available at Gaia-X (
  • For information about the events of the Gaia-X foundation, register at
  • To join in building the industrial data space, please contact Ilkka Lakaniemi,
  • You can join Gaia-X utilisation work co-ordinated by VTT at

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