The storage and use of data, for example for AI applications, are essential for the Dutch digital economy. Could overdependence on major players abroad become a problem? A European cloud infrastructure is also important for innovation, jobs and business competitiveness in the EU.

GAIA-X is an initiative created to ensure that users in the EU have a better grip on their own data and to meet the desire for greater data sovereignty. European standards and rules are an important engine for this. TNO is already playing an innovation role in this area and wants to contribute more to GAIA-X.

The use of data in a digital economy

Data has long been a very important subject in the digital economy and TNO has also been active for a very long time with Big Data. In recent years IDS has also emerged as an important international architecture and standard for secure data sharing and TNO has been a member of IDSA since 2018. IDS is now one of the most important standards in GAIA-X for sharing data. TNO has also advised the EU in this area with a study on platform policy.

GAIA-X standardizes an architecture for a federated data infrastructure (Source: Bundesministerium Für Wirtschaft und Energie)

Sector-specific projects

Many sectors and industries are already working intensively on agreements to share data in sector-specific chains. For example, TNO has long been active in the agricultural sector with, among other things, projects concerning SmartDairyFarming. The SmartIndustry programme also works in projects such as Smart Connected Supplier Network. Many other sectors such as healthcare, transport and logistics, etc. are also looking for solutions where safe use of data will lead to smarter applications with more value for users. 

Gaia-x also brings the infrastructure into view

The biggest cloud providers offer large platforms for which it is not yet clear how European regulations are guaranteed on the data itself. GAIA-X offers more clarity on this with a model in which the user can choose for himself what level of data sovereignty is desired. GAIA-X offers standards for linking the data infrastructure of different providers for so-called federated clouds. In this way, users of GAIA-X can more easily benefit from the rapid developments in the increasingly diverse cloud and edge computing landscape. Participating parties can also offer joint functionality or, for example, greater flexible capacity when required by a user. More standards also create a more level playing field by preventing the effects of unwanted dependencies and lock-ins.

TNO is working on an innovation agenda with both horizontal and vertical focus areas

Innovations needed for gaia-x

To deliver on the promises of GAIA-X, many innovations in ICT are still needed. Internationally, GAIA-X is working on the agreements, standards and conditions in which innovative technologies and governance processes are brought together. Among market parties, the agreements need to be translated into more concrete implementations of standards and technologies. At all these levels, TNO participates as a knowledge partner in the necessary innovations, often in public-private partnerships.

Join in!

If you would like to know more about what GAIA-X can do for you and what role TNO plays in this, please contact us!

Want to cooperate?

Contact Bjorn Hakansson


Closer together thanks to the evolution of our Smart Society

We are all connected. Even though your loved ones are far away now, through TNO's XR technology, we will come closer together than ever. TNO is working with partners on Social XR technology and applications... Read more


Bjorn Hakansson MSc

  • 5G
  • KPN
  • ICT
  • Telecom
  • GAIA-X