(Published on 20.05.2022) The project “FAIR Data Spaces” celebrates its first anniversary this week. At the beginning of April last year, the project application was submitted to the BMBF and the funding already started on 17.05.2021. Since then, the FAIR Data Spaces community could be built up and first milestones could be reached together.

The goal of the 16 project partners involved is to establish a cloud-based data space for industry and science. The project combines the two initiatives Gaia-X and NFDI. Both aim to exchange data in their respective application domains. The federated data infrastructure Gaia-X targets data sharing in industry by creating secure, trusted data ecosystems. Promoting a more effective science system is the goal of the association German National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), which is establishing research data management across all disciplines.

The FAIR Data Spaces project identifies and builds on synergies between the existing technologies and communities of both initiatives. In doing so, FAIR Data Spaces creates the basis for a mutual exchange of data and enables a joint analysis of these research data. In the five work packages “Roadmap & Community“, “Ethics & Law“, “Technical Foundations”, “Demonstrators” and “Project Management”, common goals are developed, ethical and legal frameworks for data exchange are clarified, technical foundations are created and feasibility studies for sovereign exchange along FAIR principles are conducted.

In the first year of the project, the basis for defining a common infrastructure between the two domains was created. This includes the creation of a map of relevant topics and players, which will be continuously updated due to the high dynamics around the topic of Data Spaces. In addition, initial ethical and legal issues were identified and answered. For example, generic sample texts for consent to the secondary use of personal data were created and the legal connectivity to other data spaces was investigated. On the technical side, an initial architecture concept was established with which NFDI services can be mapped to Gaia-X Federation Services. First application examples for cross-platform analysis and data exchange between industry and science were provided by the demonstrators. The developments and milestones of the five work packages were presented at the event “Leitbild einer fairen Datenökonomie in Deutschland und Europa”  (Model of a fair data economy in Germany and Europe) under the patronage of the BMBF in March and formed the second project workshop. The first project workshop, focusing on legal issues, was already held at the beginning of February. 

In the coming project year, FAIR Data Spaces will continue to pursue the technical developments of both initiatives and network them more closely. In addition, the linkage with other initiatives and data spaces on a national and European level will be further expanded. Two successful project workshops will be followed by further workshops with additional stakeholders. 

After this successful project start, we are looking forward to the next year with exciting questions and challenging tasks.

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