Dataspace Expo: United Nations meets auto show
It felt like a United Nations meeting crossed with an auto show but focused on dataspaces. International participants met in Austria on “neutral” ground for a spectacle with talks, demos and parties. Gaia-X organized Market-X, and it brought together policymakers, dataspace pioneers like the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), leading projects such as the Gaia-X 4 Future Mobility (GX4FM) family, first dataspace operators like the Mobility Data Space, consultants like Detecon, and vendors like Google.
Figure 1: Impressions from the conference venue and showroom floor
The Market-X Conference & Expo was supremely organized by Gaia-X, precisely by its Hub Austria, and held in Vienna on March 14 and 15, 2023. Vienna felt like a perfect fit for this pan-European affair with many stakeholders, from policymakers to entrepreneurs to guests from overseas, such as Google, one of the world’s largest hyperscalers. The venue was in the Aula der Wissenschaften, a modern facility and one of Vienna’s top event locations with a blend of historic features, like the ceiling fresco in the Jesuit Hall and large glass surfaces on the ground floor. The conference itself stretched across three floors:
- A project exhibition floor with stations for the children of the GX4FM family of projects, including the lead project GX4 Artificial Intelligence (GX4AI; see Figure 1 for Gaia-X CTO Pierre Gronlier visiting the stand of GX4AI) as well as GX 4 Advanced Mobility Services (GX4AMS; see Figure 1 with GX4AMS information stand).
- A fairground floor with vendor booths and an always-on buffet with snacks, refreshments and espresso machines.
- The auditorium floor has an expansive center stage for extensive talks and powerful panels (see Figure 2 with one of the highlights, a panel for unveiling the Gaia-X clearing house, GXDCH).
Figure 2: Sven Loeffler of Telekom DIH with the world premiere of a commercial GXDCH service
There were frequent sightings of dataspace stars and celebrities. Let’s list a few highlights:
- Gaia-X C-level leadership was available around the clock, and you could grab them, ask questions, and engage in discussions. This included Francesco Bonfiglio (CEO), Roland Fadrany (COO), and Pierre Gronlier (CTO).
- Dataspace “celebrities”, experts, and policymakers up and close like “ESP”, Ernst Stoeckl-Pukall (Head of Division Digitisation, Industrie 4.0, German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, BMWK), Maximilian Ahrens (Deutsche Telekom and Chairman BoD Gaia-X), IDSA’s Lars Nagel (CEO) and Christoph Mertens (Head of Adoption), Ulrich Ahle (CEO Fiware), Klaus Ottradovetz (Atos), dataspace scientists like Frank Köster, Founding Director of the AI Institute of the German Aerospace Center, and our own Sven Loeffler from T-Systems, founder and tribe lead of the Telekom Data Intelligence Hub (DIH).
Why was Market-X important? Introducing clearing house services
If there is one objective with a dataspace, if you strip everything away, then at its core, a dataspace is about enabling data exchange with data sovereignty protection (Otto et al. 2019). Data sovereignty is the power to control one’s rights to data (Lauf et al., 2022). It refers to the concept that data is subject to the laws and governance of the jurisdiction where it was created or resided. Data sovereignty is essential for at least two reasons. For one, it protects the privacy and security of a person’s (individual and legal) data. It ensures that their data is being used under the laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdiction. It also helps to prevent unauthorized access, use, and transfer of data by governments, companies, and other entities. For another, providing data sovereignty protection lets data flow; it removes barriers to data sharing and, therefore, allows for better data for analytics and artificial intelligence applications. Key to data sovereignty is compliance with Gaia-X rules. And this is where the Gaia-X Digital Clearing House or GXDCH comes in: The GXDCH is a node of verification of the Gaia-X rules; it is the go-to place to obtain Gaia-X compliance and become part of the Gaia-X ecosystem. “The GXDCH offers a one-stop solution for verifying compliance with the Gaia-X rules in an automated way. The event featured the announcement of the first two GXDCH nodes: Aruba and T-systems. […] T-Systems has become one of Europe’s first Gaia-X Digital Clearing House node providers. By providing this infrastructure, T-Systems aims to support the development of innovative digital solutions that can drive economic growth and competitiveness in Europe while maintaining strong data protection standards and transparency on sovereignty standards,” declared Maximilian Ahrens, Chairman BoD Gaia-X and SVP T-Digital, Telekom Deutschland” (Gantner 2023).
Learn more from our pioneering dataspace projects
- What is it: For a C-level 1-pager, link, and a Dataspace Top 10 overview, link
- How to get started: Check out our Digital.ID and dataspace connectivity solutions, link
- First use cases such as Umati, link, and intermodal mobility, link
Otto, B., S. Steinbuss, A. Teuscher, and S. Lohmann. 2019. Reference Architecture Model Version 3.0 (April). International Data Spaces Association, Berlin, link
Gantner, C. 2023. Market-X Conference & Expo: Gaia-X Digital Clearing House (GXDCH) is a success for the industry. Press release (2023-03-20), Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL, Bruxelles, link
Lauf, F., S. Scheider, J. Bartsch, P. Herrmann, M. Radic, M. Rebbert, A. T. Nemat, C. Schlueter Langdon, R. Konrad, A. Sunyaev, and S. Meister. 2022. Linking Data Sovereignty and Data Economy: Arising Areas of Tension. Best Paper Award at the 17th International Conference on Wirtschaftsinformatik (WI22), link