Spain drives coordination and open strategic autonomy in cloud, data and artificial intelligence in the EU

News - 2023.11.10

Under the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union the Spanish Government led the Gaia-X Summit 2023 in Alicante, an event that brought together leaders from the European data space ecosystem and culminated in the promotion of open strategic autonomy in the cloud, data and artificial intelligence.

The document, the result of collaboration between the European association Gaia-X AISBL, the Spanish Gaia-X hub and the Data Office (part of the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence), and framed within the Spanish presidency, is a joint call for a "more coherent and coordinated" response to the development of European programmes and projects related to the cloud, data and artificial intelligence.

The communiqué points out that the interconnection of cloud, data and artificial intelligence will be a key pillar for future competitiveness and highlights the importance of data for efficiency in the industrial value chain. It also advocates interoperability, supported by a robust cloud services infrastructure, and advocates the development of high quality data-driven Artificial Intelligence with strong governance that complies with European regulatory frameworks.

The call is part of the various European initiatives and programmes already underway, from the IPCEI-CIS to the European SIMPL project. However, it underlines the need for broader and more effective coordination to drive industrial projects, advance the standardisation of cloud tags and trusted data, and ensure high levels of cybersecurity, data protection and algorithmic transparency.

With the Gaia-X initiative, the aim is to generate a model for deploying data spaces and achieving efficient data exchange. In this respect, the communiqué underlines that data sharing provides two relevant benefits, namely the increase in the overall availability of data and its usefulness in producing higher quality joint data.

Single Data Market and Europe's global leadership in Data and AI

The aim is to achieve a "flexible, dynamic and highly scalable" data economy that facilitates access to more and better data from heterogeneous but complementary domains, improving the quality of products and services within the value chain.

With the goal of achieving a Single Data Market, the text states that data exchange processes should follow a common governance framework. Thus, it appreciates that the new set of digital and data legislation, such as the Data Act or the Data Governance Act, is becoming a global reference, but points out that there is still a need for its practical articulation to generate traceability and trust and to enhance coordination on data.

"Europe has the capacity to become a world leader in a data-driven future, based on reliable data processing, with key industry data spaces as an input for Artificial Intelligence that will serve international competitiveness and productivity gains," the statement highlights. "All this in compliance with the European values and rights that define us, including the promotion of strategic autonomy efforts," it adds.

Gaia-X Summit 2023

The Gaia-X Summit 2023 has served as a space for the exchange of ideas and the presentation of key projects. During the event, the implementation of a Strategic Plan was announced by Ulrich Ahle, CEO of the Gaia-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL, focused on ensuring end-user adoption and driving collaboration with cloud and data service providers.

The intensity of the discussions during the event and the results achieved, as reflected in the document, underline the relevance and commitment of the European data space ecosystem.

Signed by the Secretary of State for Digitalisation and Artificial Intelligence, Carme Artigas, and the Chief Data Officer of Spain and President of the Gai-X Government Council, Alberto Palomo, it is supported by representative leaders of the European data ecosystem, such as Gaia-X AISBL, the Spanish Gaia hub, the International Data Spaces Association, the EU Data Spaces Support Centre, the Big Data Value Association (BDVA), the Spanish Platform for the Adoption and Dissemination of ICT (Planetic), the Cervera Network or the Spanish Federation of Technological Centres (FEDIT) or AMETIC.

The communiqué is open for new members to join, marking a milestone in shaping Europe's digital future. In the move towards a Data Economy, the joint call drives the creation of a trusted, transparent and secure ecosystem that promotes collaboration and effective data sharing across Europe.

Non official translation