SZTAKI has established the Gaia-X Hungarian National Hub

On April 27, 2022, the Computer Science and Control Research Institute (SZTAKI) and the GAIA-X European Association for Data and Cloud AISBL (Gaia-X) officially announced the establishment of the Gaia-X Hungarian National Hub. The event was attended by Dr. Károly Balázs Solymár, Deputy State Secretary for Digitalisation at the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Marco-Alexander Breit, Head of the Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies Working Group at the German Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate, and several members of the Gaia-X Board.

The Gaia-X European project aims to create an open, decentralised and transparent digital ecosystem where data and services can be accessed, aggregated and shared securely. The initiative will create a European data-sharing platform connecting a number of cloud providers, enabling European businesses to have regulated access to data - for example from the transport, manufacturing and healthcare sectors, or even from other applications of artificial intelligence. All these objectives are to be achieved by the partners involved by ensuring transparency, verifiability, portability and interoperability of services for users, and by bridging the trust gap that limits data exchange between organisations. The platform will also provide European businesses with the advantage that data will not be transfered from Europe, or only under controlled conditions, thus ensuring data sovereignty.

Gaia-X's European presence is implemented through national Hubs (contact points), which Hungary has just joined, led by SZTAKI. Gaia-X Local Hubs, which now number 18, work in close cooperation with each other, but organise their national programmes and activities themselves.

European data for the European economy

Hubert Tardieu, an independent member of the Gaia-X Board of Directors, opened the hybrid event with a high-level presentation of international cooperation. Marco-Alexander Breit, head of the Artificial Intelligence and Digital Technologies Task Force of the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate, and one of the founders of Gaia-X, highlighted in his welcome speech that Europe has great potential for data cooperation. For this to be of real benefit to European businesses, there is a need for an institution to design, regulate and operate data sharing.

Representing the Hungarian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), Dr. Károly Balázs Solymár, Deputy State Secretary for Digitalisation, underlined that "data has become an indispensable source of economic growth, competitiveness, innovation, prosperity, and even security and sovereignty. Strategic autonomy in Europe can be achieved by developing and, where appropriate, pooling national capabilities, an excellent example of which is the bottom-up Gaia-X cooperation in the field of data economy and the development of the necessary data infrastructure, which can be mutually beneficial for both the domestic data ecosystem and European cloud capabilities". In his introduction, Dr. Maximilian Ahrens, Chairman of the Gaia-X Board of Directors, presented Gaia-X's mission in the European data industry, emphasising the importance of the Hungarian connection.

Dr. Róbert Lovas, Deputy Director of SZTAKI, representing the newly established Hungarian Contact Point Coordination Team, underlined that "in the last decades SZTAKI has become a key player in the research, development and deployment of state-of-the-art data and cloud infrastructures both at national and international level. Our institute is committed to further foster the development of the ecosystem around the data industry and data assets, which we will be able to take to an even higher level in the future in the framework of the Gaia-X cooperation with our existing and new partners."

Gábor Érdi-Krausz, coordinator (SZTAKI), presented the structure of the new contact point, its planned organisational structure and its working groups covering the areas of mobility, manufacturing and Industry 4.0, energy and agriculture. Dr. Dominik Rohrmus, Chief Operating Officer of Gaia-X, presented the organisational structure, operational mechanisms and reference projects of Gaia-X. In addition to Gaia-X, ITM and SZTAKI, the event was also attended by representatives of the Eötvös Loránd Research Network, several professional organisations and the corporate sector.