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One Year FAIR Data Spaces – What Has Happened so Far?

June 2nd, 2022 | by
Cupcake with a birthday candle

Source: Unsplash

In May, the “FAIR Data Spaces” project celebrated its first anniversary. The project application was submitted to the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) at the beginning of April last year. The funding already started on May 17, 2021. Since then, the FAIR Data Spaces community has been built up and the first milestones have been reached together. In this blog post, we take a look at what has happened in the last year.

Background of the project

The goal of the 16 project partners is to build a common cloud-based data space for science and industry by linking GAIA-X and the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). Both initiatives aim to exchange data in their respective application domains. Gaia-X, for example, seeks to facilitate data exchange in the business community by creating secure, trustworthy data ecosystems. The NFDI aims to promote a more effective science system in which valuable data resources from science and research are systematically accessed, networked and made usable in a sustainable and qualitative manner.

In the project, synergies between the existing technologies and communities of both initiatives are identified and further developed. FAIR Data Spaces thus creates the basis for a mutual exchange of data and enables a joint analysis of this research data. The project consists of a total of five work packages: Roadmap & Community, Ethics & Law, Technical Foundations, Demonstrators and Project Management. In these, common goals are developed, ethical and legal framework conditions for data exchange are clarified, technical foundations are created and feasibility studies for sovereign exchange along the FAIR principles are carried out.

The first project year

So what has happened in the first year of the project? First of all, the basis for defining a common infrastructure between the two domains was created. This includes the generation of a map with relevant topics, which is continuously maintained due to the high dynamics around the topic of data spaces. In addition, initial ethical and legal questions were identified and answered. As a result, generic sample texts for consent to the secondary use of personal data were created and the legal connectivity to further data spaces was investigated.

On the technical side, a first architecture concept was set up with which NFDI services can be mapped to Gaia-X Federation Services. The demonstrators provided the first application examples for cross-platform analysis and the exchange of data between industry and science. In March, the developments and milestones of the five work packages were presented at the BMBF event ” Model of a fair data economy in Germany and Europe” and formed the second project workshop. The first project workshop focussing on legal issues already took place at the beginning of February and only yesterday (June 1, 2022) the third workshop was just around the corner.

A look into the future

Fair Data Spaces will continue to follow the technical developments of both initiatives in the coming project year and network them more closely. In addition, further workshops are to follow.

Learn more

Further information can be found on the respective websites of Gaia-X and FAIR-Data Spaces.

If you have any further questions, simply contact the ServiceDesk. The RDM team looks forward to hearing from you. For more information on RDM, please visit the RWTH websites.



Responsible for the content of this article is Sophia Nosthoff.


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