Data Sharing Taking Center Stage in Europe

March 15, 2021

In September of 2020 a groundbreaking document was established by 22 companies and organizations in concordance with the European Union to ratify the creation of GAIA-X, the next generation European data infrastructure. Data protection and portability are central to its mission of creating an alternative to the current data hegemons of AWS and Google. GAIA-X AIBSL (non-profit) is not only looking to offer a data infrastructure, but also aims to democratize data, making it available to businesses of all kinds and boosting innovation across Europe. Since its inception, the initiative has already received over 200 applications from companies looking to share their data in this new platform. The increased desire to adopt this service is indicative of the realization that more users means more data and thus better insights.

In a similar fashion, the automotive industry has announced that it is collaborating under the Catena-X Automotive Network. According to Mercedes-Benz CIO Jan Brecht the alliance will focus on “traceability with the goal of mapping all of the respective supply chain relationships across the entire automotive value chain.” This proposal would undoubtably be revolutionary in that what was once considered to be a car company’s most valuable information would now be made accessible. It opens exciting new possibilities for co-creation and new business models for all companies and institutions in the automotive ecosystem. This signifies an industry paradigm shift whereby automotive manufacturers now realize that data sharing benefits all parties involved and are acting accordingly.

This is a goal we subscribe to wholeheartedly. Working for many years with our automotive clients to unlock the value of their data, we see this as the right step at the right time. It follows the intensive investments the industry has made in the last 5 years to open up their legacy systems and developing new APIs to enable digital processes and new business models. We are excited to see how this initiative will grow in the coming months and encourage more businesses to get involved.