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FAIR Data Spaces - Establishing a common cloud-based data space for industry and science

Christina Morillo

FAIR-DS is a BMBF-funded project to develop a cloud-based data space for science and research in the context of the GAIA-X cloud and the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI). Important goals here are (i) to identify synergies of GAIA-X and NFDI with regard to the creation of a cloud infrastructure, (ii) to define procedural models and clarify legal issues in this regard, and (iii) to find points of contact between science and industry in tangible example applications.

Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek said at the project launch:

"To accelerate innovation in Germany, we need a better transfer of knowledge between research and application, and thus especially between science and industry. The exchange of data plays an increasingly important role in this: the more data from different sources across disciplines can be networked, exchanged and reused, the greater the chance that new insights will emerge from it, leading to progress in our country. We have already launched the first fundamental initiatives for this: By funding the National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI), we are networking research data and making them more usable across all scientific disciplines. With GAIA-X, we are building a secure, trustworthy and open data and infrastructure ecosystem in Europe that meets the highest standards of digital sovereignty.

Now we are taking an ambitious step further and linking these two initiatives through the new collaborative project 'FAIR-Data Spaces'. The Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding this with 6.3 million euros. In this way, we want to show that a common data space is feasible. In this way, a new instrument of knowledge and technology transfer is to be created in perspective, which connects data spaces from business and science and opens up previously unused potential."

In the FAIR-DS context, the Database Research Group is developing a cloud demonstrator of the Geo Engine geospatial analysis platform that uses the GAIA-X infrastructure and provides data from NFDI4BioDiversity. Geo Engine is a platform that bundles the integration and efficient processing of spatio-temporal data and intuitively provides access to the latest visualization and analysis methods. This enables research groups and companies to tap into previously untapped potential. Within FAIR-DS, Geo Engine will be made cloud-ready as a Kubernetes service, GAIA-X specifications will be implemented, and automatic provisioning as well as a connection to data providers will be implemented.



For the development of the open source software Geo Engine the Database Research Group is supported by Geo Engine GmbH. This company helps with the training of the project staff as well as with the prototypical implementation of the first features of the demonstrator. Furthermore, Geo Engine GmbH leads the community development of the software, performs code reviews and develops architectural goals that make sustainable software development possible.

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