This is how the EU is using cloud to manage its data without losing control of it

Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of an Economy that works for People, and Commissioner for Trade. Co-operators:
Photographer: Aurore Martignoni

European Union, 2021
Source: EC – Audiovisual Service.

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Gilles Thiebaut, Senior Vice-President and Managing Director, Northern Western Europe, Hewlett Packard Enterprise


  • Connected devices and sensors in infrastructure, vehicles, and manufacturing plants are all generating data.
  • A decentralized cloud system could unlock the value of this data.
  • It would be secure and federated to uphold digital sovereignty while promoting innovation, data sharing and data monetization.

Following years of being perceived as lagging behind, Europe is determined to make the 2020s its digital decade. The current tipping point of digital history indeed offers the EU a unique opportunity to reclaim digital sovereignty and become a leader in the next wave of digital transformation.

Connected devices and sensors in infrastructure, in vehicles, in manufacturing plants are all generating data which have enormous value. This explosion of industrial data has led to a new wave of digital transformation with the potential to drive economic and social progress.

Recently, the European Commission launched the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act to drive innovation and fair competition online.

While these regulations are getting a lot of the attention, it gives me great hope to see that the leadership of the European Commission and of national governments are taking additional bold steps to seize the industrial data opportunity.

Single European market for data – a powerful vision

The vision of the European leadership is to create a Single European Data Market where data will be able to flow freely within as well as across industries and countries. So the rules around data would follow similar principles to the free movement of citizens, goods and services across the EU. This is a powerful vision and an important building block of the European Digital Strategy.

In this context, the EU has launched a Data Strategy so that Europe does not miss the new digital wave and gains ownership of the value of its industrial data. In addition, Europe is blazing a trail on decentralized cloud: 25 Member States have signed a declaration to establish a European Alliance on Industrial Data and Cloud to enable cooperation on resilient and competitive cloud infrastructure and services across Europe. This could represent a €10 billion investment by the EU over the next seven years.

Image: The European Data Strategy

Strengthening European cloud

Meanwhile governments, science and industry are cooperating to strengthen European cloud. The GAIA-X initiative aims to create Europe’s next generation of data infrastructure: a secure, federated and decentralized cloud system meeting the highest standards of digital sovereignty while promoting innovation, data sharing and data monetization. GAIA-X will develop common requirements for a European data infrastructure with common rules for secure sharing of data. HPE is proud to be a day 1 member of the GAIA-X association and an active contributor to several GAIA-X working groups.

What is the World Economic Forum doing on cybersecurity

The World Economic Forum’s Centre for Cybersecurity is leading the global response to address systemic cybersecurity challenges and improve digital trust. We are an independent and impartial global platform committed to fostering international dialogues and collaboration on cybersecurity in the public and private sectors. We bridge the gap between cybersecurity experts and decision makers at the highest levels to reinforce the importance of cybersecurity as a key strategic priority. World Economic Forum | Centre for Cybersecurity

Our community has three key priorities:

Strengthening Global Cooperation – to increase global cooperation between public and private stakeholders to foster a collective response to cybercrime and address key security challenges posed by barriers to cooperation.

Understanding Future Networks and Technology – to identify cybersecurity challenges and opportunities posed by new technologies, and accelerate forward-looking solutions.

Building Cyber Resilience – to develop and amplify scalable solutions to accelerate the adoption of best practices and increase cyber resilience.

Initiatives include building a partnership to address the global cyber enforcement gap through improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public-private collaboration in cybercrime investigations; equipping business decision makers and cybersecurity leaders with the tools necessary to govern cyber risks, protect business assets and investments from the impact of cyber-attacks; and enhancing cyber resilience across key industry sectors such as electricity, aviation and oil & gas. We also promote mission aligned initiatives championed by our partner organizations.

The Forum is also a signatory of the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace which aims to ensure digital peace and security which encourages signatories to protect individuals and infrastructure, to protect intellectual property, to cooperate in defense, and refrain from doing harm.

For more information, please contact us.

The goals of the GAIA-X project dovetail with HPE’s strategy to enable a consistent and seamless experience across all clouds and edges, so customers can unlock value from all their data, regardless where they reside. We also have a proven track record in this regard. Arising from our work on EU-funded projects, HPE built the Cloud28+ digital services platform. Cloud28+ is an open and global ecosystem of over 1,200 trusted partners – whether service providers, independent software vendors, integrators or public entities – making 90,000 services available to organizations and businesses of all sizes. https://www.youtube.com/embed/qzkej232ItQ?enablejsapi=1&wmode=transparent

Industrial data is Europe’s treasure. The European Union believes that reshaping cloud computing is the necessary response to these developments and that its success depends on decentralized cloud architectures that allow organizations not only to control their data and how it is shared but also control its monetization. This is a vision we share and HPE is ready to help the EU unlock its value using cloud technologies of the future.

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