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Joint Data Space for Science and Business

In the digital age, new insights and innovations are largely the result of the intelligent use of data. To improve the transfer of data between science and business as well, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the FAIR Data Spaces project with 6.3 million euros. “The more data from different sources across disciplines can be networked, exchanged and reused, the greater the chance that new insights will emerge,” says Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek. The first basic initiatives for this are already underway: GAIA-X is creating a secure data infrastructure for Europe. The National Research Data Infrastructure (NFDI) networks research data and makes them more usable across all scientific disciplines. FAIR Data Spaces is now striving to bring both initiatives together by building a common cloud-based data space.   

The L3S Research Centre and the TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology are already involved in both initiatives. In the FAIR Data Spaces project, the Joint Lab of TIB and L3S will help to network the two more closely in technical and organisational terms. In particular, it is planned to make the terminology service developed for the NFDI initiatives also usable for GAIA-X and the International Data Spaces, so that participants can develop a common understanding of the data to be exchanged by means of terminologies, vocabularies and ontologies.  

The FAIR Data Spaces project adheres to the guiding principles of responsible management of research data, according to which data should be Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Re-usable (FAIR). FAIR Data Spaces draws up the roadmap for cooperation between the two initiatives, clarifies ethical and legal framework conditions for data exchange between science and industry and develops common technical foundations. In addition, the project shows how Gaia-X technologies can be used to provide and use research data along FAIR principles in different scientific disciplines and industries. 

“Companies that are compatible with Gaia-X or would like to become so will thus gain easier access to research data,” says consortium coordinator Dr Christoph Lange.  

Technically, FAIR Data Spaces is about making the services of the individual NFDI consortia generally usable. For business-related scenarios, this means that the services are provided with Gaia-X-compliant interfaces and thus become interoperable with the Gaia-X Federation Services for Identity & Trust, Federated Catalogue, Sovereign Data Exchange and Compliance, which form the core of every data space based on Gaia-X technology.   

There will also be an Open Call as part of FAIR Data Spaces. With this, the project hopes to attract more companies to demonstrate the interplay between scientific and business-related services.

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Dr. rer. nat. Oliver Karras

Oliver Karras is a postdoctoral researcher and data scientist in the Data Science and Digital Libraries research group. He conducts research in the areas of data science, knowledge engineering and software engineering.

Prof. Dr. Sören Auer

Sören Auer is a member of the extended L3S Board of Directors, Director of TIB – Leibniz Information Centre for Science and Technology and Professor of Data Science and Digital Libraries at LUH.