The goal of GAIA-X, the European cloud computing initiative, is to make Europe less dependent on providers based in the USA and Asia. Against this backdrop, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs selected 16 lighthouse projects from a total of some 130 GAIA-X-compatible entries. One of these first major undertakings is Marispace-X (Smart Maritime Sensor Data Space X), in which Fraunhofer IGD plays a central role. The project will receive German government funding totaling approximately 15 million euros for three years, beginning in January 2022. Marispace-X is being implemented by a consortium of North German companies and research organizations, led by 1&1 IONOS. The vision is to create a data space for the consolidated storage of all relevant maritime data, and to make these available on an open-source basis. The partners, located in the Hanseatic port cities of Rostock and Kiel, prepare existing maritime (geo)-data so this information can be combined and processed by smart, connected sensors and storage media (The Internet of Underwater Things).
There are a wide variety of potential applications for these data, particularly in the context of the blue economy. For example, they can be leveraged to manage and maintain offshore wind farms, map hazardous wartime ordnance on the seabed, implement nature-based climate protection, and much more. Fraunhofer IGD contributes expertise in edge computing, cloud computing, AI-driven analytics, data preparation and storage. In particular, it is helping to build a digital twin of the world’s oceans. The partners in Kiel and Rostock use Fraunhofer IGD’s Digital Ocean Lab (read more) as a test environment and as a demonstrator for a GAIA-X-compliant data space—with the recently established Sustainable Ocean Business (read more) delivering rapid transfer of knowledge to industrial users.