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Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. is betting on the success of a new European initiative that’s aimed at creating a unified ecosystem of cloud and data services protected by European data laws.

The company said today that its new HPE Solution Framework for Gaia-X is designed for companies, service providers and other organizations that want to participate in the initiative. Through it, the company said that it can support virtually all of the capabilities that are required to provide and consume data and services within a decentralized, federated cloud environment.

The Gaia-X project is seen as an attempt by Europe to gain more independence from big cloud giants in the U.S. and China. The aim of the initiative is to establish an “interoperable data exchange” through which businesses can share data under the protection of European laws, which are renowned for their much greater emphasis on data privacy.

Backed by the European Union and led by the nonprofit group Gaia-X AISBL, the project envisions various cloud services suppliers linked together through an interoperable data exchange that would act as a vessel for data across industries. It will also act as a repository that businesses can search through to find specific data services around artificial intelligence, analytics and the “internet of things.”

The backers of Gaia-X say they’re not trying to compete with the likes of Amazon Web Services Inc.’s, Microsoft Corp.’s and Google LLC’s public clouds, but rather, linking existing cloud services into a unified ecosystem. But Gaia-X will make domestic European cloud providers more visible and at the same time make it simpler for companies across various industries to exchange data safely and securely.

The problem many European firms have is that they’re forced to rely on U.S. or Chinese cloud infrastructure providers that are subject to different laws governing data ownership, processing and privacy. So it means they struggle to protect their users’ data when it’s stored on a server in the U.S., for example, where it’s subject to different laws.

Essentially, Gaia-X is aimed at reducing Europe’s reliance on international cloud providers and encouraging business to look at domestic alternatives that are protected by European data laws. It will enable companies to maintain ownership of their data by choosing what they do and don’t share, and saying what it can be used for. Its backers say it will also stimulate cross-industry collaboration by making it easier for companies to search for cloud services and exchange data for collaborative projects.

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