Process for endorsement letters
Only Gaia-X members can submit a request to the PPO to receive an endorsement for their project proposal, through a support or recommendation letter. To be eligible for an endorsement from Gaia-X, the Gaia-X member (here after the member) acting as leader of the consortium intending to respond to a specific tender, or call for proposals, needs to inform the PPO of the opportunity. The following steps will then apply:
- The member will provide the PPO with a description of the opportunity and, if available, the description of the proposal;
- The PPO will evaluate the opportunity to find the necessary elements of relevance, and the proposal, when available, involving the CTO if necessary;
- If across the above general review the opportunity and the proposal meets the Gaia-X eligibility criteria, the PPO will release an endorsement letter. In case of discrepancies, or missing elements of relevance, the PPO will involve the member and, in case required, the CTO to discuss and suggest possible amendments to meet the endorsement criteria;
- Endorsed project status checks might be requested in time by the PPO, to monitor the adherence of the project to the eligibility criteria originally identified in the endorsement phase.
Gaia-X will endorse as a rule only Gaia-X member companies. Endorsement to non member companies leading a consortium, or to a consortium containing non member companies will be treated as an exception and evaluated case by case to identify the prevalence of benefit for Gaia-X members. As the general rule is to give endorsement to members only, consortium members can invite non-members to express their intention to join the association in case of award, and their acceptance will constitute an element of support, in order to benefit from the endorsement. All expections will be evaluated by the PPO and, in case of internal dispute, reported to the CEO.
Gaia-X can endorse very different types of proposals, given the variety or sectors, problems and solutions that can be addressed. Therefore the general criteria selected for eligibility are meant to be applicable to all cases and at a sufficiently high level not to overimpose any extra-effort to the member.
The PPO and this process are meant to provide help and give distinctiveness to the proposals of our members, avoiding an uncontrolled (not verified) use of the name and logo of Gaia-X by non-members and/or in contexts out of scope.
Criteria on which proposals are assessed
Endorsement letters are released to project proposals that meet some fundamental Gaia-X mission objectives and principles, including:
- Commitment to deliver Gaia-X services in the market (used in a closed federation or market players and/or commercially available);
- Commitment to deliver Gaia-X compliant services (adopting the existing and evolving standards and requirements as defined by Gaia-X Association);
- Creating when possible reusable and Open Source components (to enrich the Gaia-X framework);
- Creating tangible business outcomes, in the public or private sector (not limited to a research and innovation context);
- Creating a widespread and measurable impact on economy/society (e.g., reducing CO2 footprint, reducing waste/cost, creating new user services….);
- Having a scalability potential (as described by some market analysis or business plan);
- Must be complementary or linked to other existing projects (not in conflict, but extending others);
- Builds value on the principles of Digital Sovereignty (intended in terms of transparency, controllability, interoperability of services);
- Promote the creation or expansion of one or more data spaces (referes explicitly to the concept of data spaces and mentions one or more in the scope);
- Has a large user base or potential expansion (possibly into a mix of SMB and enterprises);
- It is pan European or it has the ambition or the openness to become so (meaning participants can be from different European countries);
- It defines a clear set of use cases to be addressed (include some form of business model).
Gaia-X compliance meaning (for reference purposes)
Gaia-X compliance is here intended to be in general term the adherence of a project, a proposal or a service to be developed, to the Gaia-X principles, mission, vision, and wherever applicable, to the technical requirements as defined by the Gaia-X technical documentation and evolved in time by the delieverables defined by the association (e.g. the implementation of the common identity management, the common service description, the common registry as defined in the Gaia-X Architecture). As the Gaia-X project evolves, also thanks to the realisation of endorsed projects, the compliance of a service will be determined by its adoption of the federation services and of the compliance and labelling services and processes, as defined by the Gaia-X framework. This evolutionary path of the Gaia-X ‘compliance’ meaning, is therefore by nature aligned with the evolution of the Gaia-X project itself, from inception, to definition meaning, to the adoption of deployed services when development is complete. The Gaia-X Association is and will remain anyway the sole owner of the definition and the application of the Gaia-X Compliance concept in the run.