Europe's Gaia-X cloud computing platform takes shape

BERLIN (Reuters) - A proposed European cloud computing platform that seeks to break the continent’s reliance on Silicon Valley will take shape in the coming weeks when a group of 22 French and German companies set up a legal entity to run it.

The entity managing the Gaia-X platform will be registered as a company under Belgian law and will function as a non-profit, according to a status update on the project seen by Reuters.

Berlin and Paris are championing Gaia-X as a counterweight to the U.S. cloud computing providers - AWS, Microsoft Azure and Alphabet’s Google - that dominate the business of handling computing tasks on remote servers.

The two largest economies in the European Union have cast the issue of where data is hosted and processed as a matter both of sovereignty and security. A launch for Gaia-X is targeted for early 2021.

Among firms involved in developing the platform are SAP, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens and Bosch [ROBG.UL] of Germany and France’s Atos, formerly headed by European Commissioner Thierry Breton.

German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire will brief reporters on progress on Gaia-X on Thursday.

Reporting by Christian Kraemer; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Thomas Escritt