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The Financial Big Data Cluster (FBDC) is a new data-sharing initiative powered by the GAIA-X initiative established by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). This unprecedented initiative is built on strong values and stands for transparency, openness, security, and trustworthiness. It is also partnered and supported by actors from all corners of the tech world – from hyperscalers to SMBs and start-ups.
The time is now right as technology has reached a new level capable of achieving valuable results fast. The financial services industry also understands that cloud technology and data science are not just nice-to-haves, but are essential to maintaining competitiveness within the industry as a whole.
The FBDC initiative is not primarily focused on capitalization but has a much broader vision: It is about building an ecosystem across regulators, start-ups, academics, and established corporate entities. The early participation of legislators and regulators ensures joint solutions for regulatory and governance issues. Partners and advisory bodies including, for example, Land Hessen and other regulators – that are also potential future users and contributors to the initiative – can provide invaluable feedback and support in building the governance structures required to make the FBDC vision a reality.
The creation of this revolutionary ecosystem involves establishing a technological setup and industry standards that become role models for data security. Five use cases are currently working on actual implementations – such as promoting sustainable finance and fraud and money laundering prevention in financial markets – of this ecosystem as part of the BMWi “safeFBDC” project.
A first feasibility study has delivered results that point in the direction of a decentralized setup that ensures complete data sovereignty for anyone providing data. This is essential for the training of machine-learning algorithms for anyone who wants to train their systems with federated learning but does not have a large trove of data at hand. Moreover, privacy-enhancing techniques are created to ensure that all partners worldwide share the same standard of safety and security.
The safeFBDC initiative will be run for three years up to 2023 by eleven partners from industry, science, and the start-up world: Deloitte, Deutsche Börse, Frankfurt School of Finance, Fraunhofer IML, Hawk:AI, Helaba, Main Incubator, SAP, Spotixx, TechQuartier, and TU Darmstadt. The mix of disruptive start-ups, established companies and scientific institutions opens up a field of synergies.
The involvement of almost 30 associated partners – from sectors including insurance and technology – underlines the importance of this initiative and highlights the strong need for it. The FBDC initiative is doing the right thing at the right time – with all tools and services focused on a stable, secure and lasting solution that will change data sharing and AI use for the better.