European Commission publishes study on economic impact of open source software and hardware

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The European Commission has published the results of a study analyzing the economic impact of open source software and hardware on the European economy. It is estimated that companies located in the EU invested around € 1 billion in open source software in 2018, which had a positive impact on the European economy of between € 65 billion and € 95 billion. Many projects supported by NGI (Internet for social good projects) are open source by design.

The study predicts that a 10% increase in free software code contributions would generate an additional 0.4% to 0.6% GDP each year, as well as more than 600 additional IT&C start-ups in the EU.

Case studies show that by purchasing open source software instead of proprietary software, the public sector could reduce the total cost of ownership, avoid vendor lock-in, and thereby increase its digital autonomy. The study gives a number of specific public policy recommendations aimed at creating a digitally self-sufficient public sector, open research and innovation enabling European growth, and a digitized and internally competitive industry.

OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE STRATEGY, DIGITAL STRATEGY AND DIGITAL EUROPE

In the long term, the results of the study can be used to strengthen the open source dimension in the development of future software and hardware policies for EU industry. In addition, since October 2020, the Commission has its own new strategy for open source software 2020-2023, which further encourages and harnesses the transformational, innovative and collaborative potential of open source, with a view to achieve the objectives of the Commission’s global digital strategy and contribute to the Digital Europe program.

The Commission strategy places particular emphasis on the sharing and reuse of software solutions, knowledge and expertise as well as on increasing the use of open sources in information technology and other strategic areas.

Many NGI supported projects are open source by design

Next Generation Internet (NGI) is an initiative of the European Commission, which aims to shape the Internet for the future as a powerful and user-centric ecosystem (Internet of humans) that meets the basic needs of the population, including including those of trust, security and social inclusion. NGI includes an ambitious research and innovation program based on an initial investment from the European Commission of more than 250 million euros between 2018-2020 and is part of the future Horizon Europe program (2021-2027).

For the period 2021-2022, the European Commission will allocate 62 million euros to support the main Internet innovators in the fields of trust and data sovereignty on the Internet; Trustworthy open research and discovery; Internet architecture and decentralized technologies; as well as the strengthening of EU-US and EU-Canada cooperation and collaboration.

The NGI program funds the best research and innovation projects in the internet field, focusing on advanced technologies including privacy, research and discovery, decentralized architectures, blockchain, internet of things , social media, interactive technologies and technologies that support multilingualism and accessibility. .


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