Open source software could be the EU’s secret weapon

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Pursuing a dedicated mission Open source Industrial policy will help the EU accelerate the digital transformation of European industry, suggests a new report released by the European Commission.

The study was conducted by Fraunhofer ISI and OpenForum Europe (OFÉ), to study the economic impact of open source software and hardware on the EU economy.

He thinks that the OSS already contributes between 65 and 95 billion euros to the EU’s GDP, which, according to the OFE, is the equivalent of combined air and sea transport.

“Open source offers a new advantage to political decision-makers and Europe has the opportunity to take the lead”, Noted Sachiko Muto, CEO of OFE.

Open source for victory

The report notes that EU governments and businesses have already invested over € 1 billion in open source development in 2018 alone, even as it identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and the challenges of free software in important areas such as cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence (AI), among others.

The report then offers some recommendations to enable OSS to help digitize European industry. One of the suggestions is to set up a European network of government units dedicated to accelerating the use of open technologies.

The report also suggests using the Horizon Europe program with a total budget of 95.5 billion euros for 2021-2027 to inject capital into “open source support mechanisms and projects”.

“The data predicts that if open source contributions increased by 10% in the EU, they would generate an additional 0.4% to 0.6% (around € 100 billion) to the bloc’s GDP,” OFE notes, which hopes that the study will provide policymakers with all the evidence they need to promote open source for the benefit of the EU.


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