Today, virtually all software products include Open Source software components, an increasingly large percentage of crucial software platforms and programs are entirely Open Source and the development and uptake of Open Source Hardware and Open Silicon are growing. The impact of this paradigm shift from proprietary systems to more open, collaborative frameworks is being studied by many.
However, there is no up-to-date, comprehensive synthesis of the EU market and key industrial sectors, and where we stand in comparison to the rest of the world. The last comprehensive, Europe-wide study on the subject was conducted in 2006 and there are several national initiatives to capture the impact of Open Source such as those in France and Germany.
This study is in support of fact-based policymaking in the future aimed at maximising the benefits of Open for the digital transformation. We have seen this need for many years and discussed several possibilities of conducting such a research. Thus, in June 2019, we were happy to see the call for tenders from the European Commission to research the impact of Open Source. We were awarded the contract in December 2019 and have been working on the project ever since.
The ultimate goal of this study is to provide solid evidence for shaping European Open Source policies for the years to come. We will identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of Open Source in relevant ICT policies such as cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digitizing European industry, the connected car, HPC, Big Data, Distributed Ledger Technologies. We will place Open Source in the broader framework of current digital policy developments, with an ultimate goal of capturing its potential for European citizens and companies.
The study will conclude with policy recommendations that can augment and accelerate the benefits of Open Source for a competitive EU software and hardware industry and a sustainable digital transformation of the EU economy.