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Study about the impact of open source software and hardware on technological independence, competitiveness and innovation in the EU economy

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Software

Open Source is increasingly used in digital technologies. This required an in-depth analysis of its current role, position and potential for the European economy. Open Source Software (OSS) has become mainstream across all sectors of the software industry over the past decade. Conversely, the level of maturity of Open Source Hardware (OSH) currently appears far lower. However, the business ecosystem for OSH is developing fast. If OSH is to follow the same development as OSS, it could constitute a cornerstone of the future Internet of Things (IoT), the future of computing and the digital transformation of the European industry at the end of the digital decade.

The objective of the study was to investigate and quantify the economic impact of OSS and OSH on the European economy. The study also identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges of open source in relevant ICT policies, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI), digitising European industry, the connected car, high performance computing, big data, distributed ledger technologies, and more.

Economic evidence of the footprint of open source in the EU has been collected. A list of policy options to maximize the benefit of open source supporting a competitive EU software and hardware industry, which in turn supports the twin environmental and digital transformation of the EU economy is also proposed.

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ZDNet

  • Open source matters, and it's about more than just free software

    Open-source software is not only a global pool of free code available for creative programmers to build upon: take it to the geo-political level, and it is also a tool that countries can leverage to achieve independence from the growing monopoly of foreign tech giants.

    That's according to a new report commissioned by the EU and carried out by non-profit organization OpenForum Europe, which found that the impact that open source could have on the bloc's digital independence is such that the technology can be seen as a "public good".

By Microsoft Tim

  • EU open source study highlights economic benefits but says Union is 'on the back foot' with industrial policy

    A new EU study of the economic impact of open source has mixed news. The economic benefits are huge, it said, but the EU is "on the back foot" when it comes to implementation.

    The study comes from the European Commission's Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG Connect), and was written by a team from Fraunhofer ISI and think-tank OpenForum Europe. Its focus is on the impact of open source software and hardware on technological independence, competitiveness, and innovation.

Impact of Open Source Software and Hardware in the EU Economy

  • Impact of Open Source Software and Hardware in the EU Economy

    A recent European Commission study investigating the economic impact of open source software (OSS) and hardware on the EU economy estimates that companies in the EU invested around €1 billion in OSS in 2018, resulting in an impact on the European economy of between €65 and €95 billion.

    The study further “assesses the potential for the EU to achieve its policy goals (including economic growth, greater competitiveness, innovation, and job creation) through the use, promotion and support of OSS and open source hardware (OSH).”

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