It is estimated that open source software contributes between €65 to €95 billion to the European Union’s GDP annually and promises significant growth opportunities for the region’s digital economy, as well as supporting the goals of technological independence and innovativeness. To achieve that, European policymakers should actively engage in a transition towards more openness in its political and investment culture, and provide support to open source initiatives and projects.
Paula will discuss the study on the impact of open source on the European economy she co-authored and the need for a change in how innovation is measured, as well as policy measures needed. Those include a dedicated open source industrial policy, setting up a European network of governmental units dedicated to accelerating the use of open technologies, providing substantial funding to open source support mechanisms, and following the direction of open innovation in the bloc’s quest for digital autonomy.
Several European governments, EU institutions, research institutions and open source communities and foundations have already taken their first steps in this direction. How to coordinate all the different actions and make sure that the digital openness goals are achieved?
Paula Grzegorzewska is the Strategic Partnerships Director at OpenForum Europe, an independent Brussels-based think tank focusing on open technology and digital policy. In her work, she analyses open source software and its impact in Europe, as well as open source hardware, artificial intelligence, and more recently, open silicon in another EU project. She is a co-author of the study on the economic impact of open source for the European Commission published in 2021. Paula continues her work by collaborating with a diversity of actors from academia, policymaking, and broad open source communities on a variety of research projects and initiatives. Previously, she worked in an NGO supporting women in closing the gender gap in ICT and entrepreneurship.