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Open Source as a Key to European Leadership in the Next Wave of Digitisation

Open Source as a Key to European Leadership in the Next Wave of Digitisation

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Stefane Fermigier

February 03, 2022
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  1. Stéfane Fermigier Co-founder & Chairman @ APELL | Co-founder &

    Co-Chairman @ CNLL | Founder & CEO @ Abilian Open Source as a Key to European Leadership in the Next Wave of Digitisation
  2. • Founded in 2020 • Members = European Industry associations

    mostly representing the commercial open source ecosystem in their respective European nation states • Current members are: France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Portugal, UK, Netherland, Italy. • + Associate members: currently OpenForum Europe
  3. The European Open Source Market

  4. https://cnll.fr/media/2019_CNLL-Syntec-Systematic-Open-Source-Study.pdf

  5. Source: EC study on the Impact of OSS/OSH (Sept. 2021)

  6. Source: EC study on the Impact of OSS/OSH (Sept. 2021)

  7. Digital Sovereignty

  8. None
  9. A de fi nition for Digital Sovereignty "Digital sovereignty" has

    been de fi ned by the French General Secretariat for Defense and National Security (SGDSN) in the 2018 Strategic Cyber Defense Review (p. 93) as: a strategic autonomy in which, without seeking to do everything internally, it is a matter of preserving an autonomous capacity for assessment, decision and action in the digital space. http://www.sgdsn.gouv.fr/uploads/2018/02/20180206-np-revue-cyber-public-v3.3-publication.pdf
  10. Leveraging Open Source to regain digital sovereignty in Europe

  11. F/OSS and Digital Sovereignty according to the Commission In its

    Oct 2020 open source plan (“Think open”), the Commission notes that "the open source model has an impact on Europe's digital autonomy. It is likely to give Europe a chance to create and maintain its own independent digital approach to the digital giants in the cloud and allow it to retain control over its processes, information and technology.” But no mention of an underlying industrial strategy or promotion of the private sector. https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/informatics/open-source-software-strategy_en
  12. This is not entirely unheard of (in principle) • SGDSN:

    "an industrial strategy based on open source, provided that it is part of a thoughtful commercial approach, can enable French or EU companies to re-gain market share and thereby enable France and the EU to regain sovereignty.” • A. de Montchalin, France’s Minister of Public Service: “By accompanying administrations so that they use open source to the best of their ability, I hope that the Free Software Mission will support the French and European economic players in this ecosystem, in particular by taking better account of the criterion of transparency of source codes in public procurement”
  13. European Commission - DIGIT’s OSPO • The European Commission launched

    in October 2020 its “think open" plan which aims to "develop software solutions, [taking] into account openness, sharing and reuse, security, privacy, legal issues and accessibility". • But this plan, whose quality and intentions we welcome, is nonetheless limited to the internal IT of the EU institutions, and insu ff i cient for the current challenges. • We believe it must be coordinated with a real economic policy aiming to develop European open source software publishers and integrators, and to support them against the in fl uence of foreign software and cloud players https://ec.europa.eu/info/departments/informatics/open-source-software-strategy_en
  14. We need to do more, now • Enforce existing regulations

    “encouraging”, “preferring” or “mandating” the use of F/OSS in the public administration, add missing ones • French MP Philippe Latombe: “The State must by default use free software. The only constraint that the State understands is the normative one, i.e. when it’s imposed by the Parliament.” • Finance both innovative and maintenance work, using the proper fi nancial tools • Promote the F/OSS ecosystem, including the EU business sector
  15. Proposed strategic plan (1/5) Establish speci fi c Open Source

    strategies at EU-level, and in each EU country, focussed on boosting economic growth, innovation and digital sovereignty • OSPOs everywhere + network of OSPOs • Engagement with the F/OSS EU business ecosystems should be explicit in their mission • One of the OSPOs’ KPIs should be to explicitly increase the proportion of F/OSS in IT purchasing by the public administration they are working for
  16. Proposed strategic plan (2/5) Prioritising Open Source in software procurement

    by the public and private sectors in a way that it becomes impossible to create insurmountable vendor dependence • Ensure that proper, direct contractualisation with F/OSS SMEs is possible and regularly activated • Ensure that large support contracts, which are usually awarded to large IT companies, provide enough value to SME that create and maintain the software they support
  17. Proposed strategic plan (3/5) Promote investment in OSS • Increase

    the proportion of F/OSS (and OSH…) projects in R&D and Innovation fi nancing and make it easier for SMEs to participate • more general tax incentives for Open Source contributions • Increasing public funding of speci fi c and strategic Open Source projects, particularly for small and medium-sized companies, through existing programmes and new initiatives
  18. Proposed strategic plan (4/5) Education and training Place Open Source

    at the heart of digital skills strategies and computer science education across Europe, with the aim of boosting innovation in the long term
  19. Proposed strategic plan (5/5) Level the playing fi eld for

    F/OSS • Promote F/OSS, either speci fi cally (e.g. directories of existing solutions and technologies) or in the context of existing promotion schemes for the tech sector (e.g. “La French Tech”) • Increase awareness around F/OSS in the education and higher education curricula • Ensure adequate legal frameworks: interoperability requirements, public procurement regulations, no software patents, GDPR, etc. • Keep the in fl uence of “big tech” companies at bay with proper regulations and by being present in the relevant standardisation bodies