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OFE Capital Series | Belgium

04 April 2024


April 4
15:00 - 18:00 CEST

Bozar’s Rotonde, Private entrance Baron Horta 11 Brussels

Welcoming innovators, policymakers, and enthusiasts to OFE’s Capital Series event in Brussels, discussing Belgium’s efforts to realise a future of a digitalised, open Europe. Organised under the auspices of the Belgian Presidency, this event will emphasise the critical role of Member States in steering this vision. Belgium, through its EU presidency and “Embracing Openness” campaign, exemplifies this shift, setting a precedent for how nations can navigate the digital future with open source principles at the core. Together with the Belgian Presidency, we want to highlight the possibilities for enhanced innovation, competitiveness and digital sovereignty through open source and open technologies.

Honouring Belgium’s multilingual model, we have invited national experts to present their work, featuring panels in English, French and Flemish. Please mind that there will be no translation provided.  

Kindly be aware that we’ll send an RSVP to verify your attendance, as this event is exclusively in person.

Take a look at earlier iterations of the event series here:


15:00 - 15:10
Opening remarks: Astor Nummelin Carlberg

Executive Director, OpenForum Europe

15:10 - 15:25
Keynote: Mathieu Michel

State Secretary for Digitalisation, Belgium

15:25 - 16:00
L'innovation à travers l'open source: une perspective Belge


Ce débat, mené en français, mettra en lumière le rôle croissant du code source ouvert dans le secteur public européen et belge, en se concentrant spécifiquement sur le secteur privé qui fournit ses services. Les thèmes clés de la discussion tels que la souveraineté numérique et la technologie ouverte seront explorés, ainsi que des exemples spécifiques d’initiatives et de mécanismes de l’open source à travers l’Europe.

Les panélistes partageront des idées sur l’environnement des affaires en Belgique, des conseils pour d’autres entreprises open source et des besoins potentiels en soutien institutionnel de la part des administrations publiques belges. Les discussions toucheront également aux opportunités de croissance pour les entreprises et les organisations travaillant sur le code source ouvert, ainsi qu’au potentiel de mise en œuvre de solutions malgré les barrières linguistiques et administratives. Est-il utile de créer un bureau de programme de code source ouvert (OSPO) en Belgique ? Qu’en est-il des mécanismes de financement et de l’orientation politique fédérale et régionale pour soutenir le code source ouvert ?


This discussion, conducted in French will shed light on the rising role of open source in the European and Belgian public sector, with a specific focus on the private sector that provides its services. Key themes of the discussion such as digital sovereignty and open technology will be explored, along with specific examples of open source initiatives and mechanisms across Europe.

The panelists will share insights on the environment for open source business in Belgium, advice for other companies, and potential needs for institutional support from Belgian public administrations. Discussions will also touch upon growth opportunities for companies and organisations working on open source, and the potential for implementing solutions across linguistic and administrative barriers. Is it worth considering to set up an OSPO (Open Source Programme Office) in Belgium? What about funding mechanisms and federal and regional policy direction to support open source?

Please note that this session will be in French only.


  • Sébastien Bruyr, Chief Commercial Officer, Odoo
  • Cecile de Koster, Strategic Account Manager European Institutions & NATO, Red Hat
  • Joël Lambillotte, Directeur Général Adjoint, iMio

Moderator: Enzo Ribagnac, Associate Director, European Policy, Eclipse Foundation

16:00 - 16:30
Openhaardgesprek: De Weg Vooruit voor Belgische Open Source


De Nederlandstalige fireside chat legt de focus op de rol van de publieke sector om Open Source te omarmen vanuit het federaal en regionaal perspectief in Vlaanderen.

Enkele van de besproken onderwerpen zijn onder andere de manieren waarop Belgische openbare instellingen het thema ‘Omarm Openheid’ implementeren en naleven, evenals potentiële samenwerkingen tussen regio’s en de te volgen voorbeelden, en de mogelijke risico’s en obstakels die lokale overheden kunnen tegenkomen bij het gebruik van Open Source.

Hoe kan Open Source ICT providers in staat stellen om hun missies naar publieke instellingen effectiever te vervullen, welke beleidscontext en begeleiding is er nodig om dit te bereiken?

De vragen zullen gaan over de mogelijkheid om een OSPO (Open Source Programme Office) op te zetten in België, de mogelijke behoefte aan meer financiering en beleidsrichting om Open Source te ondersteunen. We kijken ook naar voorbeelden uit andere landen die als bron van inspiratie kunnen dienen.


The Dutch-language fireside chat focuses on the role of the public sector in embracing Open Source from both federal and regional perspectives in Flanders.

Some of the topics discussed include how Belgian public institutions are implementing and adhering to the theme of ‘Embrace Openness’, potential collaborations between regions and the examples to follow, and the possible risks and obstacles that local governments may encounter when using open source.

How can ICT providers enable them to fulfil their missions to public institutions more effectively with the use of open source? What policy context and guidance are needed to achieve this? Is it potentially beneficial to set up an OSPO (Open Source Programme Office) in Flanders? Is there a need for more funding and policy direction to support open innovation in the region? The panellists will also look at examples from other countries that can serve as sources of inspiration.

Please note that this session will be in Dutch only.


  • Jan Smedts, Administrateur-generaal Digitaal Vlaanderen
  • Frank Robben, General Manager, Crossroads Bank for Social Security and the eHealth-platform

Moderator: Ciarán O’Riordan, Senior Policy Advisor, OFE

16:30 - 17:00
Coffee break
17:00 - 17:15
Keynote: Veronica Gaffey

Director-General, DG DIGIT, European Commission

17:15 - 17:45
Regulating, Funding, and Shaping the Future of Open Source: A European Perspective

As the current mandate draws to a close, this session delves into the accomplishments of the EU in regulating open source and securing its digital sovereignty. Explore how the EU aims to champion an innovation-driven open source approach and anticipate the future prospects in the upcoming legislative term. The speakers will offer insights into strategies for enhancing the EU’s digital infrastructure security and share reflections on these pressing issues. 

Key questions of this panel will explore the potential of open source to bolster Europe’s digital sovereignty amidst geopolitical tensions and technological competition, the opportunities presented by the Interoperable Europe Act for the open source community and the broader digital ecosystem in Europe will be discussed. This session is aimed at bringing the European-level discussions to the Member State level and allowing for reflection on the links and opportunities on the national level in the European context.


  • Veronica Gaffey, Director-General, DG DIGIT, European Commission
  • Daniel Goldscheider, Executive Director, OpenWallet Foundation
  • Jack Hamande, Director General Digital Transformation, BOSA

Moderator: Shane Coughlan, General Manager at OpenChain, OpenForum Europe Board Member

17:45 - 18:00
Closing remarks
18:00 - 20:00
Networking Drinks

Putterie 20
1000, Bruxelles
More information here

Keynote Speakers

Mathieu Michel

Secretary of State for Digitalisation Belgian Government

Mathieu Michel is the Secretary of State for Digitalisation, responsible for Administrative Simplification, Protection of Privacy and Buildings Management, attached to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Veronica Gaffey

Director-General Directorate-General for Informatics (DG DIGIT) - European Commission

Veronica Gaffey is the Director General for Informatics (DG DIGIT), the Commission department, which delivers high performing digital services to support the Commission’s internal administration. It also provides services to other EU institutions and agencies, and to public authorities in the Member States to enhance their interoperability.

Register here

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