Open Source Study


On behalf of the European Commission, OpenForum Europe and Fraunhofer ISI conducted a study on the impact of Open Source Software and Hardware on technological independence, competitiveness and innovation in Europe. The project aims to provide solid evidence for shaping European Open Source policies for the years to come.

The full report will be published in Q3 2021, for now you can watch the video where Prof. Dr. Knut Blind presents the results or access the slide deck.

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. This represents a paradigm shift from proprietary systems to more open, collaborative frameworks.

However, up until now, there was no comprehensive analysis of the EU market and key industrial sectors, and where we stand in comparison to the rest of the world. The last 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. Our research will bridge this gap. The study concludes 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.

Our research indicates that the economic impact of OSS on the EU economy is estimated to be between EUR 65 and EUR 95 billion in 2018. EU countries and EU located companies made significant investments into OSS of Euro 1 billion in 2018, the product of which is available for reuse by the private and public sector and would require 16,000 full time developers to provide the same volume of code. This work generates significant contributions at first to the GDP of the EU. An increase of code contributions of 10% would generate around additional EUR 100 billion in EU GDP per year. Secondly, an increase of 10% would generate around additional 1,000 ICT start-ups per year in the EU.