The Linux Foundation Europe (LF Europe) has launched with more than a dozen inaugural members and, according to general manager Gabriele Columbro, a focus on unlocking opportunities in Europe through open collaboration.
"A repositioning of open source to unlock more commercial value without losing the community-minded aspects would benefit the European economy." – The World of Open Source: 2022 Europe Spotlight
In conjunction with this announcement, LF Europe has released results from The World of Open Source: 2022 Europe Spotlight, which will "inform the direction of LF Europe and its strategic focus." Key findings state that:
- Open source is the apolitical key to fostering a digital commons while enabling European nations to plot their own courses in the digital world.
- Open source consumption unlocks diverse value.
- The imbalance between consumption and contribution challenges open source sustainability.
Additionally, "the public sector is failing to fully capitalize on open source," the report states. "Despite the consumption policies and increasing number of public sector-founded projects, we found this sector to be an outlier across many aspects of our research. There is limited inner source activity, which indicates a lack of collaboration between public sector organizations, and a lack of a clear contribution policy, which potentially suggests an overly narrow appreciation of open source's value and that it is simply a mechanism for the transparency of work rather than for collaboration and collective value creation."
Reasons to increase open source consumption, according to respondents, include:
- Avoid vendor lock-in (78%)
- Improve productivity (65%)
- Lower cost of ownership (64%)
- Be a more attractive place to work (63%)
- Improve security (63%)
The report also notes that: "Europeans have a 'romantic' relationship with open source, while those in North America have a more commercial relationship. A repositioning of open source to unlock more commercial value without losing the community-minded aspects would benefit the European economy."
"I hypothesize that the 'romantic,' commercial, and social natures of open source can coexist," says Columbro. "When open collaboration is done right – through foundations or otherwise – every constituent has value to gain, and that's the only way to ensure the sustainability of this awesome digital commons OSS communities maintain every day."
Inaugural members of LF Europe include Ericsson, Accenture, Alliander, Avast, Bosch, BTP, esatus, NXP Semiconductors, RTE, SAP, SUSE, TomTom, Bank of England, OpenForum Europe, OpenUK, and RISE Research Institute of Sweden. Participation is open to any organization and free for current Linux Foundation members.