According to a new report from the European Commission, it is estimated that companies located in the EU invested around €1 billion in open source software (OSS) in 2018, which brought about a positive impact on the European economy of between €65 and €95 billion.
The study predicts that an increase of 10% in contributions to OSS code would annually generate an additional 0.4% to 0.6% GDP, as well as more than 600 additional ICT start-ups in the EU. Case studies reveal that by procuring OSS instead of proprietary software, the public sector could reduce the total cost of ownership, avoid vendor lock-in and thus increase its digital autonomy.
The study gives a number of specific public policy recommendations aimed at achieving a digitally autonomous public sector, open research and innovation enabling European growth, and a digitised and internally competitive industry. In the long-term, the findings of the study may be used to reinforce the open source dimension in the development of future software and hardware policies for the EU industry.
Moreover, since October 2020 the Commission has its own new OSS Strategy 2020-2023, which further encourages and leverages the transformative, innovative and collaborative potential of open source, in view of achieving the goals of the overarching Digital Strategy of the Commission and contributing to the Digital Europe programme.