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Digitising European Industry: Open Source Driving the Automotive Sector

Published on: 29/04/2021 Event Archived

The European industrial landscape is changing rapidly. Today’s reality is that industrial processes, in all sectors, are increasingly software-driven, as we move towards digitisation, connectivity and increased sustainability. In the automotive sector, Europe’s ability to innovate in the area of cyber-physical systems, intertwining physical and software components, using technologies lays the foundation for the future for competitiveness.

At the same time, today’s reality is that if something is about software, it is about Open Source. In fact, Open source components are the essential building blocks of the digital transformation, comprising between 60-90 percent of the code base in modern software applications.

The European automotive industry is increasingly turning to the Open Source model because it holds the opportunity to enable the transformation of the sector. Commonly used Open Source software components are developed and maintained by big industry, SMEs and communities, making better code available for sharing and reusing to everyone, so long as they comply with license requirements.

By pooling R&D resources in the software space, European industry can work smarter together, and bring products to market faster, on Open Source platforms designed by and for the European industrial manufacturers. These reusable components give developers a fast and free way to solve problems and add powerful features to their products without having to write new code themselves. As such, it holds the potential to turn fragmentation into strength in diversity, by networking our many European Digital SMEs, top-class universities and large manufacturers in state-of-the-art innovative ecosystems. This can truly unlock potential when delivering the Digital Single Market and digitisation of European industry.

The panel will focus on sharing practical examples as to the operational implementation of open innovation within this particular European industry vertical and conclude discuss the recent EU Industrial Strategy as well as related EU initiatives (e.g. Standardisation, IP action plan).


  • MEP Marcel Kolaja
  • Dr. Catharina Maracke, Associate Project Professor at Keio University and Strategic Advisor at MBition
  • Deb Bryant, Senior Director at Red Hat
  • Michael Plagge, Ecosystem Development Director at Eclipse Foundation

This event is organised by OpenForum Europe together with the Eclipse Foundation and Red Hat.