Open Hardware 101: An Introduction for Policymakers

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Published on: 10/06/2021

Chip shortages in the automotive sector have proven Europe’s dependence in the area of semiconductors. At the same time, Europe’s manufacturing industry is well-placed to solve these challenges by leading the next Open Revolution. 

In its recently updated Industrial Strategy the European Commission identified 137 product dependencies in the most sensitive ecosystems. As the next open technology frontier, Open Hardware has the potential to be a tool to reduce dependencies and increase control.

The increased dynamism of Open Hardware should be taken into account from a policy perspective, and place a central role in any future-looking strategies. Ranging from 3D printing, the makerspace movement, collaboratively designed ventilators and medical appliances during the COVID-19 crisis to open chip design, Open Hardware has proven it is already disrupting the established production processes.

One of the most advanced areas in Open Hardware is open chips, a critical dependency for the European Union. Open chips have the potential to be beneficial in terms of their adaptability, speed and potential for increasing digital sovereignty in several sectors, including automotive industry, edge computing, data storage solutions, aerospace, energy or health. 

By drawing lessons from Open Source Software, Europe can realise vast value from  Open Hardware for its economy and citizens. There is a need for more debate on opportunities and challenges of Open Hardware, its potential for scaling up and supporting more collaborative and open infrastructure underlying all other layers of the digital ecosystem we know.

Speakers at this event will provide attendees with a comprehensive, policy-focused introduction to Open Hardware.


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17:00: OFE Welcome

17:05: Welcome address 
Rick O’Connor, President of Open HW Group

17:10: Open Hardware what? A short introduction to concepts and (commercial) purposes
Andrew Katz, Joint Managing Partner at Moorcrofts LLP

17:25: TBD
Javier Serrano, White Rabbit, CERN

17:40: Q&A

17:50: The Business Case for Open Hardware
Zvonimir Bandic, Sr. Director, Next Gen Platforms, Western Digital; Chairman of CHIPS Alliance and Member Board Of Directors at RISC-V

18:05: The Open Hardware Roadmap
Calista Redmond, CEO at RISC-V International

18:20 Q&A

18:30 Conclusion

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