Basque open source sector alm…

Basque open source sector almost doubles

05/03/2016
Government policies create demand and help promotion

The revenue and number of IT workers employed by open source service providers in the Basque Country has nearly doubled in 2015, according to figures published by a regional trade group for the sector, ESLE. The combined 2015 revenue of the nearly 40 companies that ESLE represents is 58 million compared to 31 million the year before. The number of workers grew by 413 new staff members. Altogether, ESLE members now employ 1033 people.

Part of this growth is thanks to the Basque Country’s IT policies, says Eneko Astigarraga, the trade group’s president. The regional government promotes the use of free and open source software.

“The policies boost demand in the public sector itself, but government programmes running on open source are also helping indirectly,” Astigarraga says, “by promoting these tools to companies and citizens. Examples include Euskadi Innova - the region’s innovation programme, and KzGunea, a digital literacy project.”

Additionally, the ESLE president says that the region’s open source service providers are proving to be more innovative and more competitive. “In this, we are part of a global trend”, Astigarraga adds. “The future is open.”

Use the source

"The Basque Country is emerging as a force of open knowledge and free software at the national level", the ESLE president is quoted as saying in the review for 2015. Now in its 11th year, ESLE has grown in experience, and has become the reference point for free software, for both the commercial and the public sector, the trade group writes.

ESLE is the lead-organiser of this year LibreCon, Spain’s largest conference on free and open source. LibreCon 2016 will take place on 21 and 22 November in Bilbao.

 

More information:

ESLE 2015 review (in Spanish)

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