ACT Govt unveils $2.3m Open Source Institute

The University of Canberra (UC), in partnership with the ACT Government and NetApp, has announced the launch of its $2.3 million Open Source Institute (OPI).

The Institute will act as an innovation hub for the territory and surrounding regions, with designs to become a national and international leader in open source technology.

The new Institute will undertake deep research into open source technologies, with the aim of providing practical work-integrated learning opportunities for the University of Canberra’s undergraduate IT students.

Research at OpenSI will fall under the four themes of data solutions at scale, cybersecurity and privacy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and open source business models.

The partnership also will fund an open source-specialised professorial appointment, three higher degree by research (HDR) scholarships, and three research projects.

Speaking at the launch, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said the OpenSI will further Canberra’s position as the knowledge capital of Australia.

“Global competition for talent and investment is growing and this partnership will help attract that investment and retain skills and talent within Canberra’s tech industry,” he said.

“This is one of the ways we are developing our skilled workforce and helping to grow the number of jobs in Canberra to 300,000 by 2030.”

“This is an exciting partnership with the ACT Government and NetApp that will advance the open source sector in the ACT through an industry-focused, collaborative approach to research and education,” UC deputy vice-chancellor research and rnterprise, Professor Lucy Johnston, added.

“The Open Source Institute will further the University’s research capacity in open source technologies and translate industry-leading thinking and experience into our undergraduate courses.”

Pete Lilley, NetApp’s vice-president and general manager of Instaclustr, part of NetApp, said that Instaclust, as a local startup,  was a great example of Australian innovation; being acquired by NetApp 18 months ago as a leading developer of open-source database, pipeline and workflow applications.

“Today, it’s an honour to announce our new partnership with the University of Canberra and the ACT Government with NetApp’s industry-leading portfolio for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud technologies, further enhanced by Instaclustr’s locally-grown cloud data application services,” Lilley added.

“With NetApp’s 22 years of commitment to supporting the Australian capital’s tech sector, we are excited to have OpenSI serve as the launch pad for the next generation of technology development, as well as to drive additional tech investment and skills development within Canberra’s entrepreneurial community.”

Open source is software distributed with source code, designed to be publicly accessible, so anyone can examine, change, and distribute it.

According to MarketWatch, its estimated global market size for the sector in 2022 was valued at US$ 27,728.89 million and is expected to reach US$ 75,209.66 million by 2028.