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OpenUK and the UN announce collaborative open source Data Centre Challenge

Open UK
10th October 2023

Furthering commitments made at COP26, with Data Centre Blueprint The Challenge will see open source software developers contribute to building a carbon neutral data centre model

London, UK October 9th, 2023 – Today, OpenUK, the not-for-profit organisation representing the UK’s Open Technology sector, announced an open source Challenge in partnership with the United Nations’ Office of Information and Communications Technology (UN-OICT) around its Data Centre Blueprint known as “Patchwork Kilt”. Participants in the challenge will contribute open source solutions that help create a carbon-negative data centre model.

The challenge brings together a broader community for contributions to Patchwork Kilt.  Participants will have the opportunity to make contributions through an array of different fields developing carbon neutral solutions for data centres. These areas include:

  • Heat redirection: Develop an open source software solution to monitor and redirect heat produced in data centres.
  • Building repurposing: Participants will create an open source tool to better re-evaluate urban spaces, finding brownfield sites that can be re-used for data centres.
  • Heat reuse: A statistical analysis of open datasets to identify areas to repurpose waste – heat
  • Circular supply chain: Build an open source software solution that manages the lifecycle of critical data centre components
  • Blueprint evolution: Analyse the data from Patchwork Kilt for insights into how to supercharge global sustainability efforts.
  • Community empowerment: Providing communities with actionable insights from data centres that can be used to build more sustainable cities

The winning Challenge contributor will be invited to celebrate their success with the presentation of a trophy at OpenUK’s Awards Ceremony and dinner at the House of Lords in November. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience attending the black tie event, a highlight of the global Open Technology calendar and receiving recognition from the sector.

Chris Lloyd-Jones, OpenUK’s Chief Blueprint Officer who is leading on the Project, said,

“Achieving a sustainable future that benefits everyone is dependent on collaborative action – and this is why we started the Blueprint Challenge. Our collaboration creates a Challenge as a way to open up this initiative to wider contributions and a broader community, allowing new technologies to be included. It’s a critical initiative that can have a tangible impact on the future of data centres.

Salem Avan, Director – Policy, Strategy and Governance Division at the UN, said,

“Advances in computing power and Artificial Intelligence are generating major technological advances that have the potential to support progress in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). In this context, Open source is key as it is a universal connector, uniting diverse voices through a common language.

“I’m therefore excited to announce the October Open Source Challenge for Data Centre blueprint as a collaborative effort between OpenUK and the UN-OICT. The significance of open source in data centres cannot be overstated; it fuels innovation, transparency, and cost-efficiency. By harnessing open source technology to efficiently run data centres, we not only reduce our environmental footprint but also contribute to global sustainable development efforts.”

Amanda Brock, Chief Executive Officer at Open UK, said,

“Our UN collaboration has been a great support over the last two years. Yet as with any COP initiative, we must deliver on our promises, working towards long-term impacts through Open Technology and its community. To maximise its longevity, our Blueprint will keep updating in line with technological progress. We are in discussions with prospective partners to usher in its next phase, so all contributions have the potential to have a real, continuous impact on building a carbon-negative data centre model.”

Contributions can be made to the challenges via the UN Unity Platform from 1 October with further information found on the OpenUK website.


About OpenUK

OpenUK is the organisation for the business of Open Technology, being Open Source Software, Open Source Hardware and Open Data across the UK. Its purpose is UK leadership and global collaboration in Open Technology. OpenUK works on three pillars: Community, Legal and Policy and Learning. In 2022 OpenUK will focus on Skills, Security and Sustainability. OpenUK is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, company number 11209475.

Twitter: @openuk_uk
LinkedIn: openukopentechnology


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0208 819 3170

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