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OpenUK releases Open Manifesto 2024 in City of London

Zin Lwin
6th February 2024

OpenUK releases Open Manifesto 2024 in City of London

OpenUK releases its annual manifesto for the open technology space with a three point plan across skills, government and AI.

6 February 2024, London – Today, OpenUK, the not-for-profit organisation representing the UK’s Open Technology sector, has announced its Open Manifesto 2024. It is a three point plan for how the UK can grow its capabilities across open technology, and make the most of the rising global interest in open AI innovation and open source in AI. The Open Manifesto was launched at OpenUK’s major tech conference, State of Open Con 24 (SOOCon 24) taking place on February 6-7 at The Brewery in the heart of the City of London.

As policymakers, CEOs and tech professionals meet for two days discussion at SOOCon24, The Open Manifesto calls for the UK government to:

1. Develop the future UK tech sector skills through open source contribution

Backing open source will be crucial if the UK government is to realise its ambitions to be the next Silicon Valley. OpenUK’s research has highlighted that open source software is the submarine under the digital economy – it contributed 27% of the UK tech sector Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2022. Leveraging the UK’s leading Open Source talent and building the already dramatically growing contributor base will support economic growth across the UK.

OpenUK is clear that the UK government has an opportunity to support Open Source talent and build out a stronger, skilled tech sector here in the UK. Remote working is a norm in Open Source and means that many international companies hire based on skills, not geography. With improved connectivity across the UK this offers employment opportunities to people who hold in-demand skills whether in cities or rural areas.

2. Enhance utilisation of open source across the public sector

The UK is a world leader in the use of open source in government; in 2011 HMG made it policy to embrace the benefits of open source, and evaluate it on a level playing field with proprietary software. We now need to double down on this strategy and create a culture of open innovation that drives better outcomes for citizens and policymakers alike.

There is so much opportunity. SOOCon24 is showcasing some of the trailblazers in open innovation in government, tackling issues as diverse as sustainability reporting, the cost of living crisis, and prescriptions in the NHS. We need to drive open source skills development, improve interoperability between the public-private sector, and incentivise risk-taking and innovation in the public sector.

3. Enable AI openness

It is critical that the UK government embraces our credentials as an open source leader, and builds a productive, pro-innovation approach to AI, open source and open innovation. OpenUK’s research shows that the fastest growing open repositories for AI anywhere in the world is UK owned – AutoGPT.

This will require the UK government to engage with the nuances of open source technology and open innovation, and to listen to the open source community to build better understanding. 

OpenUK is leading this dialogue, with SOOCon24 hosting a unique hands-on consultation covering AI policy from UK Gov Departments directly with the open source community – with representatives from Home Office, DSIT & Innovate UK all in attendance.

Amanda Brock, CEO of OpenUK, said: “Open source continues to be overlooked in the UK. We are ignoring a sector that keeps the digital fabric of our economy running, from road signs, to shopping websites, NHS systems to datacentres. If we are to achieve the UK’s goal to be the next Silicon Valley, we need to invest in these high skilled professionals and support the sector’s continued growth. That means building talent here in the UK, opening up pathways for individuals – right across the country – to build a career in open source. It means the UK does not forget its routes as a pioneer in open source innovation in government. And as the world wrestles between open and closed AI, the UK needs to support our growing status as an open AI leader, bringing in agile regulation that supports safe innovation – without getting in the way of engineers on the front lines.”

Tickets are still available for SOOCon24. To be part of this transformative event and engage with leading minds in the tech industry, buy your ticket here or apply for a free ticket at .  

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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