Foundations of Open: Technology and Digital Knowledge Local 2020 Summit
A Local 2020 Summit: Foundations of Open: Technology and Digital Knowledge was conducted in Canberra at The Australian National University on Thursday 3 April.

The Local Summit was co chaired by Senator Kate Lundy and Tom Worthington FACS HLM, Adjunct Senior Lecturer, ANU and Director of Professional Development, The Australian Computer Society. The Local Summit was opened by Professor Lawrence Cram, Acting Vice Chancellor of the Australian National University.

Open source is developing as an industrial and innovation policy strategy in many advanced economies and in the Asia/Pacific region. China and India have invested in open source infrastructure. Open Source software now powers many of the world's largest computing systems and more than 5.5 billion electronic devices worldwide. A number of major Australian Government systems operate using open source software, including the National Archives of Australia electronic archive.

By strategically applying open source principles to public IT procurement, governments have sought to create a virtuous cycle in which they:
  • lower direct software licence charges and associated procurement costs, by allowing creative resources to be applied to innovation
  • reduce carbon emissions by more efficient computer and network use
  • reduce dependency on proprietary intellectual property
  • encourage support and service engagements through local providers
  • drive domestic innovation as local software organisations build IP on globally accessible open source technology.

Australia has an opportunity to realise long term economic and social benefits by building a platform that allows individuals and businesses to innovate and collaborate more effectively. According to an EU study, increasing the open source share of software from 20 per cent to 40 per cent would lead to a 0.1 per cent increase in annual EU GDP growth, excluding benefits within the ICT industry itself.

Presentations at the Local 2020 Summit were provided on:

  • the foundations of openness in a digital age including standards, knowledge, governance, source code and the market.
  • a case study in the use of open source software to support community organisations
  • open source as a public resource, particularly for the education sector
  • the potential for licensing through the Creative Commons mechanism for opening up knowledge for public benefit
  • the benefits of openness in geospatial information so that Australian businesses can add value, innovate and commercialise
  • progress with IPv6, an Internet protocol that can deliver a vastly increased scale Internet, with automatic security and auto-configuration
  • open source use in government.
Over 40 participants actively engaged in the Local 2020 Summit: Foundations of Open: Technology and Digital Knowledge.

Separate submissions to the national 2020 Summit are being made by each of the Local 2020 Summit presenters.

Recommendations to the national summit cover a diverse range of areas including intellectual property, patent and copyright laws, standards and protocols, government procurement and charging arrangements, open source licensing of software developed with public funds, access to geospatial data, open educational software and access to live television broadcast rights for educational institutions.

Presentations and video from the Local Summit are available at

Last modified: Wednesday, 9 April 2008, 05:35 PM