Amanda Brock

About Amanda Brock

CEO OpenUK, Board Adviser SynergyMode, European Rep OIN, Chair UNTIL OS &IP Advisory Board, Open Advisory OASIS, Editor JOLTS - open source

OpenUK “State of Open” survey is open

OpenUK’s second “State of Open Survey” #StateofOpen is live and runs until midnight BST on 12 June

In OpenUK’s first “State of Open : The UK in 2021” Report we began the process of bringing together data for the UK. This country specific data had not been seen before and firmly demonstrated the UK as a world leader in open source software, the biggest centre of excellence in Europe and the 5th biggest contributor globally despite its diminutive size. This year’s report will be a single report and build on the work from last year to look at both the journey organisations go on throughout consumption, to contribution and distribution and the impacts of that maturation, alongside the impact of open source software, being adopted as the spine of the UK’s digital infrastructure.  Time to consider it a public good and to fund it as such?

The 2021 report was three phases:

  • Phase one:  a Literature Review with analysis of the data available in existing reports and in particular a calculation of the economic contribution to GDP based on the Commission’s formula:
  • Phase two: looked at Adoption through the output of a survey across people based in the UK with case studies exploring UK adoption; and
  • Phase three : a shift to the Values of open source software, considering the broader contribution it makes beyond economic contribution, and an attempt to value open source software’s economic contribution looking beyond Total Cost of Ownership… and of course, more case studies, focusing on finance, health care and energy.

The Report was exceptionally well received, largely down to its pragmatic approach.  Silona Bonewald Executive Director of IEEE SA OPEN, added “Oftentimes I need to explain to government officials and those in the public sector why Open Source is so important.  OpenUK State of Open’s reports have been very valuable for bridging that gap.  Even in countries that are very different from the UK people find they can relate to the report content. I have cited these OpenUK reports in so many slide decks –  I have lost count.”

 I can’t overstate the value of this report. It’s rare to find one that delves into the business value of open source and provides numbers to back it up. As an open source strategist, a resource like this is priceless to me,” commented VM (Vicky)  Brasseur, Open Source Business Strategist and author of Forge your Future with Open Source

However, in the last 12 months , three events had a major impact on our thinking: the Log4J security vulnerability, the first Open Technology for Sustainability event at COP26, and the UK Energy Sector Digitalisation Task Force Report calling for an open source software “Spine” for our energy sector and utilities. These affected OpenUK’s 2022 focus on Security, Skills and Sustainability as the grand challenges in open source software today in the UK and the survey has been significantly adjusted in an attempt to pull this data together. 

The 2022 survey again captures UK adoption levels and data to facilitate an updated calculation of economic value, it also aligns to these challenges with a deep dive into the impacts and consequences of maturing open source software consumption, contribution and redistribution. This will help companies on the journey to open source maturity

The White House’s work with OpenSSF leading to vast sums of money being invested in securing and maintaining open source software may be a tipping point whilst the rest of the world appears to look on. No viable solution to such challenges should ever come from any one country, and it is time to see coordinated thinking across Governments to manage the challenges. 

Outputs of the survey will be used in the “State of Open : The UK in 2022” Report to be published in early July. This will be launched at face to face events across the four nations in the North of England, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff, but will also feed into the work OpenUK is doing to establish Societal Value Metrics for Open Technology. The results will feed into our second Open Technology for Sustainability event which will take place in October in Wales. We’ll issue a further report on this and share the analysis and thinking led by our Chief Sustainability Officer Cristian Parrino and our new Sustainability Advisory Board.

Security, funding and investment in open source software are top of both the Enterprise and State agenda. 

 “This Report will underline that there is work to be done to communicate the importance of open source software to the UK, and specifically to support  organisations to create resilience across their supply chains”  commented FlyingBinary’s  Dr Jacqui Taylor, one of OpenUK’s Security Board Advisers. Another of these Control Plane’s Andrew Martin who is also OpenUK’s Chief Security Tech Officer added “This data gives OpenUK an insight into the prevalence of open source within the UK market, and supports our mission of ensuring the right incentives and outcomes for maintainers and end users in a safe and secure manner”.

Dr Jennifer Barth, founder, Smoothmedia and her team supported the innovative approach taken in State of Open 2021 and will again lead the survey analysis. You can also look forward to case studies and opinion pieces from key figures which were super popular in last year’s Report. 

If you have a UK case study you would like to suggest, do get in touch.

And please, if you are based in the UK, take 20 minutes to complete the survey and if you are based elsewhere please share across your networks,

OpenUK Review of the Year

Our sibling organization, OpenUK, represents the interests of the UK open source industry.  As 2020 draws to a close we invited its CEO, Amanda Brock, to reflect and celebrate its work, developing UK leadership in Open Technology, during her first full year at the helm.

What a year OpenUK has had.  The second half of the year has been a busy 6 months with the Awards, our Kids Competition, a number of Legal and Policy activities and the launch of our Supporter model.

The First Edition of the OpenUK Awards sponsored by the law firm Bristows, was celebrated on 20 October, with almost 150 attendees, receiving a Good box. Described as the best event of 2020 by many of the attendees and with a ‘Wow…just wow” from keynote, Jono Baon, its interactive and hybrid format, is something OpenUK will be doing more of.

Guests were able to table hop and rub shoulders with old friends as they celebrated our winners:

  • Open Source Software – Hospital Run
  • Open Hardware – LowRisc Foundaton
  • Open Data – National Library of Wales
  • Finance and Fintech sponsored by FINOS –
  • Young Person – Josh Lowe
  • Individual – Liz Rice

A heartfelt congratulations to all of our Awards winners who each received a trophy created by Garner Osborne.

We were also able to share their prizes with our Kids Competition sponsored by Red Hat. The winners were Altrincham Grammmar School for Girls, in the North of England, Durlston College in the South of England, Rathmore Grammar School in Northern Ireland and Scottish and National Winner Morrison’s Academy.

The Awards were co-hosted by Double Grammy Award winning singer Imogen Heap who added a touch of glamour to the evening as she recognised the contribution of the open source communities to her MiMU glove project and spent some time with the kids from each of the winning schools.

This hasn’t just been a time for OpenUK to give out Awards, but also to receive one, as the OpenUK Kids Competition and Digital Kids Camp is a Phase two winner of the GNOME Community Challenge. An incredible achievement to be one of the final 5 participants in this global challenge, from an initial pool of 149 entries. Not only have we received this accolade, but Red Hat have committed sponsorship for year two of both the Competition and Kids Course and we will share more information on these in January.

The Awards were also a great opportunity to launch our Supporter Model, allowing individuals to support funding OpenUK and to benefit from a number of opportunities including Supporter events and discounts, but most importantly the ability to stand for and vote in the OpenUK Board elections. The first election will take place in Autumn 2021. Half the Board seats will be available for election and anyone who has been a Supporter, paying their monthly subscription for 6 months will be able to vote. More information at our website.

We are waiting for the Supreme Court of the US Decision in Google v Oracle, where OpenUK joined with the Python Foundation, Tidelift and others in an amicus brief explaining the risk of copyright in API’s to open source and have only just completed a response to the National Data Strategy Consultation in the UK. As our final Brexit looms fast, these and other global activities are of great significance to the UK’s Open Technology Communities and CEO, Amanda Brock has given a number of keynotes and written extensively on this and GaiaX. In joining Gaia X as a Day One Member, OpenUK was described as the UK’s lifeline and will be leading the way for UK corporate and public sector involvement. You can read a couple of different views on this in  this article and this article in Computer Weekly

And listen to Amanda discussing Brexit, Global Shift and open technologies in a number of places including: YouTube.

A busy year, but even more to come in 2021. If you are interested in any of our activities or in getting more involved, please contact, follow us on twitter @openuk_uk or LinkedIn

We wish you all an enjoyable festive break and health, wealth and happiness in 2021

An updated OpenUK Kids Competition for 2020

OpenUK, the advocate organisation for Open Technology (open source software, open hardware and open data) in the UK, has revamped its Kids’ Competition due to the impact of school closures and the Coronavirus pandemic.

OpenUK Kids' Competition

A total of 400 MiniMU Glove kits each including a BBC micro:bit will be sent directly to participating kids in May, to help kids experiment and experience what can be achieved with the newly open sourced MiniMu gloves. Kits are being sent directly to kids to construct and they can then take part in fun activities designed to help them experiment and make music with the gloves.

A 10-episode animated series has also been designed by School Science Ambassador and 2020 EdTech Hall of Fame member David Whale, with curriculum related input from educationalist and Morrison’s Academy computer science teacher Pamela Boal. Each fun 10-minute episode has an activity for participating kids and will a friendly and fun introduction into open source, making music and developing other uses for the MiniMU glove. The aminated series has animation by Drawnalism and narration from voiceover artist Stephanie Bower.


OpenUK launches a single voice for open source in the UK

2019 has seen OpenUK formally launch at the House of Commons in September with the kind sponsorship of Pete Wishart, MP.

OpenUK is a membership and trade organisation for “open” in the UK, actively representing the interests of UK businesses in the UK and internationally. It is building out a number of projects and workstreams to create a single voice for opens source software, open hardware and open data across the UK. This will be increasingly important post-Brexit, when we need to come together with once voice to be recognised as a strong presence in the UK and to influence Government, legislation and the public sector to ensure appropriate treatment of “open” in the UK.

OpenUK launch event at the House of Commons.

We have a wide variety of new work streams supporting the goals of OpenUK and will be working with our extended board to prepare our 2020 strategy in January and will be sharing this via our new web site and NextCloud.

The Committees we have set up and will be working on are:

  • Awards Committee – organising our 2020 OpenUK Awards in London on 11 June, as part of London Tech Week chaired by Amanda Brock with judges Andrew Back, Cheryl Chen and Chris Lamb
  • Events Committee – being formed in 2020. We have a healthcare event on 6 February, and open data series kicking off in March and a number of other events planned including topics such as open hardware and well-being/ working from home – chaired by Amanda Brock
  • Learning Committee – working on an open-source GCSE and a schools competition for early 2020, with the winners being part of the Awards. Over time we will work on code camps etc – chaired by Paul Taylor
  • Legal and Policy Committee – currently setting its remit, reviewing CCS and GDS contract terms, looking forward to a meeting with the Parliamentary All-Party Intellectual Property Committee, when a new Government is in place and responding to the recent Commission workshop – chaired by Chris Eastham
  • Museums Committee – being formed in 2020. Working on a permanent exhibition room at the National Computer Museum at Bletchley to be launched in January 2021 and temporary exhibitions open elsewhere – chaired by Stuart Mackintosh
  • Universities Committee – welcoming all universities in collaborative student projects – chaired by Bruce Darby of Edinburgh University

OpenUK is actively looking for additional members for a number of our committees and groups and would be pleased to hear from anyone interested in volunteering.

British Baked Podcasts, celebrating the talent of the UK’s open sectors will be added weekly from January and are being recorded with the support of BCS’s open source group and Endecosm. We are also hoping to launch UK Faces of Open Source in 2020.

Details of the participants in all of our committees in our new web site which will be live before Christmas, thanks to our friends Greg and Ele at Civic, who are working hard to build this. A combination of our site and our Nextcloud, hosted by OpusVL,will allow easy access to mailing lists and transparency across the work of our committees and board. Andrew Katz, our Pro Bono GC and his team at Moorcrofts are working hard on making sure all the necessary legals are in place.

Amanda Brock has stepped into the role of CEO and will be OpenUK’s first employee.

Our board will also be extending in January and details of the interim board for 2020 will be updated in the new site. By the end of 2020 we will move to an elected board.

The OpenUK events calendar on the new site will list what is happening across open source software, open data and open hardware in the UK and beyond and will also include the up and coming OpenUK events and even we will be attending in 2020. Please  contact us via the site, if you would like an event listed.

Our final exciting news, is that OpenUK will be hosting a stand at FOSDEM for the first time on Saturday 1 February, potentially the first day after the UK’s Brexit from the European Union.  It will be themed “Tea and Biscuits with the Brits”.

We welcome anyone based in the UK or who wants to showcase a UK business as part of our stand, to take part, give away their goodies and meet the folk of FOSDEM with us. Please contact if you would like to help with our stand and hope that you will join us for tea, biscuits and a good old natter about open source in Brussels. Please also feel free to contact me if you are interested in participating in any of our committees or are interested in becoming a member of OpenUK or sponsoring our activities.