The Sovereign Tech Fund supports the development, improvement and maintenance of open digital infrastructure. Our goal is to sustainably strengthen the open source ecosystem. We focus on security, resilience, technological diversity, and the people behind the code.
Digital sovereignty is the self-determined use of digital technologies and systems by individuals, industry, and governments. It cannot be achieved without a robust open source ecosystem. We need to strengthen open digital infrastructure in order to foster security, innovation and economic growth, and ensure a resilient digital foundation for participation and democracy.
We often don't notice how much our lives depend on digital infrastructure until it stops working. But making it available, accessible and secure is key for digitalization in the public interest. The Sovereign Tech Fund invests in open digital infrastructure. We understand this to be foundational technologies that enable the creation of other software. These trusted components — for instance, libraries and standards — are openly accessible and free to use. As a result, open digital infrastructure is critical for innovation and economic growth, and forms the foundation for digitalization across sectors.
The open source ecosystem, while incredibly successful, is also increasingly fragile. Many more people are using the software than contributing to it. It is time to invest in digital commons, volunteer communities and the open source ecosystem to build the digital world we want to see. We are working to strengthen the self-determined use of digital technologies and systems by individuals, industry, and governments. We believe openness, co-creation, interdependency and interoperability will lead to digital sovereignty.
We are excited to kick off the Sovereign Tech Fund with a pilot round of projects. The pilot is an opportunity to showcase examples of open digital infrastructure, and to test the model we outlined in our feasibility study published in 2021. The following projects will receive funding starting October 2022:
Dr. Franziska Brantner
Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action
Bundesvorsitzende der SPD
Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages, FDP
Konstantin von Notz
stellvertretender Fraktionsvorsitzender Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen
to Examine a Funding Program for Open Digital Base Technologies as the Foundation for Innovation and Digital SovereigntyOpen PDF (47MB)
The Sovereign Tech Fund is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. It is currently incubated at SPRIND GmbH.
The fund is run by Adriana Groh and Fiona Krakenbürger. They bring many years of experience in open source technology funding, in domestic as well as international funding programs. In their previous work, Adriana and Fiona focused on diversity and democratic values in innovation and technology development.
We are kicking off the program with a small pilot round. Projects were put forward by community members and selected by an expert committee. Funding will be distributed both through selection by an expert committee as well as application from projects seeking funding. Details will be announced in early 2023.
The Sovereign Tech Fund will have an open application process. Applications will open in 2023.
Stay tuned for updates and job openings via our newsletter and Twitter, or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.