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Strengthening Digital Infrastructure and Open Source Ecosystems in the Public Interest

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.

Open digital infrastructure

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.

Why funding matters

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.

Apply for funding

We are now accepting applications on an ongoing basis to support open digital base technologies in the public interest. Before submitting an application, we ask that you review and consider all information regarding the selection criteria and the subsequent process. Applications are accepted exclusively through our application platform.

Apply for funding

Bug Resilience Project

The Bug Resilience Project is a responsible bug bounty program to empower small and medium-sized open source projects. The goal is to lower their risk of harboring bugs and improve their capacity to respond to bugs as they are discovered. The program provides services to OSS projects, such as helping projects deal with technical debt, working on known security issues, implementing responsible vulnerability disclosure processes, as well as offering a bug bounty for researchers that discover bugs and report them responsibly.

Please note the application phase has ended. We are no longer accepting applications for Bug Resilience Project implementation partners.

„Strengthening digital sovereignty is key to ensuring economic growth, self-determination and for protecting our values in a digital world. The sustainability of our digital infrastructure is crucial to this. This is exactly what the Sovereign Tech Fund is aiming to achieve.”

Dr. Franziska Brantner

Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

„The promotion of open source software should be as much a part of public services as public transportation or water supply. It is a common good from which administration, business and civil society benefit equally.”

Saskia Esken

Federal Chairwoman of the SPD

„Open, digital enabling technologies support our steps toward digital sovereignty for Europe and Germany-against dependence on monopoly-like structures. At the same time, the security of the open source ecosystem is strengthened.”

Thomas Sattelberger

Member of the German Bundestag, FDP

„Free and open software has long been the basis of countless applications. It offers us the chance to ensure openness, participation and security and to fill the previous buzzword of ‘digital sovereignty’ with life.”

Konstantin von Notz

Deputy Chairman of the Bündnis 90/Die Grünen Parliamentary Group in the Bundestag

Our feasibility study

On the consideration of a support program for open digital enabling technologies as a basis for innovation and digital sovereignty

Open PDF

Evaluation Report Pilot Phase - Coming soon in English

Findings from the validation of the approaches developed in the STF feasibility study.

Open PDF

Frequently Asked Questions

Who finances the Sovereign Tech Fund?

The Sovereign Tech Fund started in October 2022 and is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. It is currently incubated at SPRIND GmbH.

What is the total financial volume of the Sovereign Tech Fund?

The Sovereign Tech Fund has a total of EUR 11.5 million available for 2023.

How can I apply for funding?

All information on how to apply for support as well as the application platform can be found here. Because of limited capacities, we are unable to advise applicants prior to submission. Conditions for applications are listed on the application page.

How are projects selected?

Projects are identified by the STF team in a scouting process based on research and recommendations (“pull mechanism”) and through an open application process (“push mechanism”).

Why haven't I received a response to my inquiry or application?

If you submitted an application via our platform, you had to select whether we can send you emails when you registered. If you did not agree to this option, we unfortunately cannot give you any feedback. You can change this yourself in your account settings. If you agree to receiving emails, we will contact you about successful as well as unsuccessful applications. Due to the high volume of requests we are receiving, our team is processing them as fast as we can. We appreciate your patience and anticipate being able to respond within the next few weeks.

Who runs the Sovereign Tech Fund?

The Sovereign Tech Fund is run by Adriana Groh and Fiona Krakenbürger. They bring many years of experience in promoting open source technologies, both in national and international funding programs. Previously, their efforts have focused on the importance of diversity and democratic values in the area of innovation and technology development.

How do I stay informed?

Stay tuned for updates and job openings via our newsletter and Twitter. You can also reach out at