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Open Hardware: explore the dynamics of open technologies.

While Open Source Software dominates the field of software development, open hardware has taken longer to evolve. Open hardware is hardware for which the designs are available for anyone to copy, use, improve and commercialise. Open hardware products vary from electronics (including chip designs), through to ventilators, cars, drones, lab equipment, even beer and cola. The European Commission takes Open Hardware seriously: it is currently undertaking a study on competitiveness, innovation and independence in the field of open hardware. Investors are also getting involved in open hardware, with SiFive, a company which develops chip designs based on open hardware, securing well over $100m in funding.

Andrew Katz will explore the dynamics of open technologies, and consider whether open hardware has the potential to be as successful as open source software. Why do companies invest in open hardware? Why does opening up technologies make sense for business, investors, the environment and society in general? Where can Open Hardware learn from Open Source Software: in what ways should it emulate Open Source, and in what ways should it seek a different route?

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