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Britain was, obviously (arguably), mislead and misguided enough to vote positively for Brexit by a small but unfortunate margin. In what may be something of a continued move to reaffirm what open values the nation still has, OpenUK continues its obviously (perhaps inarguably) positive work to promote the wider proliferation of open technologies in Europe and around the globe.

A not-for-profit organisation representing the open technology sector, OpenUK is now hosting its first annual State of Open Con conference. 

The event is focused on open source software, open hardware and open data. It is organised in association with the UK’s Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) SA Open and will take place at London’s Queen Elizabeth II Centre, on the 7th and 8th of February 2023. 

Central open tech themes

The conference will open with sessions on the future of open source software and its funding. It will bring together international figures in open technologies and will cenre around around the themes of: government, law and policy; security; platform engineering; entrepreneurship; open hardware and open data. 

“Open technology is at the heart of so much of the innovation taking place in the software and technology sectors,” said Amanda Brock, CEO at OpenUK. “We have to build awareness of the value that open source software is providing to society today. By providing a range of tracks to cover the key themes that affect communities, we want to encourage people to share ideas and develop opportunities for the future. We have kept ticket prices intentionally low thanks to significant sponsorship from IEEE and others, making this flagship conference truly accessible.”

Conference ‘unconference’

The event will also host an ‘unconference’ [an informal participant-driven coming together of people in an environment characterised by its lack of formalised structure and corporate gloss], allowing the community to come together and share their own experiences and priorities.

“The IEEE and the IEEE Industry Standards and Technology Organisation are mission driven not-for-profit organisations that develop and grow ecosystems, for technology development that benefits humanity. Open source software, data and hardware are critical to the development and implementation of technology, and IEEE ISTO with IEEE SA Open is proud to work with OpenUK to develop this new conference to explore and help understand the use and development of open source at the intersection of industry and human experience,” said Adam Newman, president and CEO of IEEE ISTO, and head of IEEE SA Open.

Tracks will include platform engineering, entrepreneurship in open source, security in open source, government, law and policy hosted by CEO Brock herself. There is also an open data track hosted and curated by The Open Data Institute and Emma Thwaites, plus also dedicated sessions on open hardware and the unconference.

Doggy daycare, woof!

To support more diversity and inclusivity at the event, free tickets for potential attendees from underrepresented groups will be available and a creche and doggy day care will be provided on site. The organisation Tweets at @openuk_uk

In related news, Finastra has this week tabled research suggesting that open banking is now universally regarded as a key part of a bank’s landscape, with 99% of respondents considering it either a ‘must have’ or ‘important’, up from 94% last year. The proportion of global financial institutions that consider it a ‘must have’ has risen to 61%, a notable increase from 2021 (51%).

Open banking

The ‘Financial Services: State of the Nation Survey 2022’ finds that views on open finance are also maturing with some 94% of financial institutions regarding it as either a ‘must have’ or ‘important’ in the context of data sharing (up from 91% in 2021). 

Almost half (48%) of respondents now consider open finance a ‘must have’, a notable rise on last year (38%). The increase is significant across all territories, but particularly pronounced in the UAE (up from 50% in 2021 to 71% this year), the UK (up from 33% to 47%) and the US (up from 45% to 56%). This suggests that the sector globally is actively investigating products and services that would benefit from an ecosystem model.

Also worth noting here is the suggestion that Banking as a Service (BaaS) and embedded finance have become industry norms. As explained here on Forbes, “In a pub (for example) if a customer purchases a drink or meal and uses the bar or restaurant’s own app to place an order and complete the payment transaction, the eaterie hasn’t suddenly gone into banking too, that’s embedded finance.” Some 83% of institutions agree that BaaS and embedded finance is already expected/demanded by customers. More than a third (35%) of institutions surveyed have improved or deployed BaaS in the past year. A fraction less (33%) have deployed embedded finance.

“Finastra has always championed open finance as the key to unlocking the potential of people, businesses and communities everywhere,” said Simon Paris, chief executive officer at Finastra. “Over the years that we have conducted this survey, we have seen open finance grow from an emerging idea to a clear priority for institutions across the world, enabling, as it does, business model shifts such as embedded banking, as well as financial inclusion and equality.”

Finastra is a provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, the company launched its open platform for innovation, FusionFabric.cloud, in 2017.