14 August 2023: The University of Canberra, ACT Government and NetApp officially launched the $2.3 million Open Source Institute (OpenSI), a world-class institute for open source research, collaboration and innovation, at the University today.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA attended the launch along with the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Professor Lucy Johnston, Vice-President and General Manager of Instaclustr by NetApp, Pete Lilley, and guests on campus.

Open source software is designed to be publicly accessible, so anyone can examine, change, and distribute it. Examples include the WordPress content management system, Python (a programming language) and the Linux operating system.

OpenSI will become an innovation hub for the capital and surrounding region, as well as a national and international leader in open source technology. The Institute will undertake deep research into open source technologies and provide practical work experience opportunities for University of Canberra undergraduate IT students.

“I am thrilled that the University of Canberra has partnered with the ACT Government and NetApp to advance the open source sector in the ACT through an industry-focussed, collaborative approach to research and education,” said Professor Johnston.

“The Open Source Institute will further the University’s research capacity in open source technologies and translate industry-leading thinking and experience into our undergraduate courses.”

Mr Barr said the OpenSI will further Canberra’s position as the knowledge capital.

“Global competition for talent and investment is growing and this partnership will help to attract investment and retain skills and talent within Canberra’s tech industry,” he said.

“With NetApp’s 22 years of commitment to supporting the Australian capital’s tech sector, we are excited to have OpenSI serve as the launch pad for the next generation of technology development, as well as to drive additional tech investment and skills development within Canberra’s entrepreneurial community,” said Mr Lilley.

The partnership will fund an open source-specialised Professorial appointment, three Higher Degree by Research (HDR) scholarships and three research projects.

OpenSI’s research will fall under four themes: data solutions at scale; cyber security and privacy; Artificial Intelligence and machine learning; and open source business models.

The University’s Faculty of Science and Technology will also collaborate closely with NetApp to incorporate skills development in open source systems, software and tools, such as Apache Cassandra®, Apache Spark™ and PostgreSQL®, into its undergraduate IT course offerings.

Download the media release here.

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