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UC and NetApp partner with ACT Government to launch Open Source Institute

14  August 2023: The University of Canberra (UC), in collaboration with the ACT Government and NetApp, officially launched the $2.3 million Open Source Institute (OpenSI) at the University today.

This world-class institute for open source research, collaboration and innovation was launched by Chief Minister Andrew Barr MLA, UC Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research and Enterprise, Professor Lucy Johnston, and Pete Lilley, NetApp’s Vice-President and General Manager of Instaclustr, part of NetApp.

Speaking at the launch, Chief Minister Barr said the OpenSI will further Canberra’s position as the knowledge capital of Australia.

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

“This is one of the ways we are developing our skilled workforce and helping to grow the number of jobs in Canberra to 300,000 by 2030.”

OpenSI will act as an innovation hub for the ACT 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-integrated-learning opportunities for the University of Canberra’s undergraduate IT students.

“This is an exciting partnership with the ACT Government and NetApp that will advance the open source sector in the ACT through an industry-focused, 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.”

Research at OpenSI will fall under the four themes of data solutions at scale, cyber security and privacy, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and open source business models.

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

Open source is a software distributed with source code, designed to be publicly accessible, so anyone can examine, change, and distribute it. With the estimated global market size for the sector in 2022 valued at USD 27,728.89 million, it is expected to reach USD 75,209.66 million by 2028 (Source: MarketWatch).

“As a local startup, Instaclustr is a great example of Australian innovation; being acquired by NetApp 18 months ago as a leading developer of open-source database, pipeline and workflow applications. Today, it’s an honour to announce our new partnership with the University of Canberra and the ACT Government with NetApp’s industry-leading portfolio for hybrid cloud and multi-cloud technologies, further enhanced by instaclustr’s locally-grown cloud data application services,” said Mr Lilley.

“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.