A large community comprised of many young Open Source businesses and service providers, who are key players in the open-source development movement, characterize the Open Source Region Stuttgart.
The Stuttgart Region has one of the largest concentrations of colleges and universities in Europe. Many students at these academic institutions are involved in Open Source projects and are pacesetters of the German Open Source scene. A number of successful Open Source projects like, for example, the Linux graphic user-interface, KDE, were initiated by students from this region. The first German Linux distribution DLD (German Linux Distribution), the delix GmbH, the ones responsible for modifying the free operating system that way, also came from Stuttgart. And it should also be mentioned that for years a number of other active Linux User Groups and user groups of other Open Source projects (Typo3, MySQL) have been active here.
The some 1000 Open Source businesses, that keep customers in the Stuttgart Region supplied with interesting products are of considerable economic importance. Comparing different German regions, Baden-Württemberg already has the highest number of Open Source suppliers. This trend has also affected traditional software producers. According to experts, well over half of these producers incorporate a substantial proportion of Open Source software both for making their own supplies or as part of their actual products themselves.
A number of large corporations that are considered to be leaders in the Open Source movement, like for example Hewlett-Packard and IBM Deutschland have their German headquarters in the region. Linux-market leader Red Hat has established a development center in Stuttgart.
Research and development in the Open Source movement not only takes place at colleges and universities but also in regional industries. Thus, the IBM Development Center in Böblingen is the leading “Linux Competence Center” of the world’s largest IT company. In the year 1999 employees of IBM’s development center in Böblingen ported Linux onto the first IBM Server. As far as making inroads into industry, this was a big step forward for Linux and Open Source software. By hosting a number of Open Source conferences the Fraunhofer Insitute IAO also showed its competence in this area. The Fraunhofer IAO with its several hundred employees has as its mission the effective transfer of knowledge from academia to the world of business.
Working IT-networks are a distinguishing feature of the Stuttgart Region and Baden-Württemberg. In the last two years both the Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation’s thematic network “FIRST – Forum IT-Region Stuttgart” and the entrepreneurs’ initiative “bwcon” organized events and projects in order to make others more aware of new developments in the Open Source community. For example, FIRST created and coordinates the initiative “Open Source Region Stuttgart”. With more than 60 events to date, some 1.000.000 visitors to this website and more than 23 million media contacts, the initiative was most effective in making the IT-industry and IT-users more aware of their Open Source software options.
Stuttgart Region Economic Development Corporation
Phone: ++49.711.22835 – 27