The Sovereign Tech Fund supports the development, improvement and maintenance of open digital infrastructure. Our goal is to sustainably strengthen the open source ecosystem. We focus on security, resilience, technological diversity, and the people behind the code.

Digital sovereignty is the self-determined use of digital technologies and systems by individuals, industry, and governments. It cannot be achieved without a robust open source ecosystem. We need to strengthen open digital infrastructure in order to foster security, innovation and economic growth, and ensure a resilient digital foundation for participation and democracy.

Open digital infrastructure

We often don't notice how much our lives depend on digital infrastructure until it stops working. But making it available, accessible and secure is key for digitalization in the public interest. The Sovereign Tech Fund invests in open digital infrastructure. We understand this to be foundational technologies that enable the creation of other software. These trusted components — for instance, libraries and standards — are openly accessible and free to use. As a result, open digital infrastructure is critical for innovation and economic growth, and forms the foundation for digitalization across sectors.

Why funding matters

The open source ecosystem, while incredibly successful, is also increasingly fragile. Many more people are using the software than contributing to it. It is time to invest in digital commons, volunteer communities and the open source ecosystem to build the digital world we want to see. We are working to strengthen the self-determined use of digital technologies and systems by individuals, industry, and governments. We believe openness, co-creation, interdependency and interoperability will lead to digital sovereignty.

Pilot Round

We are excited to kick off the Sovereign Tech Fund with a pilot round of projects we will announce soon. The pilot is an opportunity to test the model we outlined in our feasibility study, published in 2021.

The pilot round will be announced in October 2022. Regular funding and further activities of the Sovereign Tech Fund will start in 2023.

„Strengthening digital sovereignty is key to ensuring economic growth, self-determination and for protecting our values in a digital world. The sustainability of our digital infrastructure is crucial to this. This is exactly what the Sovereign Tech Fund is aiming to achieve.”

Dr. Franziska Brantner
Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action

„Die Förderung von Open Source-Software sollte genauso selbstverständlich zur Daseinsvorsorge gehören wie öffentliche Verkehrsmittel oder Wasserversorgung. Sie ist ein Allgemeingut, von dem Verwaltung, Wirtschaft und Zivilgesellschaft gleichermaßen profitieren.”

Saskia Esken
Bundesvorsitzende der SPD

„Offene, digitale Basistechnologien stützen unsere Schritte zur digitalen Souveränität Europas und Deutschlands- gegen die Abhängigkeit von monopolartigen Strukturen. Gleichzeitig wird die Sicherheit des Open-Source-Ökosystems gestärkt.”

Thomas Sattelberger
Mitglied des Deutschen Bundestages, FDP

„Freie und offene Software ist längst die Grundlage unzähliger Anwendungen. Sie bietet uns die Chance, Offenheit, Teilhabe und Sicherheit zu gewährleisten und das bisherige Buzzword der „digitalen Souveränität” mit Leben zu füllen.”

Konstantin von Notz
stellvertretender Fraktionsvorsitzender Bundestagsfraktion Bündnis 90/Die Grünen

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Our Feasibility Study

to Examine a Funding Program for Open Digital Base Technologies as the Foundation for Innovation and Digital Sovereignty

Open PDF (47MB)

Frequently Asked.

Who is funding the Sovereign Tech Fund?

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The Sovereign Tech Fund is funded by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. It is currently incubated at SPRIND GmbH.

Who runs the Sovereign Tech Fund?

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The fund is run by Adriana Groh and Fiona Krakenbürger. They bring many years of experience in open source technology funding, in domestic as well as international funding programs. In their previous work, Adriana and Fiona focused on diversity and democratic values in innovation and technology development.

How are projects selected?

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We are kicking off the program with a small pilot round. Projects were put forward by community members and selected by an expert committee. Future funding will be distributed both through selection by an expert committee as well as application from projects seeking funding. Details will be announced in early 2023. 

How can I apply for funding?

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The Sovereign Tech Fund will have an open application process. Applications will open in 2023.

How do I stay informed?

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Stay tuned for updates and job openings via our newsletter and Twitter, or reach out at info@sovereigntechfund.de.