Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) is excited to announce that it will be launching a fund to further investment in open infrastructure globally. The fund will go live in early 2024 and provide targeted support to further our mission to sustain effective digital infrastructure needed for open knowledge to flourish.
IOI was founded on the premise that to achieve a more equitable and accessible research ecosystem, a concerted shift towards open tools and infrastructure is needed. Over the past two years, IOI has conducted extensive research to build a better understanding of the costs, needs, gaps, and trends in funding open infrastructure services in order to fuel a more evidence-based approach to addressing the resourcing challenges in the sector.
“We need fresh ideas and approaches to not only fund open solutions, but to provide a necessary counterbalance to the increasing consolidation and corporatization of research infrastructure,” said Evviva Weinraub Lajoie, the University Librarian and Vice Provost of Libraries at the University at Buffalo, and IOI Steering Committee member. “IOI is positioned to power significant change in how the ecosystem is supported in a really exciting, evidence-based and transparent way.”
“Since IOI’s founding, we’ve discussed the potential of administering a fund as a means to achieve our mission of increasing the investment and adoption of open infrastructure,” said Kaitlin Thaney, Executive Director, Invest in Open Infrastructure. “I’m proud of the deep research the team has led in collaboration with the communities funding, building, and using these technologies. We see the fund as the next step in tangibly shifting the dialogue about open from extractive models towards reinvestment.”
The fund was announced as part of IOI’s Funders Summit, a gathering of key stakeholders involved in financing and resourcing open infrastructure. It will serve as a means to further the following aims:
- Catalyze and deepen investment in under-resourced areas, addressing gaps that current funding mechanisms fail to support, enhancing access to funding to communities outside of the Global North, and driving investment to enhance a more representative and accessible ecosystem.
- Increase and expand the pool of funders of open infrastructure, including calling for those who extract significant value from the open ecosystem to reinvest in the open systems from which they profit.
- Activate a mechanism for bold, higher-risk investments, including exploring community investment in current infrastructure, to counter the increased corporate control of tools and technologies.
IOI’s fund builds on existing momentum to increase investment for critical, digital, open infrastructure, as seen with the recent commitment by leaders to advance and invest in the use of digital public goods such as open source software, Germany’s launch of the Sovereign Tech Fund to support vital and stable open source technologies, and continued efforts from organizations such as the Global Sustainability Coalition for Open Science Services (SCOSS).
Over the course of next year, IOI will be sharing more about its plans for the fund via a series of invited discussions. They will also be launching a Community Investment Council to bring transparency and accountability to fund stewardship, to further build on their efforts to design values-aligned ways to de-bias funding decisions. You can register your interest to join those conversations via this short survey.
Invest in Open Infrastructure
Invest in Open Infrastructure (IOI) works to increase the investment in and adoption of open infrastructure to further equitable access to and participation in research. We are committed to open, collective, and iterative development, from our governance-building and stakeholder engagement activities, to our decision-making tools and the research we produce. IOI receives financial support from philanthropies, institutions, and library coalitions, and is fiscally sponsored by Code for Science & Society, a leading 501(c)3 supporting the public interest technology space. Learn more at https://investinopen.org/about.
Social media image by Julian Paolo Dayag on Unsplash.