Building Europe’s Digital Sovereignty: the role of Open Source, Edge Computing and GAIA-X


In early March 2021, the European Commission presented its 2030 Digital Compass, a concrete vision and specific targets for Europe to become a leader in the digital space over the next decade. The document acknowledged Europe’s vulnerabilities, its increased dependency on critical, often non-EU-based, technologies, and the reliance on a few big tech companies, with less than 4% of the top online platforms being European. That digital transition, in which the European Union has agreed to invest at least a 20% of the Recovery and Resilience Facility, requires Europe to strengthen its own cloud infrastructure and capacities and to develop strategic technologies. In this virtual event, it will be discussed with several experts the role that open source, edge computing, and GAIA-X are expected to play in the process of building Europe’s digital sovereignty, and both the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.


  • Jordi Guijarro

Cyber Security Innovation Director at i2CAT Foundation, GAIA-X Association.


  • Stéfane Fermigier

Co-chair of the French National Council for Free and Open Source Software (CNLL).

Stéfane Fermigier is an open-source developer, entrepreneur, and activist. He is currently the founder and CEO of Abilian, a company that develops enterprise information management solutions based on open-source software, a co-founder the co-chair of CNLL, the French Open Source National Council, and a co-founder and board member of APELL, the European Open Source Software Business Association.

Previously to founding Abilian in 2012, he founded Nuxeo in 2000, and served as its CEO from 2000 to 2008, then as its executive chairman from 2008 to 2011. Nuxeo is now one of the largest open-source software vendors in France and was acquired by a competitor for M$ 150 in 2021.

  • Raquel Jorge Ricart

Fulbright Fellow, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University.

Raquel Jorge Ricart is a Fulbright Fellow (Washington, DC – Elliott School of International Affairs, GWU). She is an expert in foresight as well as in technology and digital policy, and its implications on global order, security and foreign policy, and public policies. Raquel Jorge has worked on policy-making projects at the Harvard University’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society, and at a firm in the United Kingdom working on policy advisory for international organizations, on humanitarian affairs, cooperation, security and defense, and cities. Raquel Jorge advises organizations on foreign policy as well as on technology, and she is a regular contributor to think tanks and media.

  • José Manrique López de la Fuente

CEO of Bitergia, CHAOSS Community.

Manrique is the CEO and shareholder in Bitergia and a free, libre, open-source software development community passionate. He is a graduate Industrial Engineer with research and development experience from the Technological Center for Computer Science and Communications of the Principality of Asturias (CTIC), W3C working groups, Ándago Engineering, and Continua Health Alliance. Former executive director of the Spanish Open Source Enterprises Association (ASOLIF), and expert consultant for the Spanish National Open Source Reference Center (CENATIC).

Involved in several communities related to free, libre, open-source software he is currently active in GrimoireLab and CHAOSS (Community Health Analytics for Open Source Software). He has been recognized as AWS Data Hero and GitLab Community Hero. You can reach him on Twitter as @jsmanrique, and when he is not online he loves to spend time with his family and surfing.

  • Alberto P. Martí

VP of Open Source Community Relations at OpenNebula, GAIA-X Association.

Alberto has developed most of his career in Spain and in the United Kingdom, both in the IT/FLOSS sector and in Higher Education. As VP of Open Source Community Relations at OpenNebula, he deals with strategic collaborations with public cloud and edge providers, other open source initiatives, and development teams from relevant vendors and manufacturers. He coordinates OpenNebula’s participation as a corporate member of the Linux Foundation, the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and LF Edge, and of both the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC) and the GAIA-X Association. He is also involved in the ONEedge initiative, the EU-funded project behind OpenNebula’s expansion to the edge. Alberto is particularly interested in the conjunction between open source, ethical innovation, and digital sovereignty.

  • Shuaib Siddiqui

i2CAT Foundation Research Coordinator, GAIA-X Association.

Dr. Muhammad Shuaib Siddiqui has 10+ years of experience working in the academic, research, and industry of the ICT sector. At present, he is a senior researcher at i2CAT Foundation where he is also the Area Manager for the Software Networks research lab. Since he joined i2CAT Foundation in 2015, he has been active in 5G related projects (under H2020) on the topics of control, management, & orchestration platforms based on SDN/NFV, network slicing, and NFV/SDN security. Currently, he is working on the H2020 5GZORRO (5G PPP Phase 3 project) as the Project Coordinator and H2020 5GCity (5G PPP Phase 2) project, as Deputy Project Coordinator. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) (Spain), M.Sc. in Communication Systems (2007) from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, and B.Sc. in Computer Engineering (2004) from King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), Saudi Arabia. He has given several talks at Mobile World Congress, Smart City Expo World Congress, SDN/NFV World Congress, and other events. One of his publications, based on his Ph.D. thesis, received the IEEE Internet Technical Committee (ITC) paper of the year award for 2015.

  • Adam Smith

Managing Consultant for Digital Sovereignty & Government Cloud at HiSolutions.