Germany's federal government will increase its knowledge on open source and will make open source software available to public authorities.
The project is one of 27 that were approved earlier in March 2009 as part of an IT investment package aimed to help the country's IT sector battle the economic crisis.
Other projects include boosting IT security by funding the development of phones that use encryption, increasing the IT security of laptops and that of handheld and mobile computing devices. The government will also fund the development of applications that can use the country's digital ID card and digital health information card.
To help make the government's IT systems more environmentally friendly, funds will be used to build two new data centres. These should also be able to help public bodies increase the energy efficiency of their IT systems.
The federal government in late February 2009 announced it would invest â‚¬500 million in IT infrastructure, focusing on open source, green IT and IT security. Of this amount, the government is making â‚¬300 million available immediately for projects on innovation and sustainable technology, and for useful ideas for public administration. The remaining â‚¬200 million will be spent once there are concrete measures or plans.
"The funds are meant to support Germany's economy and to ensure that we leave the crisis in a stronger position than we entered it", said the IT Officer of the federal government, state secretary Hans-Bernand Beus, in a statement released in February 2009.
The funds are part of the â‚¬50 billion euro package to boost the country's economy that was approved by the federal council in late February 2009.