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Metrology

ZEISS Plays Active Role Supporting the Global Open-Source Community

Funds projects and policies enabling developers to contribute

Published: Monday, February 27, 2023 - 12:01

(ZEISS: Oberkochen, Germany) -- Free and open-source software (FOSS) has been the driving force of innovative software development for many years and is largely responsible for the blossoming of modern software ecosystems. The source code at its core is publicly available and can be viewed, further developed, and used and redistributed by anyone without restrictions. Collaborative development of software by individuals, but also across company boundaries, is made possible and facilitated based on these FOSS principles.

FOSS crucially important in the ongoing process of digitalization at ZEISS

ZEISS continues to drive technology-enabled change and make digitalization part of its DNA. Like many other companies, ZEISS is also expanding the use of FOSS in this context. This is applied in its work processes and flows into the development of its high-tech product portfolio.


FOSS is essential in the ongoing process of digitalization at ZEISS.

ZEISS as a member of the FOSS community

To position itself as a sustainable member of the global FOSS community, ZEISS launched initiatives in 2022 aimed at supporting FOSS projects and developers with high relevance for the company. The reason for this is that members of the FOSS community often cannot give enough time and priority to their projects because, for example, they have to earn their living elsewhere. To counteract this, ZEISS launched two initiatives last year:

• A companywide policy enables all ZEISS employees, especially from the areas of cloud computing, embedded systems, algorithms, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, to actively participate in FOSS by contributing code.

• By providing financial support for selected FOSS projects, ZEISS enables the maintaining developers to focus on their work and use the funds made available to spend more time working on software components that are valuable to ZEISS.

ZEISS employees select the winners

In a group-wide survey of employees from development teams, three projects were selected to receive 4,000 euros each: (1) Notepad++, a powerful text and code editor that supports a wide range of programming languages; (2) Git, a distributed version control system that allows source code to be managed across organizations; and (3) NumFOCUS, an organization that aims to promote open practices in research, data, and scientific computing by supporting relevant open-source projects and providing educational programs.

In addition, developers of smaller framework components that have a significant benefit to ZEISS will receive grants of 1,000 euros each: Sindre Sorhus, Qix, and Jon Schlinkert.

ZEISS itself also publishes FOSS. All FOSS projects published by ZEISS can be found on GitHub.

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