DataCentreNews UK - Specialist news for cloud & data centre decision-makers
Story image
UN-Backed challenge for carbon-neutral data centres
Thu, 12th Oct 2023

OpenUK, a predominant non-profit organisation for the UK's Open Technology sector, is joining forces with the United Nations (UN) for the next iteration of its Data Centre Challenge, poignantly named "Patchwork Kilt."

The challenge, scheduled for October, encourages open-source aficionados to devise solutions for a carbon-neutral data centre model. Participants will have the room to curate open-source solutions across a myriad of areas, including heat redirection, aiming to contribute significantly to the universal goal of 80% decarbonisation.

OpenUK and the UN jointly announced the open-source Data Centre Challenge. Roaring forth commitments established at COP26, this Data Centre Blueprint challenge encourages open-source software developers to contribute to a carbon-neutral data centre model.

The endeavour, termed 'Patchwork Kilt', will see participants fashioning open-source solutions that forge a carbon-negative data centre model. It brings together a wide community contributing to Patchwork Kilt in various fields, building carbon neutral solutions for data centres, such as heat redirection and building repurposing. Participants will create tools to re-evaluate urban spaces and scrutinise brownfield sites for potential data centres. It also includes a re-use of waste-heat, circular supply chain and blueprint evolution analysis.

In an exemplary nod to achievement, the victorious Challenge contributor will be invited to toast their success at OpenUK's Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the House of Lords in November. This black-tie event is a celebrated occasion in the global Open Technology calendar, where the recipient gets recognition from their sector.

Chris Lloyd-Jones, Chief Blueprint Officer at OpenUK, explained, "The Blueprint Challenge emerged from our belief that a sustainable future that benefits everyone is dependent on collaborative action. It's a critical initiative that can have a tangible impact on the future of data centres."

From the United Nations, Salem Avan, Director - Policy, Strategy and Governance Division, acknowledged the significance of open source in data centres, claiming that it "fuels innovation, transparency, and cost-efficiency." He added that "By harnessing open-source technology to efficiently run data centres, we not only reduce our environmental footprint but also contribute to global sustainable development efforts."

Amanda Brock, CEO at OpenUK, asserted the importance of following through on COP initiatives, "working towards long-term impacts through Open Technology and its community." She signalled that OpenUK's Blueprint will continually update in line with technological advancement and that they are actively in talks with potential partners to kindle its next phase.

OpenUK's collaboration with the UN allows contributions for the challenges via the UN Unity Platform from 1 October as they strive for continual impact on a carbon-negative data centre model.

About OpenUK: OpenUK embodies the business of Open Technology in the UK, involving Open Source Software, Open Source Hardware, and Open Data. The organisation focuses on UK leadership and global collaboration in Open Technology. The company is a not-for-profit entity limited by guarantee.