Drupal is free software developed originally by Belgian Dries Buytaert (seen above) and released under the GNU General Public Licence. The Acquia move has been prompted by the rapid take-up of version 8 of Drupal and the funding will go towards modules for this version.
As with many free and open source applications, a community has developed around Drupal, contributing code, modules and advice. Acquia makes its money by selling and servicing websites built with Drupal, with customisations aplenty to suit the customer in question.
In 2014, it announced a deal with the Australian federal government to build websites and has developed a modified version of Drupal which is called GovCMS.
The Module Acceleration Program has so far seen about 30 modules developed and another 20 are targeted in the next two months. Participants in the program include module maintainers and contributors, freelancers, and development agencies with Drupal practices.
"Together the community delivered our most significant release with Drupal 8, building the framework for organisations to deliver contextual, multilingual, and multi-channel digital experiences."
An Acquia spokesperson said community contributors would be paid an hourly rate between half and one third of what they would charge clients.