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FOSS policy and research

Open Forum Europe (OFE) has reacted strongly against a leaked draft of the revision to the European Interoperability Framework (EIF), expressing deep disappointment with the new wording and serious doubts about the transparency of the process that led to it. Letters have been sent to the responsible Commissioner Kallas and Director General Garcia-Moran, and to the CIOs of all Member States calling for a withdrawal of the document. It has also contrasted it to the statement made by the Swedish Presidency last week.
Xavier Heymans, CEO of Zea Partners, has been appointed to the Plone Foundation's advisory board.
The fourth edition of a guide to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt Open Source software has been published. This guide (developed in the context of the FLOSSMETRICS and OpenTTT projects) present a set of guidelines and suggestions for the adoption of open source software within SMEs, using a ladder model that will guide companies from the initial selection and adoption of FLOSS within the IT infrastructure up to the creation of suitable business models based on open source software.
The open source initiative PloneGov has been selected among the 52 best European e-Government projects, and is invited to present the project at the 5th Ministerial eGovernment Conference, - a joint event organised by the European Commission and the Swedish EU Presidency, which aims at monitoring progress in eGovernment, accelerating the adoption of eGovernment policies in Europe and identifying research priorities for the future.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is one of the Community Agencies of the European Union and is located in Bilbao, Spain. Its central role is to contribute to the improvement of working life in an enlarged European Union by developing, analysing and disseminating information on occupational safety and health (OSH). EU-OSHA disseminates information and collaborates with its network through a Plone-base CMS which is now shared being shared to anyone interested in creating or maintaining a website in different languages. EU-OSHA is an active member of PloneGov an international eGovernment open source initiative.
The Dutch parliament and government intend to stimulate efficient electronic information exchange, and to do so, see an important role for innovations, particularly aiming at interoperability and competition in software markets. It has therefore proposed various measures to stimulate the adoption of open standards and open source software in the public and semi-public sectors.
Times of economic crisis are an opportunity to review our societal models and take advantage of the latest innovation to foster the world economy. This article is an opportunity to remind that EU officials and United Nations share the same vision on the need to favor open source and open standard to foster economic growth and international collaboration.
The European Union should quantify the economic benefits of an open knowledge economy, said Luc Soete, a specialist in the economics of innovation. He is director of UNU-Merit, a joint project by the institute of the United Nations University and Maastricht University in The Netherlands.
Choosing open standards is highly strategic to SMEs. Fostering SME participation is a worthy objective of the European Commission. Their benefits and positive impact on innovation are debated and seen at the highest decision making levels. Open standards built on the principles of openness, transparency and consensus lay the grounds for innovation and growth, for flexibility and choice, for global market success and fair competition. Open standards make SMEs competitive—as well as desirable partners. Who does not want that?
The Open Source Initiative (OSI), one of the principal advocacy organisations on open source software, has unanimously approved the European Union Public Licence (EUPL) version 1.1 as an open source licence.
Making Europe the world leader in ICT is the goal of the new strategy proposed today by the European Commission. Today Europe represents 34% of the global information and communication technologies (ICT) market, and its value is growing by 4% per year. However, the value added produced by the EU's ICT sector amounts to only 23% of the total, because both Europe's market and research efforts are fragmented. energy efficiency.
The UK government has said it will accelerate the use of open source software in public services.
Interconnectivity, commoditisation and increased reuse and recombination are key trends within the maturing information and communication technologies (ICT) industry that drive innovation and development. Harnessing this potential depends on a variety of factors, including open innovation models, such as free software.
FLOSSMetrics is collecting data from the CVS/SVN repository, mailing lists and issue tracking systems of several thousands of FOSS projects, and collecting all of it into a database that is offered to researchers and others for data mining.
The third edition of a guide to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt Open Source software has been published. Different types of software applications and businesses models are addressed, making this guide useful for most SMEs that wish to simply use FOSS or even build a FOSS-based business approach.
Software tenders by European public administration often may not comply with EU regulations, illegally favouring proprietary applications. "These tenders could be protested against, and if necessary the tendering organisations could be taken to court", said Karel De Vriendt, head of the IDABC unit responsible for the Open Source Software Observatory and Repository (
The EUPL is the first European Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) license. It has been elaborated by the European Commission in respect of European law requirements and has official value in 22 languages. It can be used by anyone for software distribution.
A new European Commission funded document aims to explain the benefits of open source software and open standards to government agencies and aid them in compiling invitations to tender
As part of its research funding activities the European Commission has been funding research into Free, Libre and Open Source software (FOSS) for a number of years. Many projects make use of existing FOSS. Some focus on FOSS itself, seeking to improve the technologies used and to remove barriers for adoption and use.
Government Open Source Conference (GOSCON), Oregon State University and the World Bank’s e-Development Thematic Group have partnered to deliver a live webcast of a joint videoconferenced Global Dialogue workshop on the role of open source software in government transformation.
Under the supervision of Agder University’s Mikael Snaprud, the second meeting of eGovMoNet (the European network focusing on strategies to measure user satisfaction of e-Government solutions) took place in Copenhagen on October 24-25, 2008. Zea Partners is involved in this European thematic network as representative of the PloneGov project, an international open source software sharing initiative.
A global petition designed to raise awareness of software patents has been launched September 24 as part of the World Day against Software Patents. Currently in draft format, the petition includes information about how software patents can affect business, research and development.
The biennial ICT Event is the most important forum for discussing research and public policy in information and communication technologies at European level. ICT2008 will be an opportunity to meet open source experts and discuss Security and Quality issues for next generation OSS in a Business Context. The event will take place on Nov 25-27 in Lyon, France.
FLOSSMetrics is pleased to announce the Third International Workshop on Public Data about Software Development (WoPDaSD 2008). This workshop will be held September 10th 2008 in Milan (Italy) colocated with The 4th International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS2008).
The EU Competition Commissioner, Neelie Kroes, publicly supported the use of open source software. She encouraged the public institutions to use open standards and suggested a much more active role of the European Commission in promoting open standards in eGovernment applications, by adopting an internal policy not to buy proprietary software.
The Open Source Business Organisations of Europe (OBOOE) and OpenForum Europe (OFE) have jointly written to Commissioner Viviane Reding, congratulating her on Commission progress in supporting the development of thinking and research into the use of Open Standards and Open Source Software, but encourage her to now move from ideas into specific action.
United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) experts urge parliamentarians to support open source software and information technologies as a way to let citizens participate meaningfully in the information society. They also emphasize that policy markers should consider information and communications technologies from a social rather than technical viewpoint.
EISCO conferences have become a major event for politicians and experts working at local and regional level to discuss e-Government and Information Society strategies. Representatives of the open source initiative PloneGov have been invited to share their experience in developing international collaboration and sharing open source software between public organizations worldwide.
FLOSS is arguably one of the best examples of open, collaborative, internationally distributed production and development that exists today. With partners around the globe, the FLOSSInclude project will develop a roadmap for international cooperation to realise the potential of FLOSS as a tool for social and economic development.
The European Commission will take a more pro-active approach to its own use of Open Source and Open Standards. Xavier Heymans highlights the importance of a real and mature collaboration with communities where IT providers share their developments and adopt an "open source" philosophy.
Zea Partners recently joined eGovMoNet a new European thematic network aimed at measuring the user satisfaction of e-Government solutions. In a previous article we announced the kick-off meeting, the first in a series of eGovMoNet events bringing together some of the most authoritative experts on measurement strategies, focusing their skills on the specific challenge of measuring in a consistent yet easily applicable way the levels of satisfaction relative to a great diversity of services and user catchments areas.
Zea Partners is involved in a new European thematic network aiming to measure the user satisfaction of e-Government solutions. This network will be an opportunity to share experience with a number of European public organizations and providers involved in e-Government, and investigate the impact e-Government services.
Open source communities delegates draw the attention of the Members of the European Parliament to the current situation where the institution’s ICT systems are locked into the products of one vendor, warns about the implications of this for participative democracy and for fair competition, and calls for action to promote Open Standards and Interoperability.
Two EU-funded projects in the area of Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS), namely OpenTTT and FLOSSMETRICS, have recently published a F/OSS guide for SMEs. Different types of software applications and businesses are addressed, making this guide useful for most SMEs that wish to simply use F/OSS or even build a F/OSS-based business approach.
25 experts from across the world discussed in depth the relationship and importance of Open Standards to the Internet. They wrote a call upon the European Commission, National Governments, Standards Bodies, Industry, the Community and the Market about the future of the Internet. Zea Partners supports the Geneva Declaration on the Future of the Internet.
Participative democracy relies increasingly on the ability of citizens and stakeholders to access public information and to communicate with officials and elected politicians electronically. To highlight the impact of open standards on democracy, the Greens/European Free Alliance organized a half day event at the European Parliament in Brussels on April 17, 2008.
UNU-MERIT and RAND Europe organise an interactive workshop on how existing eGovernment solutions can better be shared for European eGovernment. This workshop will highlight the need, potential and benefits of international collaboration. Workshop attendance is free of charge.
The EU is sponsoring a new two year project called FLOSSInclude to explore the use of FOSS as a development tool. In particular, the aim of FLOSSInclude is to study what is needed to "increase the deployment, development and societal impact of FOSS in Africa, Asia and Latin America".
OBOOE is new umbrella Federation bringing together European business associations and organizations related to free, libre and open source software. The Federation goals are to encourage cross-border networking between national initiatives and to become a voice for the sector.
The European Commission, by means of the Framework Programme, is funding several research projects on libre software. In the sixth edition of this Programme, 25.13 million Euros has been dedicated to fund these research projects. Is this investment worthy? Can libre software help to development of Europe?
The PloneGov team is proud to announce that their eGovernment open source initiative based on Plone has been awarded the “Good Practice label 2007”. PloneGov receives this prestigious label based on the recommendation from the 2007 European eGovernment Awards consortium.
A research project examining the production of information and communication technologies by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the EU-25 has been concluded. One of the key findings of the study was to confirm the interlinkages between research, innovation and economic performance.
Public sector and Open Source Software (PS-OSS), a report commissioned by the EU Commission addresses the question : What would be the potential impact on the development of the Information Society if public organisations (administrations, research institutions, universities, agencies, public companies) were to release software fully owned by them under a Open Source licence? Is an amplification effect on the adoption and use of information society technologies to be expected?
PloneGov is selected among the 52 best European e-Government projects, and is invited to present the project at the fourth Ministerial eGovernment Conference held in Lisbon in September 2007. PloneGov projects relies on 2 renowned open source software : Plone and Zope. Its success results from a close collaboration between public organizations and Zea Partners, an international network of SME building Zope and Plone solutions. is an initiative of 3 EU research projects : Qualoss, Flossmetrics and SQO-OSS. It demonstrate the strong collaboration between the actors of the 3 projects. The expected benefit is to ease the access to information by disseminating news by joint RSS feed.
Researchers need a platform to support transnational scientific collaboration. Paul Henning Krogh explains how collaborative software as Plone brings outstanding benefits to EU research projects.
Public and private investment in information and communication technology (ICT) is bearing fruit, finds the Commission's annual progress report on i2010 – the digitally-led strategy for growth and jobs. Technology is fuelling innovation and productivity, and there are signs of fundamental change in markets and user behaviour, as Europe moves towards a knowledge-based economy.
FLOSSmetrics, an european research project, will provide you detailed quantitative data about the development process, development actors, and developed artifacts of those projects. The project aims to ease the strategic decision of integrating adequate free and open source software (F/OSS) components into software systems. Zea positions itself as an pro-active partner in this research project.
QUALOSS, an european research project, aims to enhance the competitive position of the software industry by providing methodologies and tools for improving their productivity and the quality of their software products. Zea positions itself as an pro-active actor and is responsible for results dissemination.
Zea academic partner, Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, organizes a research room at FOSDEM. The goal is to explore opportunities of exchange and collaboration between open source researchers and open source communities.
In the Flossimpact report, Zea Partners is presented as an innovative business model part of a thriving new economic ecosystem. It also includes a number of references about Plone and Zope, outlining the maturity reached by these technologies in term of technical achievement and community organization. The project CommunesPlone, lead by local governments, is presented as an ICT project unusual in terms of opportunity for innovation, standardization and economy of scale.
The European Commission has released a study about the economic impact of Open Source on the ICT sector. The Floss Impact report was led by academics at the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT). Presenting the study abstract.
Experts representing the open source community, government, businesses, researchers and higher education institutes met in Buenos Aires to study argentinian and regional FLOSS impact.
The European Commission has commissioned a study to explore the potential impact if the Public Sector were to release its software open source. The project CommunesPlone, based on the renowned open source applications Plone/Zope, is investigated as a practical example of mutualisation between local governments.
At the last Plone Foundation meeting in Seattle, 2 interesting questions were raised. First the need to gather quantitative data on Plone and the development processes, second increase the visibility of Plone future in the next 5 to 10 years. Zea Partners goals includes tackling these issues. An example is Zea recent involvement Qualoss and Flossmetrics research projects.
Increasing the participation of small and medium-sized companies in EU-funded programmes was the topic of a SME stakeholder conference held in Brussels on October 11, 2006.
Xavier Heymans was invited to comment the study findings based on Zea Partner network experience. This study analyses the positive economical impact of Open Source on EU and world economy, and the potential of economical growth. The final report will be made public this winter.
A new research on Zea business model will be presented at the 2nd workshop on coopetition strategy in Milan. The central question of the study is «how are organizations able to manage two logics of competition and cooperation simultaneously when they are in coopetitive relationship ?»
CALIBRE has identified as a promising business model the approach used by ZEA Partners and its network of companies across Europe and beyond that shares customers, contacts and expertise to deliver software-related services.
The Lisbon Trust is a conservatory of open software copyrights and legal services. It provides a 50-year pledge that Europe's competitive, knowledge-based society will be built atop a competitive IT marketplace. The mission and outcomes from the Trust are designed to reflect and fulfill European values and strengths.
CALIBRE, the european co-ordination action for libre software engineering, aims to coordinate the study of the characteristics of open source software projects, products and processes, distributed development, and agile methods.