EU-funded Projects and Open Source

7th Framework Program logoThe upcoming European Commission Future Networks concertation meeting next week will host an “Open source & Research” panel (agenda), and I’m honoured to have been invited to join it.

Having been writing about EU-funded open source research for a while now – sometimes interacting with running projects, other times helping them to be more visible, but also criticizing some for not being effective or to produce poor deliverables – I am very much willing to address the sustainability aspects of open source projects and the commercial viability of open source from framework programme projects.

The concertation meeting is aimed to facilitate the kick-off for the 21 projects starting in July/September and their integration with other projects in the Future network community.

Serious overlapping efforts have already happened in the past, and I strongly believe that concertation meetings can help to turn threats into opportunities. EU-funded projects publicly discussing their deliverables and milestones could avoid to loose collaboration opportunities because of bad timing.

Dissemination activities are key in open source, since “homesteading the noosphere” is all but simple. Most of the time EU-funded projects spend time and efforts to create a website – usually with little or no PageRank – organize few meetings among partners, and rarely participate to others’ events.

Open Source sustainability is rare at best among EU-funded projects, basically because projects’ partners tend to loose any interest in the project when funds are over. As a matter of fact most of them close their websites hosting software, documentation, etc.

FP5-6 open source projects are often lyrical about supporting open source, sometimes even include deliverables around the questionable “open source business model” concept.

How to document and measure open source sustainability, plus some suggestions as to how to implement them in the context of framework programme projects will be part of my brief.

I look forward to discuss the use of open source to help solve some issues around the evaluation, review and legacy impact of the following projects funded by the European Commission (ACROPOLIS, CEFIMS, CHANGE, CHRON, ECONET, EXALTED, FIGARO, FLAVIA, FIRE, FISI, MEDIEVAL, ONE, OneFIT, PURSUIT, SAIL, SESERV, SPARC, TREND , ULOOP, UNIVERSELF.)