Public Release: 

Global consortium launches study on open source as a development tool

United Nations University

The European Union has awarded a €703,000 (US$ 1 million) grant to a consortium of 11 organizations to explore the use of Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) as a development tool.

Dubbed FLOSSInclude and funded under the EU's 7th Framework Programme, the two year project will be carried out by a project team of research institutes, government agencies, private companies and non-governmental organizations in 9 countries - Argentina, Cambodia, China, Ghana, India, South Africa, Spain and the UK. The consortium is led by UNU-MERIT, a joint research and training centre of United Nations University and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

The FLOSSInclude project will carry out an in-depth analysis of the technical, business and socio-political needs for the growth of FLOSS use, deployment and development in the target regions. The project further aims to build on the network developed during the course of the study to promote international collaboration between the EU and developing countries.

FLOSSInclude will expand on earlier work by some of the consortium partners, such as the groundbreaking FLOSSWorld study , by providing a rich contextual analysis based on the specific expertise and country experiences of the participating organisations and countries.

In pilot efforts, the partners will implement FLOSS solutions, tools and services to ensure they are cost-effective and practical for each environment. The result will be a roadmap for future EU development research cooperation, with concrete and validated solutions for clearly identified needs. Together with a massive push in dissemination and networking, the FLOSSInclude aims to ensure a lasting impact beyond the project duration.

A project factsheet is available at http://flossinclude.eu

The members of the FLOSSInclude consortium are:

* United Nations University's Maastricht Economic and social Research and training centre on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT) at the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands (http://www.ccg.merit.unu.edu/)

* Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, Spain (http://www.urjc.es/)

* Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Ciencia y Tecnología en Extremadura, Spain (http://www.fundecyt.es)

* Canonical Ltd, UK (http://canonical.com/)

* Fundación Via Libre, Argentina (http://www.vialibre.org.ar/)

* University of Western Cape, South Africa (http://www.uwc.ac.za)

* Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence in ICT, Ghana (http://www.aiti-kace.com.gh/)

* IT for Change, India (http://www.itforchange.net/)

* Sarai, India (http://www.sarai.net/)

* Open Institute / KhmerOS, Cambodia (http://www.khmeros.info/)

* China Education and Research Network (CERNET), China (http://www.cernet.edu.cn/)

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For more information, please contact:
Rishab Ghosh and Karsten Gerloff
UNU-MERIT, University of Maastricht,
Netherlands Keizer Karelplein 19,
6211 TC Maastricht
The Netherlands
Tel. +31 4338 84479
Email: info@flossinclude.eu

About UNU-MERIT (www.merit.unu.edu)

UNU-MERIT is the United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and social Research and training Centre on Innovation and Technology.

Located in Maastricht, The Netherlands, UNU-MERIT is a joint research and training centre of United Nations University (based in Tokyo, Japan) and Maastricht University. UNU-MERIT provides insights into the social, political and economic contexts within which innovation and technological change is created, adapted, selected, diffused, and improved upon. The Institute's research and training programmes address a broad range of relevant policy questions dealing with the national and international governance of innovation, intellectual property protection, and knowledge creation and diffusion.

FLOSSInclude is an initiative of the Collaborative Creativity Group (CCG) at UNU-MERIT, a leading research group on Free/Libre/Open Source Software, open content and collaborative creativity and innovation. For more information please visit the CCG website at http://ccg.merit.unu.edu

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