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Technology transfer and North-South partnerships through open source communities


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Open source communities present a unique opportunity to foster global technology transfer between countries within the Northern and Southern hemisphere and build partnerships between developers and other community members from all over the world. Thus, open source supports efforts to decrease the Digital Divide between developed and developing countries and strengthens vendor-independence of all governments.

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Technology transfer and North-South partnerships through open source communities

  1. 1. 1Technology transfer and North-South partnershipsthrough open source communitiesDr. Matthias StürmerMember of the Board of Swiss Open Systems User Group /ch/openSession “FOSS Smart Choice for Developing Countries” atWSIS World Summit of Information Science 2013 in Geneva
  2. 2. 2Matthias Stürmer is Manager at Ernst & Young based in Bern,Switzerland. He focuses on open source advisory, open datamanagement, and social media governance.He studied business administration and computer science at Universityof Bern until 2005 and finished his doctoral dissertation at the Chair ofStrategic Management and Innovation at ETH Zürich in 2009.His research focused on open source communities and firm involvement.The title of his doctoral thesis was "How Firms Make Friends:Communities in Private-Collective Innovation".He then worked for one year at Liip AG, a Swiss software companycreating agile Internet solutions based on open source technologies.Matthias Stürmer is working group leader “Office Interoperability” of theOpen Source Business Alliance, member of the board of Swiss OpenSystem User Group /ch/open, member of the Swiss, secretary of the Swiss Parliamentarian Group for DigitalSustainability, and leader of and other opensource initiatives.Since 2011 he is member of the parliament of the city of Bern.Short bio Matthias StürmerDr. Matthias StürmerMember of the Board of /ch/openSwiss Open Systems User 76 368 81 65Association /ch/openPostfach 23228033 Zü
  3. 3. 31. My personal experience in developing countries2. An old demand: open source in developing countries3. Challenges and solutions how to support use of open sourceOverview
  4. 4. 42005: Linux in PeruSwiss civil service project in 2005:Open source software for teachers seminarPreviously all pirated softwareUse of LinEx, Linux distribution from SpainImplemented with local Linux professionalLocal teacher hired for open source coursesContact to local Debian community
  5. 5. 52012: Open source in AfghanistanNATO financed workshop on „Creating Awareness for the Use ofOpenSource Systems in the Public Sector in Afghanistan“Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Finke, Ernst-Abbe University of Applied Sciences inGermany & Sayed Jahed Hussini, Balkh University in AfghanistanPresentations on open sourcecompetence center andSwiss Federal Court opensource software OpenJustitia
  6. 6. 61. My personal experience in developing countries2. An old demand: open source in developing countries3. Challenges and solutions how to support use of open sourceOverview
  7. 7. 7UN Millennium Development Goal 8UN Millennium Development Goal 8:Develop a global partnership for developmentTarget 8.F:In cooperation with the private sector, makeavailable benefits of new technologies, especiallyinformation and communications74 per cent of inhabitants of developed countriesare Internet users, compared with only 26 per centof inhabitants in developing countries.The number of mobile cellular subscriptionsworldwide by the end of 2011 reached 6 billion.
  8. 8. 8An old demand: open source in developing countriesAlready 10 years ago researcherscreated a model to explain why opensource software is good fordeveloping countries:Aspects of an open sourcestrategy for developing countriesSource:Sanjiva Weerawarana and Jivaka Weeratunge„Open Source in Developing Countries“published by Sida 2004, Department forInfrastructure and Economic Cooperation
  9. 9. 9An old demand: open source in developing countriesIn „Open Source Software in Developing Economies“ Steven Weber arguesalready in 2003:Open source software provides welfare gains and empowers developingcountry end users to customize applications for their particular needsOpen source software deployment contributes to nascent local softwareindustry, ICT capacity building, and spillover effects to other sectors.Developing country public sectors embrace open source software for thefollowing reasons:Independence: decrease dependence on few major software vendorsCost: support and maintenance flexibly contractedSecurity: increased accountability and transparency in public sectorIntellectual property rights: enforcement at international level
  10. 10. 10My view why open source is good for developing countriesGlobal technology transfer between countries within the Northern andSouthern hemisphereOpen source used in developing countries mostly programmed in Europeand United StatesExample: Linux kernelSoftware development partnerships between community membersfrom all over the worldGain independence, do capacity building, keep Intellectual Property Rights,provide local support servicesExamples: ADempiere (open source ERP and CRM)
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  13. 13. 131. My personal experience in developing countries2. An old demand: open source in developing countries3. Challenges and solutions how to support use of open sourceOverview
  14. 14. 14Why is it difficult to introduce open source?Knowhow barrierUsers are used to work with Windows, Microsoft Office, Adobe etc.Technical barrierMigrations to open source are technically challengingSupport is not yet available locallyPR barrierBrands of proprietary software seem more worthful„No one has been fired for buying Microsoft“Vendor barrierProprietary software vendors sell cheap versions of their productsLobbying of multinationals at international organizationsPolicy barrierMissing policies that demand use of open source softwareOther projects are more important than to legalize use of softwareStructuralchallengesHuman-madechallenges
  15. 15. 15Non-for-profit open source competence centersBelgiumCETIC - Centre of Excellence inInformation and CommunicationTechnologiesFinnlandCOSS - Centre forOpen Source SoftwareSpainCENATIC - Centro Nacional deReferencia de Aplicación de lasTecnologías de la Información y laComunicaciónEnglandOSS Watch - advice and guidanceon use, development, and licensingof free and open source softwareNorwayFriprogsenteret - independentcompetence center for open sourceand free softwareFranceAdullact – Association desDéveloppeurs et des Utilisateursde Logiciels Libres pour lesAdministrations et lesCollectivités TerritorialesSouth Tyrol (Italy)Department for Free Software &Open Technologies of the TISinnovation park South TyrolEuropeOFE – OpenForum Europe is anot-for-profit industryorganization on open source,open data, open access,standards, and procurement
  16. 16. 16Activities of open source competence centersOrganization of conferences and workshopsConsulting for administrations, businessesStudies and publications of open source success storiesCoordination of development activities of user communitiesCreation of directories of open source firms and credentialsManagement of information platforms about open sourceAdvocacy in government organizations and politicsOSSProjectOSSProjectOSSProjectOSSProjectCompetenceCenterVendorVendor UserUserSource:Matthias Stürmer „Organizational Structures within theOpen Source Community“In Workshop Proceedings Sept. 15-17, 2012, Kabul/Afghanistan „Creating Awareness for the Use ofOpenSource Systems in the Public Sector in Afghanistan“
  17. 17. 17Open source knowhow for decision makersTop management vendor-neutralbrochure from Ernst & Young:Open source software inbusiness-critical environmentsIn English and GermanContent:Benefits, risks and good practicesProfessional applicationLegal aspects of open sourceBackground informationFree PDF download: