8 June 2005
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) are to participate in a global research project looking into the adoption of free/libre and open source software (FLOSS).
FLOSS, an alternative to often expensive proprietary software, is arguably one of the best examples of open, collaborative, internationally distributed production and development that exists today. The open format encourages development and allows software to be tailored to the needs of users.
The European Union-funded project, “FLOSSWorld”, will promote international collaboration for the first time between the EU and developing countries conducting research and developing policy related to open source software.
The two-year project will bring major European research institutes together with leading research institutes from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, India, Malaysia and South Africa.
The partner institutions will jointly receiving a total of R4.8-million from the European Union’s 6th Framework Research programme.
The aim of the study is to gather empirical data on the development and uptake of open source software, particularly in the developing world.
The importance of the project for South Africa is underlined by the joint participation of the CSIR and UWC, both local leaders in the field of open source software research.
The CSIR will participate through the recently launched Meraka Institute, home to the council’s information and communications technology research.
The UWC’s African Virtual Open Initiatives and Resources (AVOIR) centre is one of the country’s leading university-based software research centres.