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Free/Libre and Open Source Software: International Cooperation development roadmap (Flossinclude)
Start date: 01 Feb 2008, End date: 31 Jul 2010 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Description With partners around the globe, the FLOSSInclude project is developing a roadmap for international co-operation to realise the potential of FLOSS as a tool for social and economic development.The Southern FLOSS ChallengeFree/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) holds great potential for developing countries. There are no licence fees, so ICT costs are lower. FLOSS uses open standards, avoiding lock-in and allowing for flexible solutions. Programs can be translated easily into local languages. The international developers' community acts as a free-of-charge training environment.However, the use and development of FLOSS in the global South so far remains below its potential (see map below). Stronger Research ParticipationThe FLOSSInclude project is aimed at helping developing countries to profit from the full potential of FLOSS. It will strengthen Europe’s participation in international research in FLOSS and open standards, by studying what is required to increase the deployment, development and societal impact of FLOSS in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The project will result in a sound understanding of the FLOSS-related needs of the target regions. FLOSSInclude will federate local and regional development initiatives through co-operation with current EU research. It will also provide a roadmap for future EU research co-operation in this area.To test approaches to enabling developing countries to reap the full benefits of FLOSS, a number of pilot programs will be conducted. Based on the requirements, they could include the localisation of software to local languages, or bringing expert organisations together to find FLOSS-based solutions for rural ICT deployment. Mentoring programs will help to connect young computer talents to global FLOSS communities.From Analysis to RoadmapTo achieve these objectives, the FLOSSInclude project will perform five core tasks:1. Analysis of available data to identify key problem areas and areas of blocked potential for FLOSS in the target regions.2. Dissemination and networking to identify and federate local and regional initiatives.3. Requirements analysis to show, using concrete cases, the specific technical, business and socio-political needs to increase FLOSS use, deployment and development in target regions.4. Produce pilots to ensure that FLOSS solutions, tools and services can be cost-effective and practical.5. Prepare a co-operation roadmap – supported by regional initiatives and concrete cases for clearly identified requirements – with solution areas proposed that have been validated through pilots.Validated pilots and a coordinated roadmap for future EU development research co-operation will ensure that the impact of FLOSSInclude will be sustained far beyond the duration of the project.A Global Powerhouse The FLOSSInclude consortium partners bring to the table an unrivalled amount of expertise in using FLOSS as a tool for social and economic development.
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