A national policy institute to promote effective use of open source software and standards will be launched next week.
The National Open Centre (NOC) aims to develop strategic analysis and policy on the use of open source and to foster innovation in the field. The think tank will focus on nationally relevant issues that can ensure the UK effectively exploits opportunities arising from open source technology.
The independent centre has an advisory group of 25 members, representing large enterprises, small business, the public sector and open source communities.
The NOC will be officially launched at the House of Commons, with speakers including Barbara Held, of the European Commission’s Interoperable Delivery of European eGovernment Services (IDABC) programme, and John Hugh MP, who has sponsored an early day motion to promote use of open source software in schools.
Held said: “The work of the NOC will also contribute to coordinate and further the use of open source and open standards at the European level. We need such national focal points that push for openness and interoperability to create pan-European synergies.”
Chris Francis, of IBM’s governmental programmes division, welcomed the launch of the NOC. It was vital that UK public and corporate open source software and standards policies delivered flexibility and efficiency for public and private organisations alike, Francis said. “This can be done by ensuring IT infrastructure, data formats, documents and business processes are based on open standards and, wherever appropriate, open source.”