FLOSSworld

The FLOSSWorld project aims to strengthen Europe's leadership in research into FLOSS and open standards, building a global constituency with partners from Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, India, Malaysia and South Africa.

Context
Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) is arguably one of the best examples of open, collaborative, internationally distributed production and development that exists today, resulting in tremendous interest from around the world, from government, policy, business, academic research and developer communities.

The problem
However, empirical data on the impact of FLOSS, its use and development is still quite limited. The FP5 FLOSS project and FP6 FLOSSPOLS project have helped fill in the gaps in our knowledge about why and how FLOSS is developed and used, but have necessarily been focussed on Europe. FLOSS is a global phenomenon, particularly relevant in developing countries, and thus more knowledge on FLOSS outside Europe is needed.

Project objectives
FLOSSWorld primarily aims to strengthen Europe’s leadership in international research in FLOSS and open standards, and to exploit research and policy complementarities to improve international cooperation, by building a global constituency of policy-makers and researchers.

It is expected that FLOSSWorld will enhance Europe’s leading role in research in the area of FLOSS and strongly embed Europe in a global network of researchers and policy makers, and the business, higher education and developer communities. FLOSSWorld will enhance the level of global awareness related to FLOSS development and industry, human capacity building, standards and interoperability and e-government issues in the geographical regions covered by the consortium.

The project will result in a stronger, sustainable research community in these regions. Broad constituency-building exercises risk losing momentum after initial workshops and meetings – without specific actions to sustain a focus. FLOSSWorld will perform three global empirical studies of proven relevance to Europe and third countries, which will provide a foundation for FLOSSWorld's regional and international workshops.