European Union to share open-source solutions

A consortium led by Unisys will build and manage an online repository of open-source software for the European Union, making it easier for EU administrators to find and share applications.

The Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) will store open-source code for applications that multiple countries might want to pursue. In addition to the code, the system will store information on the applications’ potential uses, the different software versions and relevant open-source licensing issues.

The repository will help countries reduce the cost and time of development for common applications. It will also help when European countries are developing solutions that need to cross boundaries, such as e-procurement.

An EU spokesperson said the Web portal’s developers want its users to create common projects, save money on development and push governments to support more open-source collaborations.

“Public administrations' support in open source…is about developing custom applications based on open-source software, on collaboration during development,” said Karel De Vriendt, who leads the EU's e-government services unit. “The new OSOR should become the preferred cooperation tool to speed up software pooling amongst member states.”

The consortium, led by a Brussels-based subsidiary of Unisys, includes Belgium communications consulting firm GOPA Cartermill, the University of Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid and the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology, which is a part of the United Nations University.

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