BULL - Europe, Brazil and China Unite to Foster Open Source Software to Boost Growth

    BRUSSELS, Belgium, March 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Leading European,
 Brazilian and Chinese information and communications technology (ICT)
 players announced today that they have joined forces to launch QualiPSo, a
 quality platform to foster the development and use of open source software
 to help their industries in the global race for growth.
     The aim of QualiPSo is to help industries and governments fuel
 innovation and competitiveness in today's and tomorrow's global environment
 by providing the way to use trusted low-cost, flexible open source software
 to develop innovative and reliable information systems. To meet that goal,
 QualiPSo will define and implement the technologies, processes and policies
 to facilitate the development and use of open source software components,
 with the same level of trust traditionally offered by proprietary software.
 The initiative will support the development of local ICT industries - from
 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and independent software vendors
 (ISVs) to large ICT providers and systems integrators in Europe, Brazil and
 China - and help establish European leadership in domains such as
 distributed middleware.
     The 20 founding members, across Europe, Brazil and China, are a
 heavyweight group of ICT industry players (Atos Origin, Bull, Engineering
 Ingegneria Informatica, European Dynamics, Siemens, Telefonica I+D,
 Thales), SMEs (Centro Ricerche Matematica Pura e Applicata, Mandriva),
 governments (the Department for innovation and technologies of the Italian
 Presidency of the Council of ministers, the French Gendarmerie Nationale,
 Serpro), and academics (Fraunhofer FOKUS, INRIA, the Poznan Supercomputing
 and Networking Center, the State University of Sao Paulo, the South China
 University of Technology / Guangzhou Middleware Research Center, the
 University of Bozen, the University of Insubria and the University Rey Juan
 Carlos). The project is funded by the European Commission under its sixth
 framework program (FP6), as part of the Information Society Technologies
 (IST) initiative.
     QualiPSo's launch comes at a time when major industries have
 experienced the power of open source software to accelerate the development
 of global, low-cost and reliable information systems, but are waiting for
 ultimate proof of trust to definitively commit to large-scale deployment.
 By providing the prerequisites for trust - from the legal, technical and
 business points of view - QualiPSo will definitely foster open source
 software deployment for business competitiveness and growth, in areas such
 as e-government, media, telecoms, manufacturing, distribution and finance.
     The software and services industry in Europe employs more than one
 million people and accounts for five to six per cent of European GDP. It is
 also rapidly growing in Brazil and China. IT analysts estimate that open
 source Software (OSS) will account for nearly 20% of the industry's output
 within the next five years. With 70% of OSS development being carried out
 in Europe and contributions growing from the Americas and Asia, the
 QualiPSo initiative will ensure that competitive advantages from the
 development of OSS-based ICT industries will primarily benefit Europe,
 Brazil and China, developing 'high-knowledge' employment opportunities in
 these areas.
     In this context, QualiPSo is the ever largest Open Source initiative
 funded by the EC. Its ambition is to make Open source a formidable lever to
 strengthen Europe's competitiveness, accelerate ICT growth, and implement
 the i2010 policy for growth and jobs. Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for
 Information Society and Media, said: "Software technologies are critical as
 they provide the added value, intelligence and flexibility underlying
 competitive success in today's innovative markets. An industry today worth
 EUR67bn in the EU, software and service is essential for our future
 prosperity and even our economic survival because it is the lifeblood of
 all businesses and all public services".
     The Qualipso project includes seven research and development areas:
     1. Developing a long-lasting network of professionals caring for the
 quality of open source software for enterprise computing. Six Competence
 Centres - running the collaborative platforms, tools and process developed
 in this project - will be set up to support the development, deployment and
 adoption of OSS by private and public Information Systems Departments,
 large companies, SMEs, end users and ISVs. Of these Competence Centres,
 four will be based in Europe (in Berlin, Madrid, Paris, Rome), one in China
 and one in Brazil (Sao Paulo).
     2. Defining methods, development processes, and business models to
 facilitate the use of open source Software (OSS) by the industry.
     3. Designing and implementing the "QualiPSo Factory", an integrated
 environment that will facilitate and support the development of viable
 industrial OSS systems.
     4. Developing a new Capability Maturity Model-like approach to
 assessing the quality of OSS. This model will be discussed with CMM's
 originators, the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), with a view to
 formalising it as an official extension of CMMI(R).
     5. Implementing best practices in information management (source code,
 documentation, etc.) to improve the productivity of OSS development and
     6. Providing test suites and qualified integration stacks to
 demonstrate OSS interoperability across borders of any kind: technological,
 semantic and organizational.
     7. Providing guidelines and tools to facilitate an intellectual
 property tracking process with open source, and define a coherent family of
 OSS licenses, compliant with national laws and European regulations.
     The first results from this four-year project are expected at the end
 of 2007. The Competence Centres are planned to be deployed early in 2008.
     QualiPSo is launched in synergy with Europe's technology initiatives
 such as NESSI and Artemis, and will leverage Europe's existing OSS
 initiatives such as EDOS, FLOSSWorld, tOSSad and others. The project will
 also leverage large OSS communities such as OW2 and Morfeo. QualiPSo is
 open to new members and will provide other companies with the opportunity
 to join at its first annual conference that will take place in autumn 2007.
     More information: http://www.qualipso.org
     Press Contacts :
     Anne-Marie Jourdain
     rue Jean Jaures
     78340 Les Clayes sous Bois
     Phone: +33-(0)-1-30-80-32-52
     E-mail: anne-marie.jourdain@bull.net
     Financial Dynamics
     Elodie Marchand
     9 rue Scribe
     75009 Paris
     Phone :+33-(0)-1-47-03-68-17
     E-mail : elodie.marchand@fd.com


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