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<title>FSF Europe - FOCAL - FOcussing Competence for Advantages of Liberty</title>
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[ <a href="fp6.html">Back to the FP6 page</a> ]
<h2>EXPRESSION OF INTEREST</h2>
<h3>Network of Excellence</h3>
<h2>FOCAL - FOcussing Competence
for Advantages of Liberty</h2>
<br/>
<center>
<a href="FOCAL.pdf">Download as PDF; 132k</a>
</center>
<br/>
<p>Free Software Foundation Europe, Germany<br/>
AssociaÇão Nacional para o Software Livre,
Portugal<br/>
Association ABUL, France<br/>
Association For Free Software, UK<br/>
Association Pour la Promotion et la Recherche en Informatique
Libre, France<br/>
Centro Tempo Reale, Italy<br/>
DIST-Università di Genova, Italy<br/>
Easter-eggs, France<br/>
Groupe des Ecoles de Telecommunications (GET), France<br/>
g10 Code GmbH, Germany<br/>
Intevation GmbH, Germany<br/>
MandrakeSoft, France<br/>
LinuxTag e.V., Germany<br/>
Prosa Progettazione Sviluppo Aperto S.r.l., Italy<br/>
Verein zur Förderung Freier Software, Austria<br/>
Verein zur Förderung Informationen und Software e.V.,
Germany<br/>
V2 Organisation, Institute for the Unstable Media,
Netherlands<br/>
VIPS Lab, Italy<br/>
[wearlab]@TZi, Germany<br/>
werk21, Germany<br/>
</p>
<h3>This Expression of Interest
was submitted in response to Call EOI.FP6.2002.</h3>
<h3>Prepared by Georg C. F. Greve &lt;greve@fsfe.org &gt;</h3>
<h1><a id="SECTION00010000000000000000" name="SECTION00010000000000000000"/><a id="description" name="description"/><br/>
Description</h1>
<p>Free Software - sometimes also referred to as ``Libre software''
or ``Open Source Software'' <a id="tex2html1" name="tex2html1" href="#foot244">[*]</a> - is
best defined by the following four freedoms:</p>
<dl compact="compact">
<dt>1st</dt>
<dd>freedom: The freedom to run the program, for any purpose.</dd>
<dt>2nd</dt>
<dd>freedom: The freedom to study how the program works, and adapt
it to your needs. Access to the source code is a precondition for
this.</dd>
<dt>3rd</dt>
<dd>freedom: The freedom to redistribute copies.</dd>
<dt>4th</dt>
<dd>freedom: The freedom to improve the program, and release your
improvements to the public, so that the whole community benefits.
Access to the source code is a precondition for this.</dd>
</dl>
<p>Free Software provides a new concept, a new discipline as a
stable basis for the information age and the knowledge economy. Its
working principles are changing the IT sector towards a more
stable, lasting and sustainable approach with higher dynamics and
increased efficiency.<br/>
</p>
<p>Any region adopting Free Software on a larger basis can benefit
in terms of<br/>
</p>
<table cellpadding="3">
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Greater independence
from foreign interests</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Increased
sustainability</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Freedom from foreign
mono- and oligopolies</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Alternative hard- and
software possibilities</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Strengthened domestic
market and local industries</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Better cooperation
between research and economy</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Encouraged
transdisciplinary research</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left">Better protection of
civil rights</td>
</tr>
</table>
<p>For a more detailed explanation, please see the
<em>Recommendation of the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSF
Europe) and supporting parties for the European Community framework
programme 2002-2006</em> of April 30th, 2002, <a id="tex2html2" name="tex2html2" href="#foot245">[*]</a><a id="recommendation" name="recommendation"/>in which the FSF
Europe with support of about 50 European companies, research
institutes and associations explains in more detail why and how
Free Software offers these advantages.</p>
<h2><a id="SECTION00011000000000000000" name="SECTION00011000000000000000">Rationale</a></h2>
<p>It is obvious that the first region to adopt and support
research and implementation in Free Software on a larger scale can
profit enormously and get a head-start in the information
age.<br/>
Other regions are beginning to get ready to capitalise on these
advantages, as - for instance - the recent activities in Peru have
shown. <a id="tex2html3" name="tex2html3" href="#foot246">[*]</a><br/>
</p>
<p>Europe, however, is given a uniquely favorable position to
become the global leader in the Information Economy due to its
vibrant Free Software community. It has already begun taking small
steps in this direction within the 5th Framework Programme that
should be built upon <b>now</b>.<br/>
</p>
<p>Understanding a new discipline, a new market has always been a
necessity for stable, lasting and wide success - economic or
otherwise. Those who understand it best have the best chances to be
most successful. Free Software is no exception to this rule.<br/>
With Free Software providing a new paradigm and new rules for the
IT sector, it is important to create consciousness, understanding
and awareness for this discipline upon which the future will be
built, creating a solid basis for digital Europe.<br/>
</p>
<p>This will be the main objective of FOCAL: Bring together the
best expertise in and around Free Software and use it to further
the understanding, adoption, use and coordination of Free Software
in Europe.</p>
<h3><a id="SECTION00011100000000000000" name="SECTION00011100000000000000">Issues with integration of Free
Software into FP6</a></h3>
<p>Although the 6th Framework Programme and Europe in general would
profit immensely from the mass-adoption of Free Software, the
current structure of the FP6 makes it difficult to provide adequate
support for Free Software. There are several reasons for this that
we would like to bring into the FP6 thought process.<br/>
First of all, Free Software is not limited to a single domain or
thematic area, its positive effects transcend research disciplines,
markets, society.<br/>
</p>
<p>The Free Software paradigm changes the workings and rules of
software towards a climate that rewards cooperative efforts and
stronger integration. This sort of climate change, although very
obvious, is hard to quantify.<br/>
The paradigms are shifted away from a supply-driven IT industry
towards a demand-driven model. In other words: The user truly
becomes a determining factor. Therefore the direction of important
Free Software projects is often hard to predict. Demand may
overrule the ideas of supply and give the project a new direction.
This very positive effect - some people go as far as calling it
``collateral use'' - makes Free Software harder to predict.<br/>
</p>
<p>Another difficulty is the definition of a ``researcher.''
Considering the illustration of a typical financial regime of NoEs
in FP6 given in the ``P<small>ROVISIONS FOR IMPLEMENTING</small>
N<small>ETWORKS OF</small> E<small>XCELLENCE</small> - Working
Document - version 280202,'' and in particular reference to par.3.2
(p.7) ``Definition of the factors used in calculating the grant,''
a crucial factor for grant calculation is the definition of
``researcher.'' Following the description of the above-mentioned
document, the classical ``researcher'' in IT would probably be a
computer science Phd professor. However, in software projects every
other participant (developers, interface designers, usability
testers and so on) could likewise and reasonably argue to be seen
as a ``researcher.''<br/>
</p>
<p>Free Software follows an enabling paradigm. It empowers people,
companies, organisations, governments. This means that the
quantification of a ``researcher'' is even less solid. The best way
might be to differentiate by dedication and amount of
contribution.<br/>
</p>
<p>And last but not least: Players in the Free Software field can
currently not be judged by their finances. Competence, not money is
the most important capital of Free Software players today. Although
this is likely to change with a greater adoption of Free Software,
it is a problem we face in relation with the FP6.<br/>
The ``Funding by size'' paradigm is one that is likely to fail for
Free Software, because in the current situation it would usually
further the least competent parties.<br/>
</p>
<p>These problems should be addressed and discussed to find a
solution that will allow Europe to capitalise on the advantages of
Free Software in the best and most efficient way.</p>
<h2><a id="SECTION00012000000000000000" name="SECTION00012000000000000000"/><a id="objectives" name="objectives"/><br/>
Objectives</h2>
<p>FOCALs main objectives in creating a visible European Free
Software Network of Excellence will be:</p>
<ol>
<li>Constituting a reference network for interested developers,
contributors, end-users, companies, regional and national
governments, etc.</li>
<li>Advancing the research agenda in IT hrough extensive use of the
Free Software paradigms.</li>
<li>Promoting Free Software through all appropriate channels.</li>
<li>Coordinating Free Software development efforts.</li>
<li>Give impulses for Free Software development in thematic/key
areas.</li>
<li>Providing assistance to regional, national and European
legislation to help creating the best environment for the
information economy.</li>
<li>Creating a sub-network of legal support to promote legislative
changes that support Free Software in European countries.</li>
<li>Generate awareness for a new hardware mentality.</li>
<li>Study the extensibility of the Free Software paradigm to other
domains.</li>
</ol>
<h2><a id="SECTION00013000000000000000" name="SECTION00013000000000000000">General approach to achieve the
objectives</a></h2>
<p>The objectives stated in section <a href="#objectives">1.2</a> can be reached through the
following actions:</p>
<ul>
<li>Creating a yearly international conference in Europe devoted to
Free Software; while encompassing all problems related to Free
Software development and use, the conference can be dedicated each
year to a specific theme stressing its urgency.</li>
<li>Creating a network of yearly meetings of Free Software
specialists devoted to specific thematic issues.</li>
<li>Creating developer exchange and travel programs.</li>
<li>Organising meetings of developers for important projects.</li>
<li>Creating offices for legal support to promote legislation
changes to promote Free Software and related issues in European
countries.</li>
<li>Setting up ``road shows'' with expert speakers on Free
Software; these can be dedicated to special areas. Organising
speeches with Free Software experts at public events and in
companies.</li>
<li>Creating, printing and distributing information material like
flyers, brochures and other forms of disseminating
information.</li>
<li>Creating a distributed press agency network to promote public
meetings through all available media dedicated to Free Software
issues.</li>
</ul>
<h1><a id="SECTION00020000000000000000" name="SECTION00020000000000000000">Need and Relevance</a></h1>
<p>Software has not only become a seminal economic and cultural
property, it also provides the grounds upon which the information
society and economy will be built.<br/>
</p>
<p>Those who depend on foreign interests to uphold their own
economy, communication, education and research will most likely not
become key players in the information age. Becoming and remaining
independent &gt;From foreign hardware and software oligopolies is a
crucial step towards a sustainable and lasting approach.<br/>
</p>
<p>Free Software offers these liberties and it is seminal for
Europe as a whole, but also for each of its ``components'' -
governments, companies, organisations, institutes and the people
constituting Europe - to become aware of the advantages and
importance of Free Software.<br/>
</p>
<p>As laid out in the recommendation referenced on page <a href="#recommendation">[*]</a> in
section <a href="#description">1</a>, Free
Software offers protection from foreign and internal hardware and
software monopolies, encourages freedom of markets, protects
privacy and therefore trust in information technologies, furthers
research and education and empowers all Europeans to become active
participants in the information society.<br/>
</p>
<p>Constituting a Network of Excellence for Free Software with the
objectives stated in section <a href="#objectives">1.2</a> is not only advisable to
allow Europe gaining an unprecedented role in information
technologies, it may well be necessary.</p>
<h1><a id="SECTION00030000000000000000" name="SECTION00030000000000000000">Excellence</a></h1>
<p>A Network of Excellence for Free Software requires the
participation of knowledgeable organisations, companies and
research centers with a solid track-record in Free Software. FOCAL
consists of the European and often global leaders in Free Software
and thematic areas.</p>
<div align="center">
<table cellpadding="3" border="1">
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left"><b>Organisation</b></td>
<th align="left"><b>Country</b></th>
<th align="left"><b>Web page</b></th>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3"><b>Area of Excellence</b></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3"><b>Role in Project</b></td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>1</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>FSF Europe</b></td>
<td align="left">Germany</td>
<td align="left">https://fsfe.org</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Competence center; Partner ``AGNULA''
(IST-2001-34879); Co-maintainer of GPL/LGPL and GNU Project</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Coordination, Community-interaction,
Competence, Vision, Integration, Business-models, Legal
Aspects</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>2</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>ABUL</b></td>
<td align="left">France</td>
<td align="left">http://www.abul.org</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Free Software association furthering
Education; Organiser Libre Software Meeting</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Events, Education,
Community-interaction &amp; local competence</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>3</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>ANSOL</b></td>
<td align="left">Portugal</td>
<td align="left">http://www.ansol.org</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Free Software association furthering
Free Software in Portugal</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Community-interaction &amp; local
competence</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>4</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>AFFS</b></td>
<td align="left">United Kingdom</td>
<td align="left">http://www.affs.org.uk</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Free Software association furthering
Free Software in the UK</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Community-interaction &amp; local
competence</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>5</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>APRIL</b></td>
<td align="left">France</td>
<td align="left">http://www.april.org</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Free Software association furthering
Free Software in France</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Community-interaction &amp; local
competence</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>6</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>Centro Tempo Reale</b></td>
<td align="left">Italy</td>
<td align="left">http://www.centrotemporeale.it</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Center devoted to music research,
production and education. Coordinator AGNULA project
(IST-2001-34879)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Audio &amp; Multimedia</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>7</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>DIST-Università</b></td>
<td align="left">Italy</td>
<td align="left">http://infomus.dist.unige.it</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Multimedia lab, EC projects: MEGA,
CARE-HERE, MoSART</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Multimedia and expressive/emotional
software</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>8</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>Easter-Eggs</b></td>
<td align="left">France</td>
<td align="left">http://www.easter-eggs.com</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Company for Free Software &amp;
GNU/Linux</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Business integration</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>9</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>GET</b></td>
<td align="left">France</td>
<td align="left">http://www.get-telecom.fr</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Consortium of the seven major French
Graduate Schools for Information Technology</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Communcation technology &amp;
research</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>10</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>g10 Code GmbH</b></td>
<td align="left">Germany</td>
<td align="left">http://www.g10code.de</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Home of GnuPG, only supported major
OpenPGP implementation; Project partner ``Egypt'' (BSI)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Cryptography &amp; Security, Business
integration</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>11</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>Intevation GmbH</b></td>
<td align="left">Germany</td>
<td align="left">http://www.intevation.de</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Geographic Information Systems,
Strategic Free Software consulting; Project partner ``Egypt''
(BSI)</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">GIS, Business integration, usability
design</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>12</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>LinuxTag e.V.</b></td>
<td align="left">Germany</td>
<td align="left">http://www.linuxtag.org</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Largest Free Software event organiser;
Organiser of LinuxTag</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Events &amp; Conferences</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>13</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>MandrakeSoft</b></td>
<td align="left">France</td>
<td align="left">http://www.mandrakesoft.com</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Producer and publisher of ``Mandrake''
GNU/Linux distribution</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">End-user interaction, packaging,
business integration</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>14</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>Prosa</b></td>
<td align="left">Italy</td>
<td align="left">http://www.prosa.it</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Services around GNU/Linux and Free
Software</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Business integration</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>15</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>FFS</b></td>
<td align="left">Austria</td>
<td align="left">http://www.ffs.or.at</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Free Software association furthering
Free Software in Austria</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Community-interaction &amp; local
competence</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>16</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>ffis</b></td>
<td align="left">Germany</td>
<td align="left">http://www.ffis.de</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Free Software association furthering
Free Software in Germany</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Community-interaction &amp; local
competence</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>17</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>V2</b></td>
<td align="left">Netherlands</td>
<td align="left">http://www.v2.nl</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Free Software in art, culture,
engineering</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Multimedia, art, communication</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>18</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>VIPS Lab</b></td>
<td align="left">Italy</td>
<td align="left">http://vips.sci.univr.it</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Coordinator SOb project
IST-2000-25287; Partner ARROV; Organiser COST-G6 Conference in
2000</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Computer vision, pattern recognition,
image and sound processing</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>19</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>[wearlab]@TZi</b></td>
<td align="left">Germany</td>
<td align="left">http://www.wearlab.de</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Center for mobile/wearable computing
at University of Bremen</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Mobile/wearable computing</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"><b>20</b></td>
<td align="left"><b>werk21</b></td>
<td align="left">Germany</td>
<td align="left">http://www.werk21.de</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Agency for communication &amp; design,
organiser ``Bundestux''</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td align="center"> </td>
<td align="left" colspan="3">Publications, material, end-user
integration</td>
</tr>
</table>
</div>
<h1><a id="SECTION00040000000000000000" name="SECTION00040000000000000000">Integration and Structuring
Effect</a></h1>
<p>Integration and structuring will clearly be a FOCAL
result.<br/>
</p>
<p>Free Software already compasses a virtual network of very
heterogenous nature. It is an inherent property of Free Software to
further integration and self-organising structures. FOCAL offers
the chance to supplement this ``virtual'' network with a real one,
based in Europe.<br/>
In order to reflect this goal, the list of partners contains a
solid community base, the most experienced companies on this field
and research institutes.<br/>
</p>
<p>Through these, multiple effects will be achieved:</p>
<ul>
<li><b>Better Integration of European Research and Industry</b>:
the integration and cooperation between commercial and
non-commercial partners made possible by Free Software is rather
unique and partially responsible for the economic value of Free
Software.</li>
<li><b>Strengthening transdisciplinary approaches</b>: the same
mechanisms that allow integration and cooperation between the
commercial and non-commercial fields will simplify
transdisciplinary cooperatio n, making Free Software an excellent
choice to encourage such activities.</li>
<li><b>Increasing the impact of scientific software</b>: with
increasing reliance of science on software, software becomes an
integral part of the scientific process. The scientific method
relies on the ability to verify results, however, and only if this
is possible will a scientific result hold any significance. If such
a result is somehow dependent on or published as proprietary
software, verification becomes impossible, greatly reducing the
impact of the research effort. Free Software does not have these
drawbacks, making it the best choice for all kinds of science.</li>
<li><b>Protection of personal data and privacy</b>: Since
communication through software is always opaque, it is seminal that
the software itself is entirely transparent so people retain the
possibility to know what the software does when they transmit
personal or private data. Currently, only Free Software is truly
transparent and guaranteed to remain such in time.</li>
<li><b>Information society technologies</b>: Europe already has a
leading role in Free Software development and the European Free
Software community is the most active worldwide. In this context,
Europe is well positioned to lead and shape the future development
not only of technologies but also of their impact on our life and
work.</li>
</ul>
<p>More details can be found in the recommendation referenced on
page <a href="#recommendation">[*]</a> in
section <a href="#description">1</a>.</p>
<hr/>
<h4>Footnotes</h4>
<dl>
<dt><a id="foot244" name="foot244">Open Source Software [*]</a></dt>
<dd>For reasons that can be found online at
<tt>https://fsfe.org/activities/whyfs/whyfs.en.html</tt>, this
document will use Free Software as the preferred term.</dd>
<dt><a id="foot245" name="foot245">Recommendation of the Free Software
Foundation Europe (FSF Europe) and supporting parties for the European
Community framework programme 2002-2006 [*]</a></dt>
<dd>Online at <tt>/activities/fp6/recommendation.html</tt>.</dd>
<dt><a id="foot246" name="foot246">activities in Peru [*]</a></dt>
<dd>For reference, please see the letter by the Peruvian
Congressman Villanueva. Mirrored in several places like
<tt>http://pimientolinux.com/peru2ms/</tt> .</dd>
</dl>
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