The Qualipso project funded by the European Commission is establishing a world-wide network of Competence Centres, starting in early 2009 with four centres located in Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and São Paulo (Brazil).
The goal of the Qualipso Network of Competence Centres is to provide to Free Open Source Software (FOSS) users, developers, and consumers, high-quality resources and expertise on the various topics related to open source software. This will be achieved via education, training, consulting, hosting, and certification not only in terms of tools and platforms but also methodologies, studies, and best practices.
Competence Centres are federated in a Network that will work as a mechanism for sharing success stories, failures, questions, recommendations, best practices, and any kind of information that could help the establishment of a solid international collaborative environment for supporting quality Free Open Source Software. New competence centres can be admitted to the Qualipso Network after their proposals are evaluated by the Qualipso Network Board to ensure that the prospective Competence Centre is compliant with the Qualipso Network Agreement, sharing a common vision and ethics.
Each Competence Centre will act in its geographical region to increase the awareness of Free Open Source and to better prepare the IT workforce for developing and using open source solutions, based on the results of the Qualipso project. Competence Centres will put into practice the outcomes of the activities of the Qualipso research project; they will make these results available both to the Free Open Source community and to the industry and will promote them at large through communication and dissemination programs.
"The creation of the Competence Centre will be an opportunity to uplift our activities to a higher and institutionalized level, allowing a better impact for the creation of knowledge and the services we have been already offering for years"
"The Competence Centre will be an excellent means for the university to communicate with the Brazilian society and software industry; it will contribute not only sharing the knowledge developed by our research groups but also working as a meeting point for students, researchers, and practitioners from our region and abroad; we also expect to benefit from being part of an international collaborative network focusing on the quality of Free and Open Source Software".
According to Gerd Schürmann, the German Competence Centre will be located at the Fraunhofer Institute for Open Communication Systems (FOKUS) in Berlin and will start its activities in the first quarter of 2009. Its main emphasis will be on providing a factory for Free Open Source Software projects and on Qualipso services in the context of technical, semantic, and organizational interoperability between Free Open Source systems as well as between Free Open Source systems and Closed Source systems. Governmental organizations as well as industry and research will profit from our contributions and the Qualipso network.
Also in 2009, it is planned the opening of the Qualipso Competence Centre in Rome to be instantiated by the collaboration of the Department of Innovation and Technologies of the Italian Government and Engineering Ingegneria Informatica S.p.A. Stefano De Panfilis, Research and Development Laboratory Director, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica stated that “the Roma Competence Centre will be launched to support the wider adoption of open source technologies by the many public administrations all over Italy. Moreover this competence centre will coordinate other similar initiatives at country level”.
Jean-Pierre Laisne, coordinator of the Qualipso Project's Competence Centre activities and Open Source Strategy Director for BULL states that "all the Qualipso Competence Centres will work together leveraging each others' capabilities, establishing an international network of collaboration. In the future, new Competence Centres will join the network, particularly from China and Europe”.