The European Commission is to create a portal for European public sector bodies to store and share open source application code and exchange open source knowledge.
The Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR) will be developed and managed by a consortium led by Unisys.
It is intended to help public bodies improve returns on IT investment and make their applications more interoperable. The OSOR should be operational by the end of 2007.
The Commission wants OSOR to encourage European administrations to use each other's software and develop common projects, for example in public e-procurement, interoperability between government applications and mutual recognition of the various electronic ID card formats.
"Public administrations' interest in open source is not so much about open source replacing proprietary products," said Karel de Vriendt, head of the European eGovernment Services Unit.
"It is about developing custom applications based on open source software, collaboration during development and using open source licences to share the results of such developments.
"The new OSOR should become the preferred cooperation tool to speed up software pooling among member states."
Unisys will provide advice to all stakeholders and promote the OSOR service. It will also look for interesting open source applications to add to OSOR and support collaboration between different European open source projects.
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