On October 1st, 2009, as part of the Open World Forum, France hosted the First International FLOSS Competence Centers Summit. The meeting was organized by the Qualipso Project and had over 35 participants from 4 continents. Participants from Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, and USA represented 11 different Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Competence Centers around the globe. The main objective of the meeting was to unite forces around the world for the establishment of an international network of Competence Centers to collaborate on the promotion of FLOSS.
The Summits fruitful discussions had two major results:
1. A collaborative Web site (www.flosscc.org) will be established, where experiences on how to conduct a successful FLOSS Competence Center will be exchanged.
2. A Manifesto for FLOSS Competence Centers was written and signed by participants. The Manifesto will be also available at www.flosscc.org.
Each Competence Center will act locally in its geographical region, working as a meeting point and knowledge repository in its area. Competence Centers also collaborate in a worldwide community exchanging experiences, methods, and solutions to expand and spread
knowledge on FLOSS. These Centers work as catalysts, fostering trust and reliability of FLOSS, not only in the software industry but also in society as a whole.
Competence Centers should:
- be a meeting point for FLOSS users, developers, students, educators, researchers, and other enthusiasts both at the individual and institutional levels;
- stay up-to-date with FLOSS technology, market, and trends;
- provide and extend trust in FLOSS methods, tools, and solutions;
- act as a neutral player within FLOSS matters, trends, and studies;
- develop, maintain, and publish their work under a free/open license; and
- explore new innovation and collaboration opportunities by using FLOSS.
By sharing a common ethics and culture of collaboration, Competence Centers promote synergies among educational institutions, industry, government, and communities, helping the dissemination and application of knowledge on open standards and technologies, and promoting the development of Information Technology in a way that benefits the entire human society. Furthermore, Competence Centers aim to stay one step ahead in FLOSS market and trends, providing a point of contact among the industrial, academic, and community parts of the FLOSS movement, encouraging the effective use of FLOSS technologies.