OpenForum Academy releases 'Research On Open Innovation' Oct 02, 2014

Research On Open Innovation LogoThe Fellows of the OpenForum Academy have published the second book in our series exploring the latest thinking around Open Innovation in technology, information and standards. 'Research in Open Innovation' is a "deeper dive" than our previous book entitled 'Thoughts on Open Innovation,' and is intended to help policy-makers, business leaders and researchers consider key issues in the field.

'Research on Open Innovation' was launched in September 2014 as part of OpenForum Academy's programme of Open Access research. You can learn more about it and download a free copy from our website. You can also buy a professionally printed copy on Lulu for 12.99 USD plus postage. 

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A call on public administrations to practice what they preach and support open document formats Sep 15, 2014

OFE Press Release - 15th September 2014 - Today marks the start of the Global Legislative Openness Week, an annual celebration of open, participatory legislative processes. For the occasion, we join a number of organisations in signing an open letter addressed to all national legislatures around the world to make parliamentary information open by default. Opening up legislative, and more generally governmental information is not only crucial to improve transparency and accountability, but also enables third parties to leverage the potential of that information through the development of applications and services that address public and private demands.

Full Text of the Release

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Public procurement of ICT products in Europe still afflicted by references to brand names Jul 16, 2014

 OFE Press Release 15th July 2014 - For the sixth consecutive year, OpenForum Europe examined the EU Member States' practice of referring to specific trademarks when procuring for ICT products. In our latest report released in July 2014, we found that 22% of all tender notices issued contained an explicit references to specific brands – an increase of 5% since our previous report published in October 2013. This figure indicates a trend of continued discrimination.


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Society is ready for a data-driven economy. Is European legislation keeping the pace? Jul 04, 2014

OFE Brussels - 4th July 2014 - In a statement released today, OpenForum Europe (OFE) comments on the recently published Commission Communication on Big Data (“Towards a thriving data-driven economy”).  We welcome the Commission's actions regarding key developments which will enable a better harnessing of the benefits of a digital society. However, we express some concerns on specific areas. 

 We believe that the legislative framework should aim at providing a safe, flexible environment enabling open innovation. Open standards are a key component of this environment, and we applaud the Commission for pointing out their important role here. We hope to see the Commission working hand in hand with the industry to clarify the standards landscape on a number of big data areas.

 Full Text of the release

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Open Internet Amendments 1/04/14

JOINT ONLINE COMMUNICATIONS INDUSTRY, CONSUMER PROTECTION AND CIVIL SOCIETY STATEMENT OF SUPPORT FOR S&D, ALDE, GREENS, GUE/NGL OPEN INTERNET AMENDMENTS

Brussels 1.04.2014 --‐ The online communications industry, consumer protection and civil rights NGOs want to preserve the open internet.

We are gravely concerned about loopholes in the Commission and Industry Committee texts that would allow parts of the telecommunications industry to become gatekeepers that decide what succeeds and what fails online. Even national regulators (through BEREC, the Body of European Regulators) have expressed a fear that the Commission's proposals seek to re--‐shape the market in favour of large ex--‐ monopoly telecoms operators. [1]

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Time for the European Institutions to show their support for open standards Mar 26, 2014

 Throughout the world today, individuals and organisations are celebrating Document Freedom Day. The goal of this annual event is to raise public awareness on information accessibility and the use of open standards.

We believe that public administrations have a key role to play in this regard, in at least two important ways. First by ensuring that every citizen and stakeholder group can interact with its public administration using the software of its choice, without having to worry about compatibility or portability across different platforms. Second, by ensuring efficient use of public money and fostering competition through innovation in the market. Overall, public procurement represents around 19% of the EU GDP. Only by supporting open standards can public administrations avoid vendor lock-in which increases prices and reduces competition in the market.

Full Text of the Release

Letter - Use of document and video formats in the EU Institutions

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OFE welcomes the European Cloud Partnership “Trusted Cloud Europe” vision document Mar 21, 2014

Press Release - Brussels - 21st March 2014 - Today's European Cloud Partnership Steering Board announcement on Trusted Cloud for Europe (TCE) is to be welcomed. TCE is a tangible and important move to develop a higher level framework within which the recommendations from the Commission's Cloud Specific Interest Groups will be positioned. It is right that industry is very closely involved here to ensure that the opportunity in Europe resulting from Cloud based services is maximised.

Full Text of the Release

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Will the European Parliament safeguard the openness of Internet? Mar 18, 2014

OFE Press Release - Brussels - 18th March 2014 -The Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) took a vote today on the Commission's proposal on the European Single Market for Electronic Communications. This is a crucial step towards the adoption of a new framework for the regulation of traffic on the Internet, by setting out European rules on network neutrality. We regret that the compromise amendments proposed by MEP Pilar del Castillo were adopted as we fear that they do not provide sufficient safeguards for the continued openness of the Internet.

Full Text of the Release

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Will Europe choose to burden the cloud with private copying levies? Feb 24, 2014

OFE Press Release - Brussels -  On February 17, Members of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted on the Castex Report on private  copying levies. Choosing to ignore the important questions raised in the Vitorino recommendations regarding the need to modernise the current system, the Parliament report proposes to expand the scope of private copying levies to include cloud services :

« Stresses that private copying exception arrangements should apply to certain online
services, including certain cloud computing services; »


We have already explained why we think this is a bad idea. Private copying levies are an outdated system created in an age of physical media and are not fit to the new digital reality. They apply blindly and indiscriminately over professional, private and user-generated content, harming nearly all Europeans. By doing so, they impose a competitive drag on the European economy and hamper the development of the digital single market. Disappointingly, the Castex Report turns a blind eye on these problems and proposes « more of the same » by recommending to significantly expand the scope of private copying levies.

Full Text of the Release

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Keeping the cloud free of private copying levies Nov 16, 2013

OFE Press Release - Brussels - 15th November 2013 - Today OpenForum Europe is releasing a joint communication See attached with the Cloud Industry Forum and the Computer and Communications Industry Association, calling on the European Union to reject the application of private copying levies schemes to cloud services.

Cloud computing represents a huge opportunity for Europe, with an expected overall cumulative impact on GDP of close to EUR 1000 billion, and millions of jobs, by 2020(1). In particular the take-up by European SMEs is expected to grow rapidly, helping them gain in efficiency and positioning themselves on the global market. For consumers, cloud services delivers a host of useful day to day applications, new opportunities to share and store personal content, and new ways to consume creative content anytime, anywhere.

The signatories of this communication are concerned, however, that recent proposed policy developments would considerably undermine the potential of cloud computing for growth and innovation – as well as consumer welfare – in Europe through the application of levies to cloud services.

(1) See e.g. J.M. Barroso, ‘Innovating in the digital era: putting Europe back on track’, presentation to the European Council of 24-25 October 2013, available at http://ec.europa.eu/news/pdf/131024_en.pdf


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Cloud Drives the Future – An Open Cloud Declaration

 

OFE Press Release - Brussels - 14th November 2013 - Today OpenForum Europe announces the release of Version 1 of the Open Cloud Declaration Link to Declaration, a visionary document which we believe will serve as a foundation upon which to drive industry, government and institutional behaviour with respect to cloud computing. The Declaration sets forth ten founding principles explaining our vision for an Open Cloud.

This initial release of the Declaration has been developed in close discussion with a wide range of companies and organisations, extending beyond OFE's list of members and partners. This is just the start of a process to foster a constructive debate with all stakeholders. We therefore call on every organisation, whether from industry, the community, governmental or academia, interested in participating in this dialogue to not only express their support by signing the Declaration, but also invite them to contribute more directly. We plan to establish an ongoing working group of all supporters to further develop these Founding Open Principles, refining, updating and extending as appropriate.

We recognise that for cloud-based computing to succeed, its customers need to have confidence in it. Similarly, the benefits of cloud solutions and their efficiencies of scope and scale can only be realized in an environment that clearly supports responsible global information flows.

Full Text of the Release


References to brand names continue to plague ICT procurement throughout Europe Oct 16, 2013

Brussels 16th October 2013 - For the fifth consecutive year, OpenForum Europe examined the EU Member States' practice of referring to specific trademarks when procuring for ICT products. In our latest report released in October 2013, we found that 17% of all tender notices issued contained an explicit reference to specific brand. This figure remains consistently high, indicating a trend of continued discrimination.

EU procurement laws try to ensure that public procurement at both national and EU level gives equal treatment to potential bidders and doesn't discriminate in favour of one or another supplier. Naming trademarks in tenders is viewed as discriminatory, and is usually against existing EU procurement laws, except under specific and exceptional circumstances.

 Public procurement accounts for 19% of the EU's gross domestic product – around 2.4 trillion euros, according to Eurostat figures from 2011. By specifying one preferred supplie public bodies are inadvertently helping dominant firms maintain their stranglehold on markets to the detriment of smaller competitors. Not only that, but the lack of competition often leads to greater expenses, resulting in a waste of EU's taxpayers money.

 Full Text  Release

 Procurement Report  2013 - 1st Snapshot

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Net neutrality rules must safeguard innovation in the open Internet Sep 11, 2013

Brussels 11th September 2013 - OpenForum Europe (OFE) welcomes the Commission proposal for a Regulation laying down measures to complete the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent announced today by Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes.

The proposal aims to improve the European regulatory framework for traffic management and the open Internet, which OpenForum Europe has been calling for since 2008. At a time when many Member States are either considering or enacting national net neutrality rules (see our Country Factsheets), we believe that now is a crucial time for the EU to take the lead on this issue.

OFE welcomes efforts to effectively ban discriminatory blocking and throttling of content on the Internet, a positive step forward that will ensure that no single provider or category of services will be excluded from competition.

However, OFE has serious concerns with the proposed framework for so-called “specialised services”. These services, which assure high quality and bandwidth to consumers at a premium price - for example by guaranteeing access to VoIP or VoD applications - could have an impact on the quality of services delivered over the open and non-discriminatory Internet. There is a place for so-called specialised services. They offer scope for innovative business models. But it is crucial that these are clearly distinguished from the open and non-discriminatory Internet.

Full text release

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OpenForum Europe urges Governments across Europe to move quickly to avoid ICT lock-in by 'practicising what they promote' through 'Open Procurement' processes Jun 25, 2013

Press Release - Brussels - 25th June 2013 - OpenForum Europe (OFE) strongly supports the European Commission's Communication “Against lock-in: building open ICT systems using standards”, and its Commission staff working paper “Guide for the procurement of standards-based ICT -Elements of Good Practice”, published today.

These important documents stress how necessary it is to avoid lock-in in ICT systems and they promote the use of global ICT standards in public procurement. OFE stands ready to support the Commission in driving the use of these documents by public bodies across Europe.

OFE's key objective is to drive an open, competitive market in Europe based on fair competition. These Commission documents work towards that same goal.

Full details of the Release

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Openforum Academy Fellows contribute to the Digital Agenda discourse through the publication of “Thoughts on Open Innovation” Jun 20, 2013

Brussels - 20th June 2013 - Thought leaders in Open Innovation have collaborated to produce a book exploring ten different aspects of openness to contribute to discourse around the European Commission Digital Agenda.

While Vice President Neelie Kroes emphasizes the importance of the Digital Single Market in her keynote address in Dublin today, writers including Simon Phipps, Karsten Gerloff and Peter Murray-Rust, all Fellows of the OpenForum Academy, stress the importance of collaboration in a world interconnected by technology.

While some politicians fret over how to save the world from ubiquitous technology, the OFA Fellows ask how we can harness the omnipresence of digital science through collaboration to make the world a better place.

Open Innovation is a phrase that has become part of the vernacular and some now see it as the exponent of the network society. The authors of “Thoughts on Open Innovation” go further and, as described by Karel de Vriendt in the introduction to the text, seek to answer the following question:

“While there is little doubt that more openness will be beneficial to society, how can we balance openness with the need of companies to stay competitive? And how can we motivate bright spirits to continue to innovate?”

The authors eloquently argue that through collaboration and re-use of each other's output we all get better, both as a society and as a community of innovators, and also from a commercial perspective. In other words the shortest route to a truly single digital market for Europe is through collaboration and openness, and by removing barriers to open innovation formed by narrow, locked-in thinking.

 

Thoughts on Open Innovation” is available digitally and print-on-demand at http://www.openforumacademy.org/research/thoughts-on-open-innovation

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Press Release - The role of Network Neutrality in the future Telecoms Single Market May 31, 2013

OFE Brussels 31st May 2013 - On May 30th European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes gave a speech in front of the European Parliament where she called for the need to guarantee network neutrality in Europe, and announced she would be working to deliver a legislative package for this purpose by Easter 2014. OpenForum Europe (OFE) wholeheartedly supports this objective. Net neutrality is a crucial pre-requisite for an open Internet. It guarantees that all traffic should be treated equally, independent of content, application, service, device, source or target.

 Openness and neutrality are founding principles of the Internet, and key factors in its success. Thanks to free, publicly available standards that anyone can access and build on, we have witnessed the development of a decentralised ecosystem with no single gatekeeper that has spurred enormous creativity and growth. The open Internet is a space where everyone is free to choose what content they want to access, create, or share with others. Net neutrality is about guaranteeing equal access to this space.

 “Users, not network providers, should be able to decide independently what they want to use their connection for,” said Graham Taylor, CEO of OpenForum Europe.

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Unitary Patent – the EU should take more time to get it right Dec 07, 2012

6th December 2012 - The European Union is on the point of overcoming nearly 40 years of procrastination over the creation of a single, or unitary European patent and the Unified Patent Court. The goal is to make it cheaper and easier for innovators to protect their inventions, thereby stimulating growth and dynamism in the European economy.


Openforum Europe (OFE) wholeheartedly supports this goal but it is alarmed at the lack of open debate in the final stages of the lawmaking process with the users, and especially following the latest compromise over the legal framework for the creation of a Unitary Patent and a Unified Patent Court reached between the Council and European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee last month.


After decades of impasse it now appears that lawmakers are trying to rush through a poor compromise in the last minute that may make matters worse, not better, for innovators in Europe, especially for those in the technology industry.

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UK Government Back on Track with Open Standards Nov 01, 2012

Today the UK Government has announced its Open Standards Principles - the outcome of its public consultation on Open Standards, and in doing so has clearly reinforced its determination to drive through the use of such standards for public procurement.

This has been a long and prolonged programme and one which originally, OFE at least, questioned its necessity, having followed a previous public survey. But having taken the decision to consult, few can now argue with the integrity, rigour and depth of the independent analysis that has been followed – and has resulted in the singularly most important piece of policy  and research analysis undertaken in this crucial topic area. The key issues have not been ducked, and the pragmatism and attention to the detail, and particularly the focus on implementation are welcome improvements to past thinking.

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OpenForum Europe welcomes the European Commission's Cloud strategy, but questions its choice of coordinator in the process of identifying key Cloud standards Sep 27, 2012

OFE - OpenForum Europe (OFE) welcomes the European Commission's approach to Cloud Computing laid out in its strategy paper published today, in particular its emphasis on the need to develop technical standards that will play a crucial role in ensuring that Cloud Computing remains an open, interoperable and innovative environment.

With a clear set of industry-wide standards Europe will be able to prevent individual Cloud suppliers from locking their users into their own closed and proprietary Cloud offerings. Earlier revolutions in computing, such as the birth of the personal computer, were hampered by this type of lock-in. It appears that the Commission is determined to avoid the same thing happening with Cloud Computing.

The Commission's emphasis on avoiding protectionism and its vision of a global, interconnected Cloud market show a clear understanding of how best to harness the full potential that Cloud Computing offers to users, whether they be businesses, individuals or governments.

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Press release: New EU Standards Regulation to boost innovation Sep 12, 2012

Recognition of standards from industry fora and consortia will boost innovation

Openforum Europe welcomes the agreement reached between European lawmakers to recognize ICT standards approved by industry fora and consortia without undue red tape.

 The agreement is a very good one which will help to boost innovation primarily, but not exclusively, in the public sector.

 The agreement on fora and consortia is part of a wide-ranging regulation designed to modernize the standards system in Europe. The regulation was endorsed by the European Parliament by an overwhelming majority during its Plenary session in Strasbourg today, and will enter into force in the 27 countries of the European Union on January 1st.

 Government agencies and ministries are heavy users of ICT. Yet in Europe until now they have been prevented from directly referencing standards agreed by global industry fora and consortia such as the W3C – a consortium that approves standards for the World Wide Web. They could only reference standards agreed by formal standards bodies.

 The new regulation will for the first time permit government ministries and agencies in Europe to reference the full range of standards that are available to the private sector.

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OFE welcomes EU agreement on recognizing standards from industry fora and consortia

14th June 2012 - Openforum Europe welcomes the agreement reached between European lawmakers to recognize ICT standards approved by industry fora and consortia without undue red tape. The agreement reached between the European Parliament , the European Commission and the Council of Ministers last week is a very good one, which will boost innovation primarily, but not only, in the public sector.

The agreement on fora and consortia is part of an overall political agreement on the shape of a new wide-ranging regulation designed to modernize the standards system in Europe. The regulation will be formally adopted by the European Parliament and national governments in thecoming months and will enter into force in the 27 countries of the European Union on January 1st.

Government agencies and ministries are heavy users of ICT. Yet in Europe until now government bodies can't reference standards agreed by industry fora and consortia such as the W3C – a consortium that approves standards for the World Wide Web. They can only reference standards agreed by formal standards bodies.

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Press Release - OpenForum Europe calls on Poland to improve its IT procurement habits Feb 13, 2012

OFE 13th February 2012 - Poland is by far the worst offender when it comes to naming IT trademarks in calls for tender by its public sector, according to OpenForum Europe's (OFE) latest Monitoring Report on the European IT procurement market.

Polish contracting authorities issued over a third of all the tenders across Europe that named IT suppliers during the final quarter of last year, the OFE Monitoring Report found.

However, Poland isn't the only country picking winners. Germany and France also issued a disproportionately high number of IT tenders making specific reference to a trademark during the final three months of last year.

Overall, the OFE Monitoring Report found that 16 percent of IT tenders issued in the final three months of 2011 made specific reference to a supplier's trademark. This is an increase from 13 percent recorded in a similar OFE monitoring report published six months earlier.

EU procurement laws try to ensure that public procurement at both national and EU level gives equal treatment to potential bidders and doesn't discriminate in favour of one or another supplier.

Naming trademarks in tenders is viewed as discriminatory and the cause of distortions in the market, and is usually against existing EU procurement laws, except under certain circumstances.

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, is currently revising the laws governing public procurement. One of the objectives is to make the procurement process more transparent and open, particularly to smaller suppliers.

 Public procurement accounts for nearly 20 percent of the EU's gross domestic product – around 2.2 trillion euros, according to Eurostat figures from 2009. By specifying one preferred supplier public bodies are inadvertently helping dominant firms maintain their stranglehold on markets to the detriment of smaller competitors.

 The OFE Monitoring Report found that by far the most common trademark to be referenced in IT calls for tender was Microsoft, which accounted for just under 40 percent of all recorded trademark references.

 “Europe has thousands of small IT firms that in many instances are simply frozen out of the public procurement process by restrictions such as the naming of trademarks in calls for tender,” said Bob Blatchford, chief operating officer of OFE.

“The problem of naming IT brands in public tenders isn't going away. From our latest Monitoring Report it appears the problem is actually getting worse,” he said.

The situation in Poland is of particular concern. “We urge the Polish authorities to review their practices, particularly in light of the ongoing review of EU procurement laws,” Mr Blatchford said.

The OFE Monitoring Report examined 600 IT tender notices by ministries and government agencies in 25 EU countries (excluding Greece and Bulgaria) and by the EU itself issued in the final three months of 2011 – roughly half the total number of IT public tenders during that period.

In light of its findings OFE urges EU lawmakers to address such discriminatory practices as they debate the revision of the EU Public Procurement Directive.

“The existing directive has failed to keep a check on these practices, which are not only against the principles of competition and the fulfillment of the Single Market, but also act as obstacles to SMEs eager to compete in a market that should be open, innovative and transparent,” Mr Blatchford said.

OFE reiterates the three core recommendations to EU lawmakers that it made last year and in 2010:

1 Improve EU-wide guidelines to overcome lack of awareness of procurement law at local level, explaining clearly the long term costs of lock-in, and encouraging a life cycle perspective with regard to IT software and hardware procurement.

2 Closer scrutiny of the use of the negotiated procedure without calls for competition.

3 Align Regulations governing procurement by EU institutions and agencies with the reformed Procurement Directive to ensure that EU institutions are also encouraged to improve their tenders.

In addition, OFE has recommended its members to engage with procurement authorities across the EU to encourage them to mandate that IT procurement be standards-based and where available uses open standards – a crucial issue for software interoperability.

For more information please contact Bob Blatchford +44 7739 180472, bob@openforumeurope.org 

or Paul Meller, OFE's media advisor +32 497 322 966, paul@openforumeurope.org

 

Press Release: OpenForum Europe calls on Poland to improve its IT procurement habits

ODF format

PDF format

Full Report: PDF format - OFE Monitoring Report

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Open Data Challenge awards 20,000 euros in prizes to Europe's most exciting projects in the field of open government data Jun 16, 2011

BRUSSELS, June 16th 2011 - Europe's biggest ever open data competition concluded today when European Commission vice President Neelie Kroes handed out prizes totaling 20,000 euros at the Commission's Digital Agenda Assembly in Brussels.

The winner of the biggest prize - a cheque for 5000 euros - for the best application based on open data was ZNasichDani from Slovakia, whose Fair Play Alliance app allows journalists and others to scrutinize government procurement contracts in her home country.

Full Press Release

Winners Summary

 

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OFE Procurement Report 2010: More than one in ten government IT tenders illegally specify brands May 23, 2011

 

Openforum Europe's annual assessment of procurement practice across the European Union reveals that for the third year running a significant proportion of government agencies are illegally specifying trademarks when they engage suppliers from the private sector for specific IT contracts worth billions of euros.

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Press Release - Open Data Challenge goes live, offering 20,000 euros in prizes Apr 06, 2011

The Open Data Challenge launches this week offering €20,000 in prize money to encourage people to think of interesting ways of reusing public data for the benefit of European citizens.

The pan-European competition encourages those with programming skills to have a go at building their dream app using public data. But it doesn’t matter if you aren’t a computer geek. There’s a section of the competition called ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if...?’, which allows anyone to submit an idea for how to reuse public data.

Public bodies generate a huge amount of data about every aspect of our lives; everything from how our hard earned tax is spent to statistics about bicycle accidents on inner city roads. Much of this data never sees the light of day, and just sits gathering dust in a bureaucrat’s office, but this is changing.

Full text of the Press Release

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Openforum Europe welcomes the publication of the UK Government's ICT strategy Mar 31, 2011

OFE - The UK Government published its long-awaited ICT Strategy document today, confirming its determination to move the public sector in the UK away from being locked in to large scale single supplier proprietary software solutions.

Openforum Europe (OFE) welcomes the move and congratulates the UK Government on its visionary thinking, and urges local and regional public bodies around the UK to follow central government's lead.

“The Strategy focuses on an open approach to ICT, mandating open standards, re-aligning the playing field for open source, and encouraging greater SME participation in government ICT contracts. This is all to be commended,” said Graham Taylor, chief executive of OFE.

Full text of the Press Release

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OFE Press Release - UK Government pushes for open standards and open source software Mar 02, 2011

Three new government initiatives in the field of open public sector computing in the past month show that at a national level at least, the UK is one of the strongest supporters of open standards and open source software in Europe. Unfortunately at grass roots level local governments around the UK remain stubbornly wedded to proprietary computer systems that lock them and their citizens' data into closed computer systems.

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European Interoperability Framework – a bold move to spread the benefits of open standards and interoperability Dec 16, 2010

OFE Press Release - After over two years of controversial debate and under intense scrutiny from the information and communication technology (ICT) industry, the European Commission has shown courage by adopting a bold set of guidelines to help national, regional and local governments throughout the European Union make their computer systems all work properly together.

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European Commission's eGovernment Action Plan champions interoperability and open standards in IT Dec 16, 2010

OFE Press Release - Openforum Europe welcomes the European Commission's groundbreaking plan to connect governments around Europe with their citizens and businesses using open, flexible, cost-effective and collaborative IT technologies. The eGovernment Action Plan unveiled this week lives up to the ambitious vision expressed by national governments in their 2009 Malmo Declaration, and lays the foundation for building a smart, interconnected and inclusive public sector across Europe.

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New horizontal guidelines a shot in the arm for standardization Dec 15, 2010

OFE Press Release - Openforum Europe's reaction to the European Commission's adoption on Tuesday of a new set of rules governing how competitors in an industry can co-operate without falling foul of competition rules:

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Net neutrality rules must safeguard innovation in the open Internet

 

Brussels 11th September 2013 - OpenForum Europe (OFE) welcomes the Commission proposal for a Regulation laying down measures to complete the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent announced today by Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes.

The proposal aims to improve the European regulatory framework for traffic management and the open Internet, which OpenForum Europe has been calling for since 2008. At a time when many Member States are either considering or enacting national net neutrality rules (see our Country Factsheets), we believe that now is a crucial time for the EU to take the lead on this issue.

 OFE welcomes efforts to effectively ban discriminatory blocking and throttling of content on the Internet, a positive step forward that will ensure that no single provider or category of services will be excluded from competition.

 However, OFE has serious concerns with the proposed framework for so-called “specialised services”. These services, which assure high quality and bandwidth to consumers at a premium price - for example by guaranteeing access to VoIP or VoD applications - could have an impact on the quality of services delivered over the open and non-discriminatory Internet. There is a place for so-called specialised services. They offer scope for innovative business models. But it is crucial that these are clearly distinguished from the open and non-discriminatory Internet.   Full text release

 

Net neutrality rules must safeguard innovation in the open Internet

 

Brussels 11th September 2013 - OpenForum Europe (OFE) welcomes the Commission proposal for a Regulation laying down measures to complete the European single market for electronic communications and to achieve a Connected Continent announced today by Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes.

The proposal aims to improve the European regulatory framework for traffic management and the open Internet, which OpenForum Europe has been calling for since 2008. At a time when many Member States are either considering or enacting national net neutrality rules (see our Country Factsheets), we believe that now is a crucial time for the EU to take the lead on this issue.

 OFE welcomes efforts to effectively ban discriminatory blocking and throttling of content on the Internet, a positive step forward that will ensure that no single provider or category of services will be excluded from competition.

 However, OFE has serious concerns with the proposed framework for so-called “specialised services”. These services, which assure high quality and bandwidth to consumers at a premium price - for example by guaranteeing access to VoIP or VoD applications - could have an impact on the quality of services delivered over the open and non-discriminatory Internet. There is a place for so-called specialised services. They offer scope for innovative business models. But it is crucial that these are clearly distinguished from the open and non-discriminatory Internet.   Full text release


OFE Media Contacts


Media
Graham Taylor e: graham.taylor@openforumeurope.org

UK

Graham Taylor e: graham.taylor@openforumeurope.org

Bob Blatchford e: bob.blatchford@openforumeurope.org

Basil Cousins e: basil@openforumeurope.org

 

Brussels

Mael Brunet e: Mael@openforumeurope.org

 

USA

Sachiko Muto e: sachiko@openforumeurope.org

 

Asia

Shane Coughlan e: shane@opendawn.com

 

Brussels Office

OpenForum Europe
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