Open Standards play a key role in ICT technologies. Standards enable industry to provide software and services that meet customer requirements today and in the future. They ensure interoperability and allow technologies to be connected or integrated and work together. Standards contribute to innovation by providing an agreed and trusted basis on top of which innovation can flourish. In a networked ecosystem there is the need for end-to-end solutions with pieces of software from different vendors working seamlessly together.
Open Standards help prevent lock-in and are key to foster a level playing field between all suppliers of ICT services, whether OSS or proprietary. OFE strongly believes that standards in the area of software interoperability should be available royalty-free allowing for easy implementation in all development models including open source. The leading global IT standards bodies, with the support of all their membership, have long implemented Royalty-free IPR policies or policies with Royalty-free options.
OFE has been involved in the debates on the EU Regulation 1025/2012 supporting the introduction of a specific process for making global ICT standards available for use in Europe. OFE is also an active participant in the European Commission-led Multi-Stakeholder Platform for ICT Standardisation where it chairs the task force developing the Rolling Plan. OFE also contributed to the discussions around the development of the European Interoperability Framework version 1 and 2.
In the UK, OFE has contributed directly throughout the consultation leading to the adoption of the Open Standards Principles, globally recognised as one of the best and most comprehensive amongst such initiative in the world. OFE has fully endorsed these Principles including the definition of an Open Standard contained within them.
Amongst the network of OFA Fellows are some of the world’s leading experts on the subject and who participate directly in OFE discussions.
OFE operates a very active Task Force on Standardisation and regularly contributes to EC Consultations and programmes.
Jochen Friedrich, IBM, Chair of the OFE Standardisation Task Force