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Training, promotion and explanation of benefits

Promotion of training and education on free software products. One of the most important barriers to the adoption of free software is the need of training for users. In many cases, it is difficult to find entities providing training programmes of good quality on free software products. Therefore, any measure in the direction of promoting such programmes would be very interesting. In addition, financial means to help companies to enroll their employees in those programs would be of great benefit to accelerate the adoption of open source technologies, specially in the case of SMEs (small and medium enterprises).

Creation of an office to help institutions take advantage of free software. This office would help all European countries in the process of evaluation and development of open source software programmes. It can also issue directions and organize informational materials, and advise in the resolution of the few remaining issues, mainly those related to intellectual property. This office could function in a position of parity with respect to other relevant European offices. It could also help by offering advice for the modification of the current policies and criteria for project funding within the IST programmes, to better adapt them to the different needs of open source software.

Specific recommendations of use of free software. A big effort is needed to help all levels of the administration to consider open source solutions as valid offers. Recommendations on the adoption of open source software at all levels could be used by the European Commission and the national governments. The same could be said in terms of support to small and medium companies willing to benefit from open source. Work Programme 2000 has already included some action lines in this direction. We recommend that the same approaches are taken at other levels and in other programmes.

Research about the economic and social impact of open source software. The economic and social impact of open source is still difficult to measure and explain. Research in these areas should be supported by the European Commission, as a way of developing tools for better allocating resources for maximizing the benefits of open source in the economic fabric in particular, and in the whole society in general. This should include the development of the proper indicators to enable macro-economic studies of these impacts.

next up previous contents
Next: General remarks Up: Recommendations by the working Previous: Legal issues   Contents
Jesus M. Gonzalez-Barahona