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Linux Foundation launches European division

Plans to drive more open source – and more transparency – into public sector

Open Source Summit The body behind the biggest open source project in the world has opened a European division.

Sometimes, attending a European trade show – even virtually – can give you a slight feeling of being a supporting feature, with the main act happening in North America, usually some time earlier. So the launch of the Linux Foundation Europe in Dublin last week was a welcome change. After all, the Linux kernel itself was originally a European project, from a member of Finland's Swedish-speaking minority.

On stage to launch the new organization was Gabriele Columbro, who is also the head of the Fintech Open Source Foundation, FINOS, along with Ericsson's Phil Robb, Rob Oshana from NXP Semiconductors, Sachiko Muto from the OpenForum Europe, and Vasu Chandrasekhara of SAP.

Columbro took the time to speak to The Reg about the new organization. He told us the Linux Foundation has "decades of experience running the largest shared technology investment in the world and the biggest open collaboration out there."

He added: "So, we will create an advisory board, but what we will not do is create a separate board of directors for LF Europe, because while we want to foster regional collaboration, we don't want to create silos."

The new organization will be a non-profit that will operate out of Belgium and act as an entry point to the parent organization. "So if you join the Linux Foundation Europe, that means you can join the Linux Foundation as a separate agreement at no additional cost," said Columbro.

As membership is a condition of starting a project under Linux Foundation governance, this should simplify the process for European organizations. It will also be backing the new Open Wallet Foundation.

The Linux Foundation recently sponsored a study entitled "World of Open Source: Europe Spotlight 2022" which is available free of charge. This notes:

Contribution policies vary considerably across industry sectors, with the extent to which contribution is encouraged varying wildly. The public sector is a significant outlier, where contribution is not encouraged, and there is also a notable lack of a clear policy.

Columbro said this was a major goal for LF Europe. "The report shows that really, the public sector is not capitalizing on open source and open collaboration." LF Europe hopes "to bring all the industry constituents together and drive innovation." ®

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