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UK open source policy institute to open next week

A national centre to promote the development of open source software will be officially launched next week.

The National Open Centre (NOC) holds its official launch at the Houses of Parliament on 26 February.

The NOC said the centre will help the UK to benefit from open source and open standards by developing strategic analysis and policy, clarifying opportunities and fostering innovation.

Speakers at the launch include Dr Barbara Held of the European Commission. Held is responsible open source and open document standards matters at the Commission.

Held said, “The work of the NOC will contribute to coordinate and further the use of open source and open standards at the European level. We need such national focal points that push for openness and interoperability to create pan-European synergies.”

An advisory group of 25 members has been created for the NOC, representing small business, multinational organisations, the public sector and open source communities.

The regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM) has supported the establishment of the NOC, which is based in Birmingham.

Mike Musson, responsible for ICT at AWM, said, “Until now, the UK has not been in a position to coordinate strategic level thinking and policy development around open source and standards. The NOC signals a positive step in enhancing our region's flourishing ICT sector.”

IBM, the BBC, and the Cabinet Office are among the organisations supporting the NOC launch.

Related article: UK to get national open source policy institute

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