Atsushi and I attended the conference which went from 17th to 19 March. The focus of this one was on OSS efforts in the US, Europe and Japan. We made several contracts, including:
– UNESCO: possible collaboration on OS, have a keen interest. A regional OS workshop in Perú is being planned by their regional office. We agreed to work together on this and be present at the July conference. UNESCO will be hosting the next OSS conference in Paris in late November 2003.
– IDRC/BellaNet: interest in OSS in Latin America and Africa especially. They will probably finance workshops and interested in working with UNDP. The Institute for the Connectivity of the Americas (ICA) is struggling a bit and apparently fully committed for the year. The African connection is managed by Steve Song and has 20 million for ICTD. The programme might go to UNECA. Need to check for OS interest.
– EC: will be funding the next conference in Paris. They have an interest in specific topics that will be discussed with the other partners before the agenda for the next meeting is finalized
Ministry of Economic, Trade and Industry, METI, Japan: they are working with OS to support national industries’ development both in developed and developing countries. Not a grant-giving programme, though and see the role of national governments as marginal at best. Complained to us about APDIP’s behavior in a recent OS workshop in Asia and have a very negative impression of UNDP overall. However, they expressed mild interest in submitting a joint proposal to the TTF for Japan’s tranche.
– IBM talks are ongoing and will continue next week. They have an interest in some pilots
– Red Hat: contacted the CTO and agree to re-establish contacts for CD distribution to developing countries. Also expressed mild interest in supporting the OS Resource Center concept, especially in Africa. The company seems to be doing well in the midst of the current economic situations
– IDB: they are still just starting to engage in OSS and still need approval from the IT for Development division. They are looking for examples in LAC of applications in OSS re health, education. We offered to assist with examples from the region and maybe a UNDP presentation.
We are part of the organizing committee for the upcoming conference in Paris and agreed with UNESCO to bring more developing country representatives to the table.