In association with heise online

04 June 2010, 17:50

TransferSummit - The practical magic of open source

Open source development can appear to be a very practical magic, and where better to bring its community leaders together with academics and businesses than a conference at Oxford's Keble College whose Hall provided the inspiration for Hogwarts hall in the Harry Potter films.

Zoom Keble College Hall
Source: TransferSummit
How do you bring together the accumulated knowledge of open source collaborative communities with the experience of academia and businesses? This is the challenge that the organisers of TransferSummit are taking on. The event, taking place on June 24th and 25th in Oxford, is billed as a knowledge exchange between all three communities and brings together leaders from each sector to look at the evolving cooperative landscape which has grown around the open source movement.

Zoom Ross Gardler
Ross Gardler, Service Manager for OSS Watch and a member of and VP of Community Development at the Apache Software Foundation, is chairing the conference. He explained to The H the rationale behind TransferSummit: "We're promoting an open dialogue on innovation, from emerging technologies to development methodologies, best practices, and processes across a range of disciplines and applications".

The event, says Gardler, is a salute to "the spirit of traditional business-academia knowledge exchange" but he emphasised the practical nature of TransferSummit; "Unlike other events, our reach goes beyond the theoretical: we're focussing on the strategic solutions that improve collaboration between commercial and academic concerns". The aim is to allow participants to understand, share and discuss the strategic and tactical mechanisms, such as community outreach, academic / business partnerships, spin-outs, start-ups, applied research, intellectual property licensing and collaborative think tanks, so that they can grow their organisations effectively and in an open source way.

Zoom Keble College Chapel
Source: David Iliff - CC-BY-SA
The organisations with speakers at the conference reflect the breadth of the experience that the event is drawing on. From the open source technology world, the list of foundations and champions include Apache, Codeplex, GNOME, LiMo, Mozilla, OSI, OSS Watch, and Wikimedia. Corporations are represented by well known names such as Amazon, Red Hat, Google and HP along with Day Software and Sirius. The academic speakers are drawn from UK universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Gloucestershire, Roehampton and Nottingham, and from universities outside the UK, such as the University of Melbourne.

The conference itself is being structured to be "engaging, immersive, inclusive and intimate" with a three track programme themed around Innovation, Development and Collaboration.

The Innovation track is aimed at executives who want to get a top-level view of the world of open source. It will be covering topics such as foundations, infrastructure, licensing, governance and how to build communities. The Development track is designed for those with more of an interest in the technology which powers open source, and among the talks will be discussions on version control, IP tracking, engaging users and the other day-to-day issues which come up when trying to put open source into action. The Collaboration track brings both the technical and non-technical audiences at TransferSummit together, and looks at real world case studies, proofs of concept and first hand experiences in harnessing the innovations that exist in open source technology.

Together, the three tracks hope to bring first-hand experience from those innovating with open source to the participants. On the Saturday after the conference, there's a free "BarCamp", an unstructured event which will allow the participants to explore some of the ideas and concepts discussed during the conference.

The H is pleased to be a media sponsor of the event. Over the weeks running up to the conference, The H will be carrying a number of articles written by speakers at the event to give our readers a chance to share their insights, and will be covering the conference itself. If you want to attend, registration for the conference is £400 for enterprises, £160 for academics. The Bar Camp on the Saturday is free to attend but requires pre-registration. Full details at the TransferSummit registration page.

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