CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Open Source Lab’s capacity to support open source projects is being expanded through a donation of $300,000 from Google. That increases the company’s cumulative support of academia's leading open source development center to $750,000.
The new funds will support growth and projects at a lab that has hosted some of the world's largest and most far-reaching open source efforts, including the Mozilla Firefox browser, portions of the One Laptop Per Child project, the Linux Foundation's main infrastructure, Apache Web Server and the Drupal content management system.
"Open source" is a method and philosophy for software licensing and distribution designed to encourage use and improvement of software created by developers around the world by ensuring that anyone can copy the source code and modify it freely. While some see that as a challenge to commercial software development, others embrace the approach as a catalyst for creativity.
"Google's leadership in the open source area has not only helped key projects move forward, but has set an example for other leading technology organizations to get involved," said Curt Pederson, vice provost for Information Services at OSU and chief information officer for the Oregon University System. "We're grateful for their support of the Open Source Lab and are committed to continuing to fulfill the promises of collaboration and innovation that the open source model makes possible."
"The leadership shown by Oregon State shows that they understand where computer science is going, and that is toward more open data, standards and truly open source code," said Chris DiBona, Google’s Open Source Programs manager. "Accordingly, Google is proud to support the work of the Open Source Lab."
OSU's Open Source Lab creates a unique atmosphere of innovation for students, faculty, and staff by providing an open, diverse environment for development and collaboration. As part of its mission, the OSL offers a professional hosting environment to the open source community, as well as software development services to industry. It is preparing to present the fourth-annual Government Open Source Conference this fall, a leading annual event that brings together U.S. and international public agency technology leadership on open source solutions.
OSU has participated as a mentoring organization in Google's annual "Summer of Code." Google Summer of Code is a program that offers student developers stipends to write code for various open source projects. Google works with several open source, free software, and technology-related groups to identify and fund several projects. OSU's Open Source Lab is participating this year for the third time, providing opportunities for student programmers to work on open source projects.
"Our work with Google has provided opportunities for OSU students and enriched a growing number of open source efforts around the world," said Pederson. "We look forward to an ever-deepening relationship that will serve both our organizations and the growing number of people and communities who rely on them."
"This donation from Google is an excellent example of the kind of public-private partnership that will lead to innovation and ultimately more jobs for Oregon," said Gov. Ted Kulongoski, a proponent of open source technology. "Google's continued support is recognition of the industry-leading work at the Open Source Lab at Oregon State University."
The Google gift is included in the Campaign for OSU, the university's first comprehensive fundraising campaign. Guided by OSU's strategic plan, the campaign seeks $625 million to provide opportunities for students, strengthen the Oregon economy and conduct research that changes the world. Approximately $425 million has been committed to date.