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OFA Round Table - How is open collaboration shaking up the landscape of cloud computing ? Nov 01, 2015
OFA Round Table - How is open collaboration shaking up the landscape of cloud  computing ?

Cloud computing is still in its infancy, with new services constantly being developed, as technological advances come to meet evolving user needs. A recent study financed by the European Commission reveals that, from 2015 to 2020, cloud computing could add a cumulative total of €449bn to the EU28 GDP, creating 1 million new jobs in the process.

These days,  we continue to see interesting developments in cloud computing: many of the more exciting and promising cloud computing products, especially at the infrastructure level, result from collaborations. Open Source based projects like OpenStack or Cloud Foundry are increasingly becoming global industry platforms. On top of this infrastructure, cloud service providers are trying to differentiate themselves and to create unique, innovative services, tailored to the need of their potential users.

How is this trend impacting the cloud computing marketplace as a whole? How to combine a flourishing market of innovative, unique services with users' demands for flexible, interoperable cloud solutions? Will collaborative work around cloud infrastructure result in formal standards that could facilitate users to link services from different providers and/or to change providers in the future?

This Round Table will open with keynote speeches from our panelists. The following debates with all participants will be held under the Chatham House Rule and will be moderated by Graham Taylor, OFE's Chief Executive. A cocktail reception will follow the event.

OFA Round Table - How to unleash the innovative potential of text and data mining in the EU? Oct 23, 2015
OFA Round Table - How to unleash the innovative potential of text and data mining in the EU?

Text and data mining (TDM) represents a significant opportunity for growth, innovation and research in Europe. The use of computing power to analyse data is unleashing a wave of innovation, from research (social sciences, humanities, medical research) to commercially driven innovation (example - pharma, translation tools, cyber-security, product development, data-driven journalism). Widespread adoption of TDM will ultimately prove crucial to Europe’s global competitiveness. Evidence already points to a growing gap in the research sector, between European and Japan and the US. 

In this Round Table, we focus on these opportunities and on the roadblocks that may be hindering European researchers and companies, in the context of the Digital Single Market. In particular, from the copyright perspective, lack of clarity on when TDM is legally permissible, and the differences in national approaches - from the UK to Germany - are often cited as key concerns. 

Link to the invitation

Presentation Slides by Peter Murray-Rust (also on SlideShare)


OFA Round Table : ICT standards for the Digital Single Market Jun 18, 2015
OFA Round Table : ICT standards for the Digital Single Market

The Digital Single Market (DSM) Strategy clearly outlines the importance of standardisation for achieving the objectives of an agile future digital economy for promoting growth and innovation for Europe: “Standardisation has an essential role to play in increasing interoperability of new technologies within the Digital Single Market. It can help steer the development of new technologies ”. Possibly controversially, the DSM Communication suggests that “currently industry stakeholders decide 'bottom up' in which areas to develop standards and this is increasingly taking place outside of Europe, undermining our long-term competitiveness”. Is this the right approach?

This Round Table will explore the various routes how standardisation can effectively contribute to the implementation of the DSM strategy and how public authorities can make use of standards in support of the respective policy priorities. How can Europe maximise its opportunity for innovation in a global market? The Round Table aims at providing some deep insights from which further concrete recommendations for action can be developed.


Link to invitation

White Paper

Presentations of the speakers :

Jochen Friedrich

Daniel Dardailler


Copyright for the picture : European Commission

OFA Round Table - 1 April 2015: The role of encryption in cloud computing for data privacy and security Mar 16, 2015
OFA Round Table - 1 April 2015: The role of encryption in cloud computing for data privacy and security

A consensus is growing among IT security experts that security must focus on the data itself, instead of its physical location or the infrastructure (on-premise vs off-premise, specific geographic locations etc.). This helps ensure that data will remain safe even if physical access to the device holding the data is gained.

Encryption is one of the most effective data protection controls available today, as part of a defense-in-depth approach, being correlated with good authentication, authorisation and auditing. When data is encrypted, the access is regulated through the distribution of keys, thus the risk is transferred from the content to the keys.

This round table will look at issues such as the main driving force of encryption, the data that should be protected and the best moment to encrypt this data.

Photo by FutUndBeidl / CC BY 


Link to the invitation

White Paper


OFA Round Table : Regulating a Borderless Internet : EU vs US Perspectives on Net Neutrality Mar 06, 2015
OFA Round Table : Regulating a Borderless Internet : EU vs US Perspectives on Net Neutrality

4th March 2015 - Early  in 2015, the  Chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission  presented his  plans to settle the Net Neutrality question, by applying  Title II  (common carrier) of the Communications Act of 1934 to the  internet in a  vote expected on February 26, 2015. At  the same  time on the other side of the Atlantic, the European Union is  about to decide on its own framework for regulation of the network.  After a vote in Parliament  in 2014 which toughened up the proposal of  the Commission, Member  States are now reportedly close to reaching an  agreement on a  principle-based approach to Net Neutrality. Issues such  as how to tackle  positive discrimination aka 'zero-rating' appear to  remain unresolved.

This round table will focus on the regulatory aspects of Net Neutrality, comparing EU and US perspectives, their differences, similarities and implications for the continued openness of a Borderless Internet and in terms  of regulatory  requirements for companies active in both sides of the  Atlantic.


Invitation to the event


White Paper

Presentations of the speakers :

Antonios Drossos

Frode Sorensen


OFA Round Table - Trusted Cloud for the Enterprise –what are the key factors today? Sep 23, 2014

The European Commission's Trusted Cloud Europe framework raises questions of trust and confidence in cloud computing. It seeks to encourage best practice and consensus building amongst both cloud providers and cloud users. And it sets thresholds for public procurement. Much positive work has been done but there’s more to do. As the market for cloud services evolves rapidly, some burning questions remain for the enterprise cloud market of TODAY:

Round Table Report - Trusted Cloud (White Paper)


OFA Round Table - Ensuring the security of critical ICT Infrastructure after Heartbleed: Should we leave it to the Community or does Government have a role? Jul 23, 2014

OpenForum Academy (OFA) Round Table discussion on the security of critical ICT Infrastrucutre was held on 26 June 2014, at Silken Berlaymont Hotel, Brussels. Report is now available.

Round Table Report


OFA Round Table: "Patent non-aggression pacts: a way forward for technological innovation?" Mar 27, 2014

19 February 2014, Silken Berlaymont Hotel, Brussels - Patents have proven useful in protecting innovation by ensuring fair  revenue to inventors in  exchange for public disclosure. The current  system, however, has led to a number of abuses in the field of technology  which are harming innovation in a significant manner. So-called 'patent trolls', companies whose business model consists in buying up patents  with the sole aim of  taking anyone who infringes them to court, have grown exponentially, particularly in the US where they are increasingly  seen as a major problem.

Full Report

OFA Round Table - "Exploring the economic impact of net neutrality in Europe" Nov 05, 2013
9th December 2013 - Brussels

- In September 2013 the European Commission unveiled its proposals for a new Telecoms package, including the draft Regulation coined as Connected Continent. One of its key components is a new set of rules intended to safeguard net neutrality. While such action has been long-awaited by many stakeholders, the current proposal is not without criticism. At a time when business models on the Internet are evolving and many European countries are already taking action to ensure a fair and balanced framework the time is now for the EU to take action.

 In line with its mission to spur insight and innovative thinking into the issues which impact the openness of technology, OpenForum Academy together with MEP Marietje Schaake organised a European Parliament Round Table on 13th November 2013. The discussion was dedicated to the economic aspects of net neutrality, and in particular the proposed provisions regarding so-called “specialised services”. How will this impact the different economic actors in the value-chain, and how would such services affect the open, non-discriminatory character of the Internet?

Full Report

OFA Round Table - "Open source in mobile operating systems, a game changing model?" Oct 16, 2013

5th September 2013 - Brussels - Alongside Android other actors have now embraced the Open Source Software (OSS) model and new initiatives such as Mozilla’s Firefox Operating System (OS) and Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch show real promise. Is the use of Open Source hiding a hidden opportunity in the mobile market? It is claimed it is supporting a new wave of innovation in mobile with customized versions developed by device manufacturers (Samsung TouchWiz, HTC Sense) or community-created alternatives (CyanogenMod, Replicant). Different sectors seem to be benefiting from the OSS model, some of Android’s code finding its way into ebook readers, smart TVs, video game consoles and cars. But this apparent success is not going unchallenged, and concerns exist that the distribution of OSS free of charge is harmful to competition. So are the benefits only available to the suppliers or is there benefit to the wider market in Europe and to the user?

 Through this Round Table discussion representatives of leading organisations will initially explore the reasons for their attraction to this model, and how it brings value across the value-chain. Via a moderated discussion with invited guests from across the spectrum of views we will then challenge their thinking and test whether there really is a proven case in support of innovation and competition in the market, or whether its disruptive effect merely displaces existing suppliers.

Full Report

ROUND TABLE: Can we determine and restrict the location of our data in the Cloud, and when do we need to? - 22nd May 2013 Jun 26, 2013

Last year OpenForum Academy hosted a Round Table discussion on “Who do you Trust with your Data in the Cloud?” which featured the launch of a report by Hogan Lovells on Government Access to Data in the Cloud and a comparison of the Patriot Act with national schemes across Europe. That report has been widely quoted since, with some praising it for shedding light on the situation and others challenging its conclusions. Since then the thinking on the impact of Cloud Computingacross Europe has developed significantly, the European Commission has published its Communication, yet the same key question remains - Can we determine and restrict the  location of our data in the Cloud, and when do we need to?

Full Report

OFA Round Table - “Improving Cyber Security in Europe, the way forward” - 24th April 2013 May 28, 2013

24th April - Brussels - Graham Taylor opened the event by welcoming everyone to the OpenForum Academy (OFA) and explained the purpose of the OFA and its participation in the open  standards community. He introduced the concept of the OFA with its approximately 40  Research Fellows from industry and academia, with its purpose of creating new  thought leadership and debates. He pointed out they had provided the First OFA conference proceedings on the table for each participant. He introduced the breakfast briefing topic 'Improving Cyber Security in Europe, the way forward’, then used the example of the Twitter hack on the @AP account and the fake report of an injury to U.S. President Obama as an example of some of the issues in cyber security today.

Full Report


Openforum Academy Breakfast Meeting 23rd March - The Open Workplace of the Future

It is abundantly clear that the workplace of today is set for radical change. Past practice is of little use when we consider the future of how we will interact with colleagues, partners, customers, suppliers.

The impact of mobile devices, the inevitability of the 'cloud', and the ubiquity of open solutions will underpin the route forward. Will we even recognise the desktop of today in just 10 years time, or even in 5 years? How will technology help us to collaborate?

Such debates are not just the province of the technology strategist, they directly influence procurement decisions today, not only for private companies, but equally for the public sector whether it be at local, provincial, national or European government level. They directly impact ICT decisions made at the highest level.

Few can honestly say they can accurately predict the future, so what procurement decisions and plans can be made? What are the pitfalls? And what are the key considerations? How do you avoid locking yourself out from the opportunity of tomorrow?

As part of the OpenForum Academy programme we are hosting a Round Table discussion among industry and community experts, together with decision makers and strategists from across the EC and national governments. Introductory interventions will be given by:

  • John Walicki, head of IBM's global Open Computing initiative, and is IBM's I/T Client Architect

  • Jan Wildeboer, Red Hat EMEA, Open Source Affairs

  • John Abel, Oracle EMEA, Chief Technology Architect

The Round Table discussion will be moderated by Sachiko Muto, a Director of OFA, and the rapporteur will be Maha Shaikh, Senior Researcher at the London School of Economics who will be publishing a short report after the proceedings.

We would like to invite you to participate in this Round Table which will be held on the 23rd March from 0800 to 1030hrs at the Silken Berlaymont Hotel, Brussels - Breakfast will be provided.

To confirm your participation simply click here to Register.
Any other enquiries to:

I look forward to welcoming you at the event.


Paul Meller
Director of Research and Communications

Speaker Bios

John Walicki is part of the IBM Senior Technical Staff and manager for the IBM I/T Workplace of the Future Initiative where he leads the internal IBM Open Computing strategy. As the IBM I/T Client Architect his teams are responsible for IBM's internal strategy for Windows/Linux/Mac/Mobile Devices/Desktop Virtualization and Open Standards. He also leads the open standards based Browser Independence deployment of Firefox within IBM and the Document Interchange strategy to switch IBM to the Open Document Format based IBM Lotus Symphony. He leads the Messaging and Collaboration strategy for IBM I/T and is responsible for the global strategy and deployment of Lotus Notes and Lotus Sametime . His global development and integration teams are working to lower the costs of deployment of an enterprise enabled Linux Client.John is an active leader in the Linux desktop community, serving as the Linux Foundation's Desktop Linux Workgroup chairman from 2007-2008 and representing IBM on the Gnome Foundation Advisory Board.

Jan Wildeboer has been an open source user and developer since 1993 and is responsible for Open Source Affairs at Red Hat in EMEA, located in Munich. Over the years, he has been watching how Internet, Open Standards and Open Source models continue to influence and change the world.

John Abel is the Chief Technology Architect for EMEA Server and Storage as a long term Oracle employee he has full visibility and understanding of the software elements in Oracle. Now he has moved to the hardware arena to drive the understanding on how software can use the advantages of engineered together systems. John has been at Oracle for over 17 years performing many different functions and more recently being the Consulting Chief Technology Architect for Western Europe, this enables John to provide a view from the implementation side of Oracle with real world examples. John is an Oracle Press Author (Oracle E-Business Suite Security) and delivered the eWeek OpenHack project to show Oracle Unbreakable solutions in 2004. John is a regular speaker at Oracle and partner events across World.



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