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20 Sep 2019
Image of UN Technology Innovation Lab Creates Advisory Group on Intellectual Property
UN Technology Innovation Lab Creates Advisory Group on Intellectual Property

Espoo, Finland – The Open Source and Intellectual Property Advisory Group of the United Nations Technology Labs (UNTIL) programme convened its first meeting this week on the campus of Aalto University where the UNTIL Finland lab has its headquarters.

Espoo, Finland – The Open Source and Intellectual Property Advisory Group of the United Nations Technology Labs (UNTIL) programme convened its first meeting this week on the campus of Aalto University where the UNTIL Finland lab has its headquarters.

The aim of the Advisory Group is to create intellectual property and open source guidelines and frameworks to support repeatable and sustainable development of digital solutions for United Nations technology innovation projects. Once created, technology and non-technology organizations will be able to share and benefit from allowing their digital solutions to add value in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

The agenda of the meeting included clarifying organizational models specifically  for open source programs impact organizations and Member States by establishing processes to enable developers and users of code and data to share and adopt open code and organizational practices, processes, and toolsets in a structured and manageable way. 

This will allow the benefits of high-quality open source digital solutions to be scaled across Member States, resulting in cost savings and circumventing issues of vendor lock-in. New open source organizational models will likely arise from the continuous collaborations created across Member States as they share foundational open source software.

“We believe that the UNTIL OS and IP Advisory Group is the first of its kind supporting the adoption of open source and other IP frameworks to engage with Private Sector entities. There is a clear need to engage the complete technology innovation eco-system around concrete digital solutions co-created with national and global private sector organization.  Nobody can achieve technology innovation alone,” said Mr. Maurizio Gazzola, Chief of Strategic Solutions and Head of the UNTIL Global Programme.

By sourcing the Advisory Group formed by a top level parterre of practitioners in the OS and IP field and by directly approaching the heart of the communities building and supporting open source, UNTIL have brought together experts spanning open source community, legal, economics, strategy and policy to establish standard policies and processes with tailored guidance as required for organizations wishing to participate in the UNTIL programme.

As the labs scale globally, so too will the use of the Advisory Group’s guidelines and processes. Thanks to their work following open source methodologies and outputs being shared on an open, creative commons license, other organizations will be able to adopt and re-use.

The Advisory Group brings a balanced view of how to best support sustainable development through open sourcing through a group of professionals with deep knowledge and commitment to the UNTIL programme.

Members are:

Mirko Boehm, Director Linux System Definiton, Open Invention Network

 Amanda Brock, CEO, Trustable Software and European Rep, Open Invention Network (Advisory Chair)

Isabel Drost-Fromm, Open Source Strategist

Frank Karlitscheck, CEO NextCloud

Andrew Katz, Partner and Head if IP, Moorcrofts LLP

Sachiko Muto, CEO, Open Forum Europe

Carlo Piana, Founder and Partner, Array Law

Allison Randal, Open Source Strategist

Glenn Svennson, VP Innovation, SAP


“Concerning the challenges that humanity faces today I personally believe we can only find solutions by working together. Having spent 15 years in open source, mainly on projects at the Apache Software Foundation, I have seen how these projects manage to build bridges across geographies, organisations and cultures. I'm thrilled to see the United Nations tap into this pool of experience." Isabel Drost Fromm

“It's an honour to participate in shaping the future of the UNTIL labs’ digital solutions and to support their achieving Sustainable Development Goals by following the Digital Development Principles through open source.” -- Amanda Brock, CEO Trustable and Chair or the UNTIL IP and Open Source Advisory

"I’m happy to see the United Nations adopting an Open Source policy. Open Source is all about empowering people and global collaboration while protecting the personal data and privacy of the users. So the United Nations and the Open Source Community share the same values.” -- Frank Karlitschek, Founder and CEO Nextcloud

"Free and open source software is a vital component in meeting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and it’s great that the UN is taking FOSS seriously. I’m delighted to be involved in the UNTIL IP and Open Source Advisory." -- Andrew Katz, Partner and Head of IP, Moorcrofts

Secretary General

"The advances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, including those brought on by a combination of computing power, robotics, big data and artificial intelligence, are generating revolutions in health care, transport and manufacturing.  
I am convinced that these new capacities can help us to lift millions of people out of poverty, achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and enable developing countries to leap‑frog into a better future."

23 March 2018, New York