Over 40 IT-companies cross FOSSBRIDGE between Europe and Vietnam

A total of 42 agreements of cooperation were reached between Vietnamese and European business partners at the end of the first matchmaking event of the project “FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam” for small and medium-sized IT enterprises in Hanoi, Vietnam. The one-week event attracted over 40 IT companies from Vietnam and Germany, France, Spain, Belgium and Sweden, who all share an interest in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). In over 60 matchmaking encounters, they successfully discussed cooperation plans for joint business in Hanoi from 12 to 16 November – after three months of online interaction and matchmaking through a web platform on www.fossbridge.com.

FOSS Bridge EU-Vietnam is implemented by three key partners – InWEnt (Germany), INRIA (France) and the Institute of Information Technology (Vietnam) and supported by associate partner CENATIC from Spain. Financial support comes from the Asia-Invest programme of the European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ),

After the end of the “first matchmaking, twinning and training workshop of FOSS-Bridge”, Project manager Vu The Binh of IOIT concluded: “When the project started in March of this year, we did not expect such a large number of Vietnamese companies would join. This shows the huge interest of the Vietnamese IT communities in capturing the potential opportunities which FOSS can bring.”

The success of the twinning agreements for joint projects and business were due to the large interest of European and Vietnamese businesses, who are keen on working together to further develop their network and enhance their competitiveness through free and open software. Mr. Leo Barrientos from OpenSistemas, one of the Spanish companies taking part in the workshop says: “We achieved the maximum of what we expected for the week. We developed a collaboration plan with three Vietnamese partners with whom we will open a customer information centre in Hanoi.”

Vietnamese companies were particularly interested in technology exchange, capacity-building and know-how transfer, which is easy due to the availability of software code in the open source world. Concerning the business side, Mr. Vu Le Phuong from NCS Corporation says: “We originally thought of FOSS as a non-commercial software, but this week we actually met many European companies, partly very big ones, that are generating impressive business through FOSS. Our plans are to adapt FOSS for the needs of the Vietnamese market and increase the competitiveness of our company.”

Satisfied by the proven success of the very first twinning event in the field of open source, the consortium is committed to bringing FOSS partners from Europe and Vietnam further together. Mr. Balthas Seibold, Senior Project Manager of InWEnt Capacity Building International, Germany comments: “I am amazed by the results of this workshop. Many companies actually signed multiple agreements, and large companies like Bull, MySQL, OTRS of Europe and CMC Soft, Vietsoftware of Vietnam are on board of FOSS Bridge.” Ms Catherine Nuel representing INRIA added: “The organization of this event is an outstanding example of Inter-European as well as Vietnam-EU business cooperation. Until 2009, we will organize numerous training and capacity building programs aiming at local companies, business intermediaries and IT associations”.

The main goal of “FOSS-Bridge EU-Vietnam” is to develop business partnerships between software players in Vietnam and Europe. Cooperation is based on the innovative model of “Free and Open Source Software” (FOSS), which fosters open cooperation and joint building of software code worldwide. For that, each company from Vietnam is twinned with a counterpart from Europe for joint projects – increasing knowledge base and cooperation of the partners.

The goal behind FOSS Bridge – Boosting Cooperation through Free and Open Source Software FOSS

The main goal of FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam” – Joint Business through Free and Open Source Software (FOSS)” is to strengthen Southeast Asian software industries and to boost co-operation with Europe through innovative collaboration on FOSS and business development.

Building the FOSS Bridge between Europe and Vietnam

What FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam” offers:

  • to European and Vietnamese IT-companies — twinning between Europe and Asia FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam” organizes dedicated matchmaking and twinning for your FOSS-company, which brings you together with selected small to medium IT-enterprises (SMEs) from the other country/region. Your developers/FOSS experts have the opportunity to collaborate on joint software projects, thereby boosting the sharing of technological know-how, the exchange of best practices and development of joint business. You are twinned through several face-to-face meetings and training sessions in Vietnam and online collaboration.
  • to FOSS- intermediary in Vietnam — expert knowledge on innovative business models and EU-regulations FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam” offers training and information on technical regulations to intermediary and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the field of FOSS in Vietnam. The focus lies on establishing innovative business models for potential use in Vietnam, providing crucial knowledge on regulations and requirements to access the European marketplace.
  • to Network Partners — access to a new FOSS-network and ecosystem FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam” fosters collaboration on FOSS between Vietnamese and European companies through the use of virtual networks. This system contributes to a sustainable FOSS ecosystem involving multiple stakeholders and networks from Europe and Asia. The project gives network partners the opportunity to involve their members in exclusive twinning and networking activities. Thereby the networks have the opportunity to expand their community and gain access to a larger number of developers.

Furthermore, the initiative is actively looking for media and networking partners to promote the idea of FOSS Bridge “EU-Vietnam”. The project offers interesting advantages for networking partners, such as promotion, exclusive media relationships and more.