New partnership in the US for accelerating Open Source innovation

US GOV OPS collaboration on 5G

Published on: 26/04/2021

The Linux Foundation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) signed an agreement to create the US Government Open Programmable Secure (US GOV OPS) which will accelerate innovation and security in the areas of 5G, edge, AI, standards, programmability and IoT.

DARPA is a research and development agency of the United States Department of Defence, focusing on technological innovation for use by the military. Other organisations can join US GOV OPS under condition they are members of the Linux Foundation and pay a membership fee adjusted to the size.

The first project under the US GOV OPS umbrella will focus on 5G, currently under development by DARPA, the US Navy and other partners. It aims to develop Open Source Software and systems enabling secure end to end 5G and follow-on mobile networks in a response to challenges of opaque and proprietary technology that is currently available.

Other identified challenges include hardware and software decoupling, bringing security at scale and operating over untrusted nodes and nets, which are planned to be addressed by an Open Source approach. The project will base and leverage existing projects run by the Linux Foundation in the relevant areas such as open source networking, edge, and IoT, representing millions in R&D investments.

The project will be run as a standard open source project at the Linux Foundation, aiming at providing neutral governance and bringing public, military and private stakeholders together, allowing for collaboration with upstream and downstream communities.

DARPA Information Innovation Office Program Manager, Dr. Jonathan Smith commented on this collaboration in the press release: “DARPA’s use of open source software in the Open Programmable Secure 5G (OPS-5G) program leverages transparency, portability and open access inherent in this distribution model. Transparency enables advanced software tools and systems to be applied to the code base, while portability and open access will result in decoupling hardware and software ecosystems, enabling innovations by more entities across more technology areas”.

A video presentation of this project is available here. The US GOV OPS project was announced in February 2021 and is planned to encompass more initiatives in the future in the areas of Edge, IoT, AI and Security.