Software that is developed in research projects funded by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme should be published under a free software licence, says the Free Software Foundation Europe (FSFE). The advocacy group wants to know how much of the H2020 budget is spent on paying for proprietary software licences.
On 9 January, the FSFE filed a Freedom of Information request, asking how many of the research projects funded by Horizon 2020 deliver software solutions that are publicly available, and how much ends up as proprietary.
A reply by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research & Innovation is due by the end of the month.
The Horizon 2020 is Europe’s largest research funding programme. Between 2014 and 2020 it will fund EUR 80 billion in research and innovation projects.
The questions follow on the heels of the group’s position paper on free software and open standards in Horizon 2020 and all publicly-funded research. The NGO argues that the EC should make it mandatory for H2020-funded research projects to disseminate articles, data and software using open standards and under free software licences . “Research funding organisations should take the lead and foster changes of business models when dealing with research data”, the FSFE says.
Publicly-funded research software should not only be shared as free software, it should also be archived in public software repositories, the advocacy organisation says.