Fedora Commons Receives $4.9 Million to Develop Open-Source Software

Fedora Commons has announced a four-year, $4.9 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to develop the organizational and technical frameworks necessary to change how scientists, scholars, museums, libraries, and educators collaborate to produce, share, and preserve their digital intellectual creations.

With the grant, Fedora Commons will design a software platform to support a networked model of intellectual activity, enabling scientists, scholars, teachers, and students to use the Internet to collaboratively create new ideas and build on, annotate, and refine the ideas of their colleagues worldwide. The new software, which has its roots in the Fedora open-source repository system created in 2001, will focus on the integrity and longevity of the intellectual products that underlie this new form of knowledge work. The result is expected to be an open-source software platform that both enables collaborative models of information creation and sharing, and provides sustainable repositories to secure digital materials.

Fedora Commons, a nonprofit that provides sustainable open-source technologies, was created to continue the mission of the Fedora Project, the open-source software collaboration between Cornell University and the University of Virginia. The Fedora Project evolved from the Flexible Extensible Digital Object Repository Architecture developed by researchers at Cornell Computing and Information Science.

In addition, the grant will support the growth and diversification of the Fedora Community, global partners who cooperate in software development, application deployment, and community outreach for Fedora Commons. The network will be instrumental for making Fedora Commons a self-sustainable nonprofit that will support and incubate open-source software projects that focus on new mechanisms for information formation, access, collaboration, and preservation.

"Establishing a sustainable open-source software system that provides the basic infrastructure for online communities of scholars will have enduring impact," said Moore Foundation technology strategist Jim Omura. "The unanticipated cross-disciplinary uses of this open platform are the hallmark of this revolutionary infrastructure."