EU research funding + free software

Karsten Gerloff gerloff at
Fri Jun 27 06:47:57 UTC 2014

On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 03:03:26PM +0200, Michael Kesper wrote:
> Hi Nikos,
> Am 26.06.2014 14:58, schrieb Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos:
> >On Thu, Jun 26, 2014 at 10:03 AM, Karsten Gerloff <gerloff at> wrote:
> >>Hi Nikos,
> >>On Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 11:06:50PM +0200, Nikos Mavrogiannopoulos wrote:
> >>>>In short: An EU project usually isn't an efficient way to finance
> >>>>our activities adn achieve our goals.
> >>>Hello Karsten,
> >>>  Note that my question is not about FSFE participating to EU projects,
> >>>on the contrary, I asked whether FSFE would be willing to handle the
> >>>paperwork for other european free software projects that are not a legal
> >>>entity to participate.
> >>We've contemplated that scenario several times. In the end, it
> >>always turned out that the project's developers (and everyone
> >>else) were better off if they participated through the university
> >>or company partners in the project, rather than through FSFE.
> >
> >Ok, so if I understand you comment, the projects that have no company
> >partners or university backing them up, there is no other way. It's
> >good to know that funding for free software projects is outside the
> >FSFE's goals.
> I think you're misinterpreting here.
> "Getting money from EU" may sound sexy at first, but to put it simple, FSFE
> does not want to spend its scarce resources on filling out hundreds of pages
> of paperwork.
> This does not imply we wouldn't support free software projects with
> reasonable work.

Right. Getting funding to Free Software projects is important; but
surprisingly often, EU projects aren't an effective or efficient
way of doing it.

That said, it seems that our work with the Commission over the
past years has borne some fruit. We had been pushing the EC to
address exactly the problem you're highlighting, and make it
easier for Free Software developers to participate without a legal

I discussed this again with an EC project officer, and he told me
that in Horizon 2020, natural persons can participate. I haven't
had a chance to review the documentation yet -- feel free to beat
me to it :-)

Best regards,
Karsten Gerloff                      [ ]   <gerloff at>
Free Software Foundation Europe   [ ][ ][ ]      []
President                            | |         +49 176 9690 4298
Support software freedom!                []

Free Software Foundation Europe e.V. is a German Verein registered
at the Registergericht Hamburg (VR 17030). 

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