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CITC wins Motah Award.

By RIYADH: ABDUL HANNAN TAGO ARAB NEWS STAFF

Published: Apr 29, 2012 02:16 Updated: Apr 29, 2012 02:16

The General Directorate for Internet Services at the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) won first prize at the first Motah Award 2012 in FOSS usage in the public and private sectors category, while the Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Center at Saudi Aramco was second. Third place went to IT Services at Al-Faisal University in Riyadh.

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals topped the academic students' projects with its entry, "Towards Simulating a Virtual Distributed Honeynet," while second place went to King Saud University for its work, "Let us learn colors and shapes."

The awards were distributed to the winners by KACST President Mohammed Al-Suwaiyel here yesterday after he inaugurated the 6th Week for Science and Technology.

Outlining the national program for free and open source software technology Abdurahman Al-Areefi, project manager, said NPFOSST is a KACST program that aims to encourage and promote the use of free and open source software (FOSS) within the community by establishing strong partnerships with multiple agents in the public and private sectors. It provides logistics, technical training, legal and strategic support to interested parties to achieve the objectives of the program.

The program's goals include preparing a national policy document that will encourage the use of FOSS, raise awareness about FOSS, open standards, content, access and other alternative models for intellectual property rights, he added.

This will also provide technical, legal and strategic support for those government agencies and departments that decide to partially or completely migrate to FOSS. Other goals include collaboration with other parties on providing and developing training programs in FOSS technologies and support the research and development in FOSS technologies for the benefit of local and regional needs.

He said the program will provide incubation services in the areas of finance, management and strategic support to companies that employ FOSS technologies, establish a digital library with open content and open access resources, and collaborate in introducing the concept of FOSS in the IT curricula.

Awards president Ibrahim Al-Kharashi said the Motah award is looking forward to supporting the trend toward the use of free and open source software in the various fields.

The award also works to encourage the usage, research and development, training, as well as honor the users of FOSS technologies in the Kingdom.

Moreover, the awards seek to encourage the community to enrich and add to the content of free and open source software, and seeks to achieve a set of objectives which include raising public awareness of free and open source software, raise public and private sectors' interest and the general community in the use and development of free and open source software, and support and honor intellectual creativity and technical talents of individuals and organizations in the field of free and open source software in the Kingdom.

He said the supervisory committee determines the branches of the award each year. The proposed branches include FOSS usage in public and private sectors, research and development, support and assistance, training, education and awareness, academic students' projects, sponsors, and Arabic language support.

He added the commission has chosen to start its first year with only two branches, namely FOSS usage in both public and private sectors and academic students' projects.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Apr 29, 2012
Words:569
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