Last week the team headed off in a south westerly direction to the somewhat sumptuous surroundings of Hewlett Packard labs in Bristol; the venue for third UK & Ireland DSpace User Group meeting. Along with the opportunity to catch up on some local goings on in the DSpace universe it was also an opportunity to meet up with Michele Kimpton, the newly appointed Executive Director for the newly formed DSpace foundation. The idea behind the foundation is to create a non-profit corporation that will supply organizational, legal and financial support to the DSpace software project.
Now that’s great news for us and great news for DSpace. Michele’s appointment will provide a much needed centre of focus for the community, both in terms of communication and support. When (almost) everyone working on a project is doing so voluntarily it’s inevitable that it’s the organisational ball that usually gets dropped in favour of simply getting things done. My hope is that the foundation will not only drive the former but also add structure and guidance to the latter. This will be most apparent through the appointment of a Chief Technical Officer to lead and project manage the development of the long awaited DSpace 2.0 through 2008.
There’s obviously a great deal to do and although the foundation now officially exists as a legal entity (with BioMed Central’s Publisher, Matt Cockerill sitting on the board of directors) it will be a while yet before the organisational structures start to fall into place. In the mean time it’s good to know that DSpace is getting the support it deserves and that we’ll be playing as important a role as we can in making it happen.
If you’re interested in further details Michele’s presentation to the group is available here.