7 November 2012
The SETsquared Partnership has launched OpenDOOR, an online portal that provides free access to software developed at the five SETsquared partner universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey.
OpenDOOR puts software created by university staff into the public domain so that other researchers and commercial companies can benefit from it. The software was developed as part of successful research projects, many of which are still active. Much of the software may not be of general interest but has a niche value, providing valuable tools for companies and organisations who have particular needs and interests. OpenDOOR software is free of charge, but is provided without warranties or the commitment of support.
Software already available on the portal includes MobileSign, a new app that can help people to communicate through sign language, created by the University of Bristol. The tool includes a searchable database of over 4,000 signs, and is available for iPhone, iPad and Android devices.
Another application on OpenDOOR is ImageTerrier, a high-performance search engine platform for content-based image retrieval developed at the University of Southampton.
Putting software into the public domain in this way is sometimes a condition of research grants; OpenDOOR provides a convenient, easy to use method for academics to meet this obligation.
‘We believe OpenDOOR is the first software-specific portal of this type in the UK, and it offers an innovative way to enable universities to help boost the UK economy,’ said Graham Harrison, Partnership Director at SETsquared. ‘This shows what the five SETsquared universities working together can achieve that might not be possible if they operated separately.’