Europe needs more coordination to disseminate expertise required to reinforce the skills of the existing workforce with regards software development as well as running and expanding a (product) software company. ESEN will be created by NTA’s and existing Software Expertise Centers (academic and private organizations) such as Sirris Software Engineering in Belgium; the network of software producing SME’s operating within ICT~Office, the Dutch ICT NTA, in close cooperation with the University of Utrecht (prof. dr. Sjaak Brinkkemper) or the European Software Institute launched by the European Commission with the support of the Basque Government in Spain. ESEN will act as a hub networking all existing players and facilitating cooperation between them.
It will enable packaged and open software companies to share expertise and improve some of the most critical skills of the existing workforce in Europe: software engineering, go-to-market (notably cross-border) and management. It will notably contribute to further enhance the quality of made in Europe software capitalizing on European research and best practice in methods and tools heavily relying on process maturity and systematic reuse.

This network of NTA’s and software expertise centers will act as a light virtual organization. There is no need for a heavy organizational structure. The different members will meet regularly to define the projects in which collaboration and/or expertise sharing could be very fruitful. The definition of these projects will be based on the analysis of the needs of software companies, members of the different NTA’s, and on the availability of competencies in the different software expertise centers all over Europe.

The objective of this network is not to change the action programs of the individual software expertise centers, but rather to stimulate collaboration between them. As a network, ESEN will also help software companies recruit the expertise needed. It would also favour experience sharing between software companies on a given item: for example, “how to access local distribution partners in a given country’.

In the long term the activities of this network can lead to specialization and collaboration agreements between the different NTA’s and the software expertise centers. The budget of this network will be divided between organization, coordination and project management. ESEN will seek funding and support from the European Union.

The recommendation to form ESEN was made by nine European NTA’s in their position paper “Towards a European Software Strategy” which was presented to Commissioner Viviane Reding on 23 October 2008.

This description can be found here too.

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