Google Inc has contributed a grant to an Oregon university project to encourage open source hardware and software development. The Mountain View, California-based search giant is contributing $350,000 to a joint Oregon State University and Portland State University project, which will create a joint-university open source technology center.
The center, which is due to launch in 2006, will be used to coordinate curricula across Oregon’s universities, offer student internships, and provide computing infrastructure to open source development projects. It is also intended to help the commercialization of open source by acting as a hub for the state’s VC community, technology firms, and incubators such as the Beaverton, Oregon-based Open Technology Business Center.
Google’s open source program manager, Chris DiBona, said the grant is an example of Google’s role as a supporter not just a user of open source software. The grant follows up on Google’s 2005 Summer of Code program, through which the company provided $2m to enable students to contribute to open source software projects.