No, it's not the title of a cold war James Bond movie from 1963. It's Qt in Russia today. I've just been at the 9th FRUCT conference in Petrozavodsk, a city that is a 500km train ride east from St. Petersburg. It was an unforgettable trip. Especially to experience the enthusiasm and progress with Qt and MeeGo, also experiencing the changes in Russia since my last visit as a little kid, back in 1983.
Open Innovation is a pre-condition for FRUCT participation. The abbreviation FRUCT stands for Finnish-Russian University Cooperation in Telecommunications. The program has grown since its humble start in 2007. Industrial experts from Nokia, Intel and a number of guests from other companies and universities participated.
The program is based on two modes of cooperation - first; cooperation of R&D teams through the mechanism of joint projects, and second; regular face-to-face meeting (i.e. seminars, trainings, etc.) for gathering together all members of the FRUCT community. The 9th conference had a five day program focusing on open mobile technology with Qt and MeeGo.
Students, businesses and researchers shared project results with the other participants. The first two days of the conference comprised Qt training. The next three days was a comprehensive program featuring talks and short project presentations. The students were supervised by researchers and computer experts from businesses, pushing forward R&D work related to advanced information technologies. Through these activities, students are oriented towards real creativity and contributing to a concrete and usable outcome. The students exhibited their projects Thursday evening, showing results for the other participants.
I've been to many free software conferences and projects the past 10 years so it's not easy to impress me. The hard working students and the project shown at the 9th FRUCT conference, shows that students and researchers can do exiting things together with businesses, using open innovation as a vehicle for making progress, being prepared for what's expected in the innovative part of the computer industry.