Open Kvarken

Open Kvarken is an Open Source project in the Kvarken region between Umeå in Sweden and Vaasa in Finland. This project ended 31.08.2011.  Here you can find the results of the project. The project became the editors choise 2011.



Project Abstract in English

The Open Kvarken project is a unique Botnia Atlantica project even on the EU level in which the Triple Helix concept (University – IT Sector – Public Sector) is used in order to commercialize global Open Source projects in our region. We have also developed local Open Source projects and marketed them globally.  Thanks to close cooperation with different Open Source Communities, and code upload to Source Forge, the Open Kvarken project has shown how to interact both locally and globally when it comes to program development. This was done in order to help our local IT companies find new ways for product development and also in finding new national and international customers.  At least two new workplaces have been created in local IT companies in Vaasa and two new workplaces in the public sector in Umeå through the Open Kvarken project.

During the project we have tested, introduced and marketed different Open Source solutions in the region. In our cooperation projects we have developed everything between high technology algorithms to everyday used Web meeting tools. We have shown that Open Source can be used in any segment in society.   We have emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing in our courses, seminars and conferences. We have also planned Open Source courses at the University of Umeå and the University of Applied Sciences in Vaasa. This is an early beginning to the students to the Open Source philosophy as a method of collaboration in software development. A surprising and positive result of these courses is that more women than what is common have participated in them.

In our joint Open Kvarken project we have identified good and environment friendly tools and methods for cross-border cooperation that have worked despite the scarce and expensive ferries and flights. We have commercialized one of these tools and now it is marketed in our region as an affordable way of reducing your ecological footprint.  We have also shared our results with other Botnia Atlantica projects but we have noticed that for the regional industries and companies the lack of simple transportation and common language is an obstacle.

Our conviction is that the Open Kvarken project has fully reached all its goals with honor. We have marketed the project regionally, nationally and even gotten attention in Brussels. ePractice appointed Open Kvarken as the project of the month 2011 and it has externally been reviewed by

Our reflection is that in Finland and Sweden there is an uncertainty when it comes to Open Source solutions.  There is also a lack of knowledge that Open Source is a philosophy and not a technology or; one that is implemented in technology by choice of an open license.  These two things are hindering development. We in the Open Kvarken project see a great potential in the philosophy of Open Source when it comes to the methods of technological cooperation for developing code to the public sector. What are lacking today are clear policies and incentives that will promote openness in cooperation and innovation. 

We at the Open Kvarken project think that the lack of clear policies and guidelines for the public sector are hindering development. There needs to be stricter guidelines for open standards, open formats and the possibility to reuse code when it comes to procurements in the public sector. The requirement for openness, interoperability and platform independence should be self-evident in all public procurement. The general insight is that the public sector could save large sums in software purchases by requiring access to the source code. This is neither about technology, nor philosophy but about the explicit choice of an open license. It is a mystery to us what really prevents the public sector from stepping into openness. For most IT vendors Open Source, is nothing scary nor retarding, but a natural part of software development. Most vendors have already transferred from selling licenses to selling their development time. What is needed now is a raw model for hosting and developing source code for the public sector. There the Triple Helix model which we have been using, comes in handy. Universities can also play a more active role by educating the students in the open source mindset and how to cooperate in Open Source Communities. Perhaps the next recession will be the catalyst needed for the public sector to start taking the economic benefits of collaboration by sharing source code into consideration.


Mikael Torp and Olle Eriksson with Vassilia Orfanou in an interview related to the workshop
"Open Source: Its place in a cross-border environment"
Brussels 7 April 2011


 The 2 days seminar April 26-27.2011 with speakers such as "Monty", Nokia, and many more was a big success.

The program and presentations can be found HERE

Monty's speech can be found here.



Three videos about OpenMeetings + Moodle integration have been made for users to get a feel about how to use OpenMeetings. 

The videos can be found here: Here



YLE FST news program about Open source and Open kvarken.

For subtitles in english, start the video and press arrow in the bottom right corner. Activate the CC button to start subtitles.





Open Kvarken Subproject Summary

Open Kvarken  has through the past years been testing and evaluating several open source projects which local companies and municipalities could benefit from. Some of our most interesting subprojects have already been commercialized in companies and municipalities in both Finland and Sweden.

OpenMeetings, a web based conference system that does not require any installations on clients using it. It runs on our servers in both Finland and Sweden, making it available and open to the public for testing. We now have about 100 organizations on our servers and over 500 users in the testgroup. JNT has participated in the development of new features and testing.  Commercial versions and support can be bought from JNT and Mediamaisteri.

Eduvom, a sub-project in the municipality of Vörå where Open Kvarken has designed a complete IT- infrastructure based on Open-Source. Using Xen for virtual machines, the project also includes Ubuntu as desktop, OpenLDAP for authentication, NFS (Network File Server) for file sharing, Openmeetings for web conferences and virtual classrooms. Eduvom also include Moodle as E-learning platform linked with OpenMeetings. Zimbra is used for email, and Joomla for their portal (with LAMP as base).  The Eduvom project is now ready for commercialisation.

E-kurs is new development of an course booking system for the Adult education center of Korsholm. The system is ment
to replace the older system used in Korsholm. There are a lot of functions such as Course creation, billing, online registration
and much more. This system is being developed by Creamarketing. For more information about this system please contact Creamarketing.

E-Booking is a system that aims to handle and allocate resources within a municipality. The e-Booking system integrates two different booking systems that handle physical room resources and human resources. The same OS-tool ( is used for both applications and they are developed simultaneously and might have some common reusable backbone code. Resources are configurable at the department level and they may be anything, such as conference rooms, playing fields, catering services, etc. It has been developed for the municipality of Korsholm.

Föräldramötet is a portal for communication between teachers and parents. It allows parents to easily check up happenings, homework assignments, problems etc concerning their child/ren in the nursery or school. This project is developed in Sundsvall by Nordic Peak and has been commercialized in Sweden. Föräldramötet is being used in several municipalities in Sweden and will also be introduced in Finland.

Moodle, an E-learning platform that is in use in several Universities introduced to undergraduate education.  Moodle in combination with OpenMeetings is a powerful tool for education purposes. This concept can seperarately be commercialised. The County Council in Västerbotten have started a number of courses based on Moodle, and one church (Mariakyrkan) in Umeå is using Moodle for confirmation classes. Moodle has been introduced in Vörå and  with hands on practial training.

Kaltura, is a video solution that OpenKvarken together with MediaCenter and NKW-project have  evaluated. The video solution has great potentials and under this spring we will continue to develop plugins for several platform such as Moodle, Drupal, Joomla. MediaCenter will the offer this platform for all municipality within Västerbotten. The NKW-project,, is a collaboration project between Vasa, Bodö and Umeå that today is using OpenKvarkens Kaltura installation for their video presentations. Together we aim to create a rely good vidoe solution for all parts.

WebSurvey, web interface and system for online surveys or data collection. Has also been implemented and is in use in Korsholm.

Folk,Visitas, Open Eye, Boklådan and OpenGeoTracker that is five new local open source products that has been developed in Umeå.

Folk is web application that get the correct address from Skatteverkets database for people living in Sweden. This product is now running in Umeå and it is also used by neighbor municipalities to Umeå as a service. It has also been offered to the Kivos network (>10 muncipalities in the western region of Sweden).

Visitas and Boklådan are two new products from Umeå kommun that were released under 2010. Ecpesially Visitas has potentials to bee used in several different areas where mobil communication is the prime target,

Open Eye is web based Business Process Management and Business Intelligent platform licensed under the GPL v3. The main objective of Open Eye is to provide a high-end BPM and BI solution including reporting and portfolio management, for any companies at a minimal cost of acquisition and ownership. The product is developed by Anchor Management. 

OpenGeoTracker is the latest product developed by Omicron. It is a tracking device for the Android platform and a map server based on GoogleMaps. It can be used to track any type of object. Later this spring we will present a demonstration for this product at our homepage.

A Cooperative webshop based on OsCommerce has been developed in cooperation with  This program is now available for commercial use.  Comming soon to

IPTV pre-study has been done on MythTV and OpenIPTV forum.

Webapplet, a Web applet and tunneling function has been developed by Sesca in cooperation with JNT and the Open Kvarken project. The tunneling function is published at the Kamailio community and will be adapted to the Ekiga community. This new function will be presented at our springconference 2011.  The road to make Ekia a High Definition telepresence tool with the help of multithredding going through all firewall is shortening from day to day.  This can become  an affordable telepresence with the help of Aleksander Strange and Reynaldo H. Verdejo Pinochet at  paid by the Open Kvarken project.

Zimbra is an Open Source webmail server that will now be implemented in the municipality of Malax. This product has been commercialized through Multitronic in Finland.

ZoneMinder, is a webbased survailence system and it has been implemented in a local grocery store to suit their survailence. It has also been commercialised by Multitronic as one of their products.

There are of cource even more program such as Idega, LifeRay, Vtiger, SugerCrm, Projektet, MediaWiki etc that have been tested and some of them we hope that we can start new interesting project during 2011.

In the case of seminars, a total of 11 seminars have been held from the start of the project.  We have used OpenMeetings for streaming our seminars.  Three workshops have been held.

Concerning education in Open Source, new courses part of the educational program in the Univeristy of Umeå and Vaasa University of Applied Sciences. The first course in open source  was carried out this summer at Umeå University. The next courses are planned in the spring of 2011. We have also written an ABC-Guide for Open source that is available at our homepage.  This guide give you a simple explaination of open source.  15 ect have been drafted and will be implemented during 2011 in VUAS.

Debian packaging of Openmeetings is ready. Openmeetings is avalible as Debian packages for i386 and amd64 architectures for the Debian Squeeze distribution. Two versions of Openmeetings are available, stable version and testing version.The testing version is build daily against current trunk version of Openmeetings.

Add this to your /etc/apt/sources.list file and type apt-get install red5-openmeetings to install Openmeetings.

# Opmenmeetings repository stable version.

deb squeeze main contrib non-free

deb-src squeeze main contrib non-free


# Opmenmeetings repository testing version.

deb squeeze main contrib non-free

deb-src squeeze main contrib non-free


These are some of the activities during the project, for more information about any specifics do not hesitate to contact us.

OpenKvarken Vasa – Rainer Lytz, Rainer.Lytz (@)

OpenKvarken Umeå – Fredrik Granström, fredrik.granstrom (@)


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