On December 4, 2006, at the Fall Task Force Meeting of the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) in Washington, DC, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation awarded $650,000 in prizes to 10 not-for- profit institutions in the first annual Mellon Awards for Technology Collaboration (MATC). The Mellon Awards honor not-for-profit organizations for leadership in the collaborative development of open source software tools with particular application to higher education and not-for-profit activities. More information on the awards ceremony, including podcast interviews with some of the recipients, will be available in December at http://www.cni.org/.
The awards were presented by Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, Director of the World Wide Web Consortium and the inventor of the World Wide Web. The 10 recipients were selected from among more than 200 nominees by the MATC Award Committee, which included Berners-Lee, Mitchell Baker (CEO, Mozilla Corporation), John Seely Brown (former Chief Scientist, Xerox Corp.), Vinton G. Cerf (Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist, Google, Inc.), John Gage (Chief Researcher and Director of the Science Office, Sun Microsystems, Inc.), and Tim O’Reilly (Founder and CEO, O’Reilly Media).
The awardees, prizes, and projects for which they were recognized are as follows:
$100,000 to the Internet Archive (San Francisco, CA, http://www.archive.org/) for work on the Heritrix Web Crawler (http://crawler.archive.org/). The Heritrix web crawler is an open source tool for the large-scale archival of Internet content for scholarly and other purposes. In recommending the Internet Archive for a MATC award, the Committee recognized both the distinct contribution of the Heritrix crawler to archival initiatives in many countries around the globe and the broader contribution of the Internet Archive itself to the challenge of providing a historical record for the Internet. The Internet Archive plans to use the award to develop the next generation of the Heritrix tool.
$100,000 to the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, http://www.washington.edu/) for the development and support of IMAP/PINE email tools (http://www.washington.edu/imap/; http://www.washington.edu/pine/). In recognizing the University of Washington, the Committee cited a decades-long contribution of resources to the development and open source release of the IMAP mail server and the PINE mail client, noting that those contributions enabled an entire generation of email infrastructure for higher education and many other commercial and not-for-profit sectors. The University plans to use the award to develop a next-generation version of the PINE tool.
$100,000 to Humboldt State University (Humboldt, CA, http://www.humboldt.edu/) for work supporting the Moodle course management system (http://moodle.org/). Humboldt State University, one of the smallest of the California State University campuses, was recognized by the Committee for its exceptional record of service to the development of the Moodle course management system. In recommending the award, the Committee noted the extent to which Humboldt’s efforts went well above and beyond those expected from an institution of its size. Humboldt plans to use the award to make further enhancements to Moodle.
$50,000 to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Rensselaer, NY, http://www.rpi.edu/) for the Bedework event calendar server (http://www.bedework.org/). RPI was recognized by the Committee for its adoption of a languishing open source event calendar project, which it re-architected, re-wrote, and brought to new levels of interoperability and open community support. RPI plans to use the award to continue to grow the collaborative community that supports Bedework.
$50,000 to the Open University (Milton Keynes, UK, http://www.open.ac.uk/) for work on the Moodle course management system (http://www.moodle.org/). The Committee recognized OU for its massive institutional commitment to Moodle, which includes the contribution of the work product of thousands of hours of programmer effort to the Moodle project and community, as well as its leadership efforts in the Moodle community. OU plans to use the award to help in the development of an ‘offline’ version of Moodle.
$50,000 to the Universitat de Lleida (Lleida, Spain, http://www.udl.es/) for work on the Sakai course management system (http://www.sakaiproject.org/). Universitat de Lleida was recognized by the Committee both for its work in making the Sakai course management system available in the Catalan language and for its extraordinary efforts around the introduction of consistent support for internationalization into Sakai under very tight deadline pressures. Lleida intends to use the award to further enhance and extend Sakai’s internationalization capabilities.
$50,000 to the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Blacksburg, VA, http://www.vt.edu/) for work supporting the Sakai course management system (http://www.sakaiproject.org/). Virginia Tech was recognized by the Committee for its essential contributions to quality assurance in the Sakai course management project, as well as for its innovative use of Moodle and Sakai as programming projects in computing classes. The University plans to use the award to develop a new lab-notebook tool for Sakai.
$50,000 to Yale University (New Haven, CT, http://www.yale.edu/) for the development and contribution of the Central Authentication Service (http://www.ja-sig.org/products/cas/). Yale was recognized for its creation of and contributions to the open-source Central Authentication Service, which has allowed hundreds of university campuses (among other beneficiaries) to offer their users single-signon authentication services. Yale plans to use the award to produce a next-generation CAS service that allows institutions more custom-tailored control over CAS-related tasks.
$50,000 to the Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH, http://www.plymouth.edu/), for the development of the WPOPAC online public access catalog (http://wpopac.blogs.plymouth.edu/). Plymouth State University was recognized for its development of WPOPAC, an innovative online public access catalog system that allows any library to make its online catalog interactive, by turning each library record (e.g., each book or serial) into a blog page onto which users can post their own comments and content. The Committee noted WPOPAC’s ability to enable online library access in libraries of any size, as well as the project’s potential to engage patrons more deeply and interactively with libraries and their offerings. Plymouth State plans to use the award to purchase catalog content from the Library of Congress and make it freely available to all, thereby eliminating a substantial cost barrier to the online publication of catalogs by small libraries.
$50,000 to the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC, http://www.ubc.ca/) for the development and contribution of the Public Knowledge Project (PKP: http://pkp.sfu.ca/). The University of British Columbia was recognized for its creation and support of the Public Knowledge Project, an initiative that provides a variety of open source tools supporting open scholarly communications. The Committee particularly noted PKP’s potential for the creation of vital academic disciplines and publications in developing countries. UBC plans to use the award to conduct a series of workshops, surveys, and other activities aimed at paving the way for adoption of the Public Knowledge Project tools by Latin American academics.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a philanthropic organization with offices in New York City and Princeton, NJ. The MATC awards are a project of the Foundation’s Program in Research in Information Technology (RIT). More information about the MATC awards, including the full content of this release, is available at http://rit.mellon.org/.
For more information, please contact:
Christopher J. Mackie
Associate Program Officer
Program in Research in Information Technology
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
282 Alexander Rd.
Princeton, NJ 08540