You may not have heard of The Open Group, a company that the Open Software Foundation (OSF) and the X/Open Company recently formed. The Open Group Research Institute used to be the OSF Research Institute, and its charter remains much the same.

As Ira Goldstein, a founder of the OSF Research Institute and its former head, said in the group's mission statement, "The Open Group Research Institute investigates software technology needed to improve the scaleability, portability, interoperability, and usability of computer systems. We conduct these investigations collaboratively with academia and industry. Our methodology is to develop complete prototypes that you can subject to rigorous measurement and to provide a platform for others to build on our work. We are successful when our research delivers innovation and economy: innovation by providing solutions to difficult system technology requirements and economy by providing a vehicle for shared investment in this research.

"Research Institute results are open. We make our prototypes available as source code for research and evaluation to government, academia, and industry. Commercial licenses are available for sponsor organizations. The Research Institute hosts several symposia each year and presents its work regularly at conferences." (Goldstein recently accepted the position of Internet technology officer for Hewlett-Packard and chief technology officer for HP's Computer Systems Organization.)