CERN signs up to the Global Digital Solidarity Fund

From its championing of the cause of open access to scientific publications to its promotion of freeware and support for research and training networks in Africa, CERN has recently stepped up its initiatives aimed at building an information society based on the principles of equality and solidarity. This commitment, reiterated at the recent World Summit on the Information Society, has been reinforced by a brand new initiative - from 1st January 2006, CERN will be applying the digital solidarity 'one percent'.

This means that all calls for tenders relating to computer and telecommunications goods or services will contain a clause whereby the successful bidder will have to pay 1% of the contractual amount into the Digital Solidarity Fund, which finances projects aimed at bridging the digital divide ( The 1% will be levied on the contractor's profit margin and, in return, the firm will be awarded the 'digital solidarity' label. The digital solidarity clause is also known as the 'Geneva Principle' as it was first adopted by the city of Geneva in December 2004.

Through its adoption of this principle, CERN is extending to the field of information technology the policy of cooperation it has long followed in fundamental science. As the inventor of the Worldwide Web and a pioneer in the field of network computing, CERN has always been at the forefront of moves to ensure the harmonious spread of the Worldwide Web.