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Role of Associates

The Role of Associates in the openEHR Foundation

It is recognised that national governments, professional bodies, standards bodies and industry are demanding more rigorous organisational governance of the openEHR Foundation and its activities in order to feel some security in relying on both its products and the skill and commitment of its Members. The operational activity of the Foundation will continue to emanate from and be directed by the Member’s interests, within this new governance framework. The Board therefore proposes to create the new type of organisational member called an Associate to engage these organisations. Associate organisations will work closely with the Board on the strategic direction and governance of the Foundation and provide any resources required to maintain and develop the Foundation and its products.

The key roles of the fee-paying Associates in this formal governance will be to nominate and elect the Foundation Board, and to provide funding for core Foundation activities. Associate membership will be open to industry, universities, governments and standards development organisations with the following modes of participation and benefits:

  1. Foundation Board: A key role of Associates is to nominate Foundation Board members, voting for these posts if there are excess nominations.
  2.  Foundation Funding: Associates will be expected to contribute to core Foundation activities through an annual fee structure reflecting organisational size and status. The Foundation intends to restrict these core activities to minimal structural support for Programs, avoiding the need for a more complex layer of bureaucracy.
  3. Project Funding: Associates will be able to fund openEHR projects and approve Project leaders together with the appropriate Program Leader. Projects may be directly funded or in collaboration with other Associates through the Foundation (in which case a 15% management fee will be levied).
  4. Direct Participation: Members who work for, or are members of, an Associate Organisation are encouraged to participate as individuals in any Program or Project.
  5. Conference and Educational activities: Associates will have preferential access to Foundation-led conferences and other educational activities. Some Associates may wish to take a prime role in conference planning.

The first Associates, representing key stakeholders, will be appointed to the interim Board in recognition of their commitment to the openEHR Foundation – through prior research, standardisation, development and financial support.

The first formal nomination and election of Board members will take place at the end of 2012 or when there are 30 Associates and the annual fees and contributions amount to €200,000, whichever is achieved first. 

The proposed fee structure for Associates for 2012 is:





€ 18,000 annually

Companies with > 500 employees

National eHealth Programs

International NGOs


€ 9,000 annually

Companies with 100-500 employees

National NGOs

State or Regional jurisdictions


€ 2,500 annually

Companies with 20-99 employees

Professional Associations

Hospital Trusts


openEHR Software Companies (2 to 20 people)


The interim Board will seek additional funding from those Associates who envisage taking a leading role in governance as it determines the future functioning of the Foundation. The initial fee structure will be adjusted based on experience and feedback from Associates.

28th September 2011