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EU Projects

EU IST Projects - Framework 6

Currently we are engaged in PrestoSpace, a European project of great significance, involving many of the main European public broadcasting organisations and with the aim of creating a co-ordinated technology for preserving, digitising, storing and exploiting broadcasting archives. Part of our role in this project is to design and implement the 'digitisation and storage' website with innovative tools to assist the planning of digitisation projects. These SAM analysis tools allow an archive to estimate the costs involved in a digital preservation project. They address different approaches to storage management and the costs involved in the digital preservation exercise itself. A further tool estimates the potential return on investment for various business models. Taken together they provide the basis for costing and putting forward a funding case for a preservation project. We are also involved in the sub-project on the development of metadata schemata and the exploitation of broadcast archives.

PrestoSpace will push the limits of the current technology beyond the State of the Art, bringing together industry, research institutes and stakeholders at European level to provide products and services for bringing effective automated preservation and access to Europe's diverse audiovisual collections. The project commenced in February 2004 and will run for 40 months.

The eChase project commenced in January 2005 and is funded under the eContent programme - European Digital Content on the global networks. The project seeks to demonstrate:
  • sustainable business models and processes that have been evaluated and proven for a range of cultural heritage content holders and content users.
  • policies and processes for cultural heritage content holders to filter and make accessible their content according to the needs, prospects, rights and usage of different user-groups at a European level.
Our role in the project is to supply consultancy on technology strategy and business model development.

EU IST projects - Framework 5

The VITRA project, co-ordinated by the Colour Research Institute of the University of Derby, was designed to develop several new technologies for obtaining digital images of large stained glass windows and wall paintings in situ. For this a robot arm was designed together with a new high resolution digital camera for mounting on the robot arm and software technology for storing, managing and stitching together the digital images so they can be made available for scholarly research and for commercial exploitation on the web. Our role was to develop the underpinning database software.

The OpenHeritage project, co-ordinated by the Italian software company Space spa, had the goal of developing a software infrastructure to help small museums in Europe's regions to co-operate in creating, developing and putting onto the web, information about their objects and themselves. A major objective was to help such museums to attract visitors and make their content available for electronic publishing projects. The project had partners from France and the Netherlands as well as the UK and Italy. Our contributions to the project included an innovative software generator designed to automate the process of creating a museum collection management system from a definition of the museums specific object description requirements and a means of creating narrative descriptions of individual and groups of objects from basic database fields.

The OpenDrama project, also co-ordinated by Space spa, was designed to explore the software structures needed to allow performing arts institutions, particularly opera houses, to make best use of the web to promote their activities. The OpenDrama platform features musical streaming with plot visualization, real-time display of score and libretto, 3D virtual staging, access to background information and karaoke, all within the frame of an advanced community service. Our role was to design and develop database software capable of holding the rich variety of multimedia and supporting easy delivery of multimedia content to websites. This included developing the variety of innovative interfaces generated to stimulate interest in the operatic material, the interaction between text based and video material and the management of IPR issues.

The Memoria project, again co-ordinated by Space spa, had the goal of researching the organisational and managerial issues surrounding the transfer of new software technologies into networks of small regional museums. Two museum groups participated as testbeds for the technology transfer evaluations, one was in the mountain region of Mugello in central Italy, the other in the South East Wales, specifically Monmouthshire and Newport City. Our role was to create the software and the supporting installation and training processes required by the small museums.

M-PIRO (Multilingual Personalised InfoRmation Objects) was designed to bring together research in natural language generation by artificial intelligence methods with developments in complex museum object description databases to create new ways of generating and presenting information about museum objects. It achieved its primary objective of creating a prototype software system which generated natural language descriptions of museum objects using information stored in a database, both as written text on a screen and as spoken text via a voice synthesiser, in three languages, English, Italian and Greek and at three levels of vocabulary and grammatical complexity, child, adult and museum expert.

EU IST Projects - Framework 4

MAID - Multimedia Assets for Industrial Design - was a large three year pilot project within the Information Engineering Sector of the Telematics Applications Programme. MAID set out to develop two main groups of services, with a common area of operational overlap and scalable access architecture. These services were based on the conceptual models of a 'Design Information Centre' and a 'Design Services Centre'. We provided consultancy to the project and developed the Index+ web demonstrator.

ELISE I (Electronic Library Image Service for Europe) ran for 2 years from February 1993. Elise I modelled a European Community facility providing access to full colour image banks and supporting textual data held in partner states. ELISE II combined cutting edge technology with established standards to create an acceptable image service. It started on the first of October 1996 and ran for three years. Our role was to build the Z39.50 prototype for Elise II.

Aquarelle was a European Union assisted project designed to provide an information retrieval service for searching across different cultural database systems with differing database architectures. The principal protocols were HTTP, Z39.50 and SGML and the local protocols used at the data servers. We supplied and implemented the Z39.50 targets and servers for the Aquarelle content providers. In addition we supported the UK content providers to interface their systems with the Aquarelle system.

Term-IT was a project co-ordinated by the Museum Documentation Association (MDA) under the EU programme Telematics for Language Engineering 1998 - . Term-IT was a preparatory-phase project that lead to the development of methods and systems to improve the production, dissemination, and exploitation of multilingual terminology resources. Our role was to provide consultancy to the MDA.