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European and World News Archive

january 2006      

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31 January 2006
AXMEDIS Competitive Call

The Integrated Project AXMEDIS - Automating Production of Cross Media Content for Multi-channel Distribution - requires the participation of new contractors to carry out take-up actions as sub-projects within AXMEDIS project to promote the validation and early application of AXMEDIS technologies via demonstration activity.

The candidate topic areas of this call include the followings application and/or extension of the AXMEDIS framework and tools to support:

• one or more distribution channels in order to make evident interoperability of content and tools with other AXMEDIS distribution channels and tools (mobile devices, PC, STB, portable video player, portable music player, etc.);
• massive and/or coordinated production, aggregation, protection, of cross media content; collaboration among different actors of the production and distribution value chain; collaborations among cultural institutions, etc.;
• production and/or distribution authoring tools and/or players.

All the necessary information for submitting your proposal is available at the call page of the AXMEDIS project.

24 January 2006
Report on European research

An independent expert group set up by the European Commission in December 2005 and chaired by former Prime Minister of Finland Esko Aho has called for a Pact for Research and Innovation in its report Creating an Innovative Europe on 20 January 2006.

According to the experts the current trends in European innovation are unsustainable in the face of global competition. Therefore a new vision is needed to address a series of productivity and social challenges faced by Europe. The main issues that require immediate attention are the lack of an innovation-friendly market and the lack of resources for research and innovation.

Click here for more information including the full text of the report.

23 January 2006
New content solutions by NAPC

National Archive Publishing Company (NAPC), a private enterprise based in the State of Michigan, United States, has announced a new service to support libraries in content management. NAPC provides now a wide range of services from microfilming and digitisation to archive hosting, creating a solid base for public-private partnerships where libraries are desired partners. Already now NAPC digitises more than 50 million pages and produces microfilms in the amount exceeding 80 million pages a year.

In recent years library collections have become of great interest to private companies. In addition to companies like NAPC that specialise in support of and co-operation with libraries and archives, several new co-operation programmes have been started by Google, Yahoo, MSN and Web Archive.

17 January 2006
European search engine project

France and Germany are planning to challenge the Anglo-Saxon influence on the Internet by launching a new search engine, Quaero.

In France a public-private partnership has been established between the Agency of Industrial Innovation, the French National Centre for Scientific Research and Thomson. French government will fund the project by contributing 150 million Euros to the development via the Agency of Industrial Innovation.

The participation of the German government is not yet confirmed, but Empolis, a data processing subsidiary of the German publishing giant Bertelsmann has already signed up to the project. Deutsche Telekom will be also involved in the project.

Read the article in Financial Times

9 January 2006
More on Digital Libraries

The on-line consultation regarding the Digital Libraries initiative by the European Commission closes on 20 January 2006. The initiative, launched by the Commission in April 2005, aims ‘at making European information resources easier and more interesting to use in an online environment'. The on-line consultation seeks responses from libraries, museums, archives, educational institutions, as well as search engines, SMEs working in digitisation and access services, publishers, broadcasters etc, in the EU Member States encouraging them to express their views and opinions as to R&D priorities and needs in the areas of digitisation, on-line accessibility and digital preservation of cultural heritage. In addition to these specific areas, respondents are welcome to address any other relevant issue or priority reckoned of key importance to their institution, community or country. The consultation document is available only in English and French, however, responses can be drafted in any of the EU official languages.

Additional information from the links below:

• Official press release by the European Commission
• Communication & on-line consultation

5 January 2006
IST Call 6 is open

The European Commission has published a new call for proposals for R&D projects under the IST Programme. The call has a total budget of €140 million and covers research in the areas of Ambient Assisted Living (AAL), advanced robotics, search engines for audiovisual content and international cooperation. Proposals can be submitted until 25 April 2006. More information can be found from this link.

5 January 2006
Interview with Michael Hart

Wall Street Journal Online has published an interview with Michael Hart, the founder of Project Gutenberg. Via this project more than 17 000 books have been made available online in 35 years by transcribing them word by word and using volunteer work force. Michael Hart comments on new book-scanning projects of Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. He states that Project Gutenberg is not threatened by those more technology-based initiatives and confirms his willingness to carry on with the project.

Click here to read the interview.


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