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4-year Work Programme 1996-1999

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

ACTION LINE 1: STIMULATING DEMAND AND RAISING AWARENESS

  • Action Line 1.1: Creating New Markets by Raising Awareness at the European Level with Specific User Groups
  • Action line 1.2: Encouraging clusters of pan-European User Groups

ACTION LINE 2: EXPLOITING EUROPE'S PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION

  • Action Line 2.1: Developing Policies to Access andExploit European Public Sector Information
  • Action Line 2.2: Linking Directories of European Public Sector Information
  • Action Line 2.3: Making Use of Content Resources in The Public Sector

ACTION LINE 3: TRIGGERING EUROPEAN MULTIMEDIA POTENTIAL

ACTION LINE 4 : SUPPORT ACTIONS

Annex 1: Relationships of INFO2000 with other EU Programmes

Annex 2: Community Networks working in MIDAS-Net related areas


INTRODUCTION

1. General Orientations

INFO2000 aims at stimulating the emerging multimedia content industry to recognise and exploit new business opportunities. The importance of multimedia content has been recognised in a number of fora: the G7 conference of February 1995 on the Information Society, the Information Society Forum and the High Level Experts Group set up by the Commission. In particular, the Industry Council of 6/7 November 1995 invited the Commission to pursue initiatives that contribute to the advancement of the information content industry in view of the need to dispense content and services to the whole of industry.

The central strategic theme

The central theme of INFO2000 is the development of a European information content industry capable of competing on a global scale and able to satisfy the needs of Europe's enterprises and citizens for information content leading, on the one hand, to economic growth, competitiveness and employment and on the other hand to individual professional, social and cultural development. The programme aims to achieve this objective through three main actions:
  • Stimulating demand and raising awareness
  • Exploiting Europe's public sector information
  • Triggering European multimedia potential.

In complement to these actions, support will also be given in the areas of market observation, standards and skills development.

3. Stimulating demand and raising awareness

The objective is to create new markets by raising awareness at the European level with specific user groups. Some 20 organisations strategically distributed throughout the Member States will be selected through a call for proposals to form a network of Multimedia Information Demonstration And Support (MIDAS-NET) nodes. These organisations will act as proactive advisory centres, aimed at raising interest and assisting information users in business and industry. They will use appropriate technology, such as WorldWideWeb servers, to communicate with each other, with their specific target groups and with the Commission to develop and disseminate information and provide assistance and feedback. The network will work in close collaboration with other Community networks aimed at implementing different EU policies.

The infrastructure created under this action line will also be used to distribute information about initiatives and results of the INFO2000 programme and to obtain feedback on all relevant issues from the market actors.

In order to stimulate dialogue between information content suppliers and users, with the aim of supporting the development of a healthy market, the MIDAS network will be instrumental in establishing pan-European user groups for discussion of cooperation and the exchange of experience.

4. Exploiting Europe's public sector information

Following a number of studies and preliminary discussions, a Green Paper will be issued in 1996 to initiate a public debate on accessing the vast amounts of information held at different levels of the public sector and under different rules for access throughout the Member States. The results are expected to be proposals for legal measures and mechanisms for information exchange and coordination.

In parallel, actions will be taken to identify public sector information areas of particular interest and to assemble information on existing directories and available information content. Guidelines will be established for the production of interoperable and comparable directories. Formats for inventories of public sector data, containing more detail on contents and access than directories, will also be defined and calls for proposals will be published for pilot projects to provide networked interconnection and integration of inventories with asset trading systems for commercial exploitation.

5. Triggering European multimedia potential

Two calls for proposals will be published during the life of INFO2000, the first in Spring 1996, the second in 1997. In each case, the objective is to catalyse the production of high-quality multimedia content and create a European capacity for such production. The action aims to help develop the economy and employment in the electronic publishing industry, accelerating the shift from print to screen, and at the same time help produce that multimedia information content that will itself strengthen Europe's enterprises and serve Europe's citizens.

A major obstacle to multimedia publishing is the multiplicity of different systems for identifying and acquiring rights for the use of content in different domains and in different countries. Following relevant research and development activities under the 4th Framework Programme, the IMPACT programme and the Green Paper on intellectual property rights, strategies for closer cooperation between the different systems will be investigated and calls for proposals will be launched for pilot projects that will lay the foundations for electronic cross-border trading of multimedia rights.

6. Support actions

In order to ensure that the programme and the emerging multimedia content industry are kept in touch with technology and market developments, actions will be taken to monitor, analyse and discuss in relevant fora the changes, problems and trends occurring in this industry. Senior industry experts and relevant observatories and research institutes will be asked to contribute to the monitoring activity and the results will be disseminated by varying means, including in collaboration with industry.

Standards are essential for the exchange and re-use of information. Lists of standards and specifications will be maintained and published, including through the MIDAS network. Workshops and Internet discussion fora will be set up to encourage use of standards and channel feedback to relevant industry consortia and user organisations.

In order to improve the level of skills and creativity available to the multimedia content industry, actions will be taken to identify specific needs and, in close cooperation with programmes such as LEONARDO and SOCRATES, to develop and pilot appropriate courses and training tools, as well as to disseminate information gathered on available training.

Finally, action to develop and exchange best practice in the multimedia content industry will be largely carried out in the context of Action Line 3, Triggering Multimedia Potential, as an integral part of the dissemination of experience and knowledge gained in the course of the projects supported.

7. Exploitation of synergy

The focus of the INFO2000 programme on information content naturally means that its activities will frequently touch on areas of direct concern to other Community initiatives. Therefore, close collaboration with other Commission services will be a necessity for implementation of the programme and an interservice group will be set up to facilitate coordination. The table included in the Commission's Communication COM (95) 149, showing the Community programmes of closest relevance and their relationship to INFO2000, has been updated and is reproduced at Annex 1 for ease of reference. Other services to be associated with implementation will be the various industry support sectors or other services concerned with the information content of projects supported.

INFO2000:Summary Budget Table 1996 - 1999

Action Line percent of Budget*
AL1.1 Creating new markets by awareness at the European level with specific user groups 25.2
AL1.2 Encouraging clusters of pan-European user groups 0.3
Total Al 1 25.5
AL2.1 Developing policies to access and exploit European public sector information 2.0
AL2.2 Linking directories to public sector information 5.5
AL2.3 Making use of content resources in the public sector 10.5
Total AL 2 18
AL3.1 Catalysing high quality multimedia content 44.0
AL3.2 Trading multimedia intellectual property rights 4.6
Total AL 3 48.7
AL4.1 Observing and analysing the multimedia content market 3.2
AL4.2 Spreading the use of multimedia content standards 1.5
AL4.3 Encouraging skills development at European level 3.1
AL4.4 Developing and exchanging best practice
Total AL4 7.8
TOTAL 100

* The distribution given is indicative and may need to be adjusted in the course of the Programme.

1. ACTION LINE 1: STIMULATING DEMAND AND RAISING AWARENESS

1.1 ACTION LINE 1.1: CREATING NEW MARKETS BY RAISING AWARENESS AT THE EUROPEAN LEVEL WITH SPECIFIC USER GROUPS.

1.1.1 BACKGROUND

The IMPACT-2 programme provided a level of basic awareness to its target groups through the National Awareness Partners network in the European Economic Area. This network made knowledge available about initiatives in electronic publishing and multimedia. Given the success of this and similar operations, which have contributed to shifting the task of providing basic awareness to the press and the media, INFO 2000 will concentrate on selective demonstration actions and the guidance and support of users.

1.1.2 OBJECTIVES

The objective of this action line is to stimulate the creation of new markets by demonstrating the opportunities arising from the developments taking place in the European information services market and especially in multimedia applications. The main purpose will be to convince the target groups of the advantages of using multimedia, to demonstrate access to government and transborder information and to provide feedback to the European content industry with a view to the design of new multimedia applications. Target groups will be in industry and trade, in particular SMEs, and citizens.

1.1.3 ACTIONS

The actions foresee:
  1. the selection of around 20 Multimedia InformationDemonstration And Support nodes (MIDAS-NET nodes) through a call for proposals (SELECTION PROCESS).
  2. demonstration, dissemination and communication activities (ACTIONS OF INDIVIDUAL MIDAS-NET NODES).
  3. the development of a cooperative network between the MIDAS-NET nodes and the implementation of joint projects (JOINT ACTIONS OF MIDAS-NET NODES).
  4. the provision of a framework for cooperation, technical support and a common image for the network (COMMISSION SUPPORT ACTIONS).

SELECTION PROCESS

A call for proposals will be published at the start of the programme, from which the Commission will select the centres to host MIDAS-NET nodes. The number of nodes will be determined by the amount of the budget available but at least one node will be established in each Member State. A reserve list will be established in order to be able to increase the number of nodes in case of an increased budget or to replace nodes not achieving satisfactory results. The Commission expects to appoint among the most active organisations in the field of multimedia information awareness and demonstration campaigns in the Member States. The organisations must possess their own financial means and consider the MIDAS-NET operation as a European complement to their regular activities.

Community support will be on a shared-cost basis whereby a financial contribution will be granted of up to 50% (up to 65% in the case of nodes established in less favoured regions) of the actual costs incurred in carrying out agreed operations. The actual amount of support will depend on the geographical area covered and on the work programme to be agreed following the selection process. On average, support is expected to be in the region of 100 000 ECU per node per year in respect of activities described below as actions of individual MIDAS-NET nodes. Further agreements will be concluded with the nodes, or with certain groupings of nodes, for implementation of the joint actions of MIDAS-NET nodes described below.

The MIDAS-NET nodes will be selected by the EC using the following criteria. The MIDAS-NET node shall:

  • have good contacts with (potential) end-users in line with the foreseen target groups
  • have the necessary expertise in the multimedia content domain and in access to it on a European level and be involved in national activities;
  • be a well-established and recognised organisation in its country/region. Credibility in the eyes of the foreseen target group is essential;
  • possess the technical infrastructure and premises necessary to demonstrate multimedia products both stand-alone and via various telecommunications platforms, including a WWW Server on the Internet;
  • be financially stable and not dependent on any available co-financing scheme;
  • demonstrate commitment to collaborate with the Commission in the awareness and demonstration campaigns. This means the MIDAS-NET node has to:
    • be willing to invest time and effort not only for his own benefit;
    • put a pan-European vision to the forefront in awareness events
    • report back regularly to the Commission on activities undertaken;
    • agree to pass details of prospects emanating from the MIDAS-NET actions to the Commission and, with the consent of seminar participants, also to pass details of these potential users collectively to actors in the information market for follow-up.

ACTIONS OF INDIVIDUAL MIDAS-NET NODES

The mission of the nodes should cover the objectives described in point 1.1.2 above. The following list provides an example of activities that should be undertaken by the network nodes, in the context of their normal activities, to raise awareness of information potential at the European level:
  • Execute demonstrative actions with the selected target groups, including citizens, on how to access multimedia content.
  • Disseminate on request information at their disposal in the area of the multimedia content market.
  • Provide information on local projects and services available.
  • Set up and operate WWW services.
  • Set up and operate a help-desk for users (both electronic and through a human operator).
  • Develop and conduct seminars and workshops concerning information content issues and attend exhibitions and conferences.
  • Provide feedback from users and potential users for the benefit of the content supply industry.
  • Stimulate the participation in Information Society related projects through dissemination of information about relevant EU initiatives, in particular INFO2000.

JOINT ACTIONS OF MIDAS-NET NODES

A number of actions will emphasise the network character of the MIDAS-NET nodes:
  • Creation of a collaborative network using state-of-the-art technology such as WWW;
  • Development and implementation of common projects between centres, based on different initiatives of the nodes.
  • Stimulation of co-operation of Member States activities leading towards an information society. The role of the European Union is to provide a common framework for the various initiatives and to develop synergy with the different actions in progress by bundling resources at European level and improving access to information on a transnational basis.
  • Exchange/Transfer of expertise by spreading success stories and best practice about the new multimedia technologies, acting on particular target groups that can act as multipliers within their institution or company.

Particular attention will be given to providing support in regions that are less advanced in the transition to the information society. The exchange of knowledge and best practice among the partners operating over different geographical areas will also favour cohesion.

The MIDAS-NET nodes will in particular contribute to the creation and consultation of pan-European user groups as detailed in Action Line 1.2.

COMMISSION SUPPORT ACTIONS

The Commission will provide infrastructure and support to the network, acting as a facilitator for the exchange of information and expertise and ensuring that the flow of information, especially towards the less developed regions, is sustained. The main areas of support are:
  • WWW I*M Europe and ECHO server for dissemination of information about the Commission's activities in the field of information content;
  • Support for implementing a WWW network between the individual MIDAS-NET nodes;
  • Common awareness material compiled and produced as a means for establishing a corporate image of the network;
  • A central support team with a multilingual help desk;
  • An inventory of information content sources, demonstration products and services;
  • Workshops and information exchange to update skills and competences in the network.

The Commission will stimulate the image and recognition of the MIDAS-NET nodes as proactive advisory centres on the national level and ensure the corporate identity of the network by focusing on actions of common interest at network level and by setting common minimum standards.

The overall level of support is subject to negotiations with the selected organisations or consortia following the call for proposals. It will mainly depend on the geographical area covered by the network node and by the agreed work programme.

1.1.5 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

MIDAS-NET is a specialised network targeting specific user groups through demonstration facilities at their premises advertised locally, and other actions like exhibitions and conferences. Annex 2 to this Work Programme shows the different EU networks presently operating in areas related to INFO 2000. Nodes are expected to establish links with other organisations and networks which are carrying out complementary actions for the establishment of the information society in Europe.

As indicated in the INFO 2000 programme proposal, links will be established with DG XXII for the programmes SOCRATES and LEONARDO for common awareness actions. Collaboration with the EICs and BC-NET of DG XXIII will be instrumental in addressing the SMEs. The DG XIII networks set-up under the IT and ACTS programmes are complementary to the MIDAS-NET nodes; they will benefit from a user base provided by MIDAS-NET. Collaboration will also be sought with the Multimedia Support Centres of DG III, whose action is more directed on the supply side of the market.

The MIDAS network will operate in close co-operation with the relevant networks, information content associations and user groups, including professional associations and Chambers of Commerce. Establishing links with these networks and organisations, both specialised and of a more general nature, is a specific task of the MIDAS-NET nodes.

1.1.6 EXPECTED RESULTS

This Action Line will result in improved cooperation at the European level and transfer of knowledge and experience. Qualitative and quantitative performance criteria will be agreed with the selected organisations and will be used to measure the progress made. Examples of success indicators are parameters like the total number of people who participated in seminars, workshops, accesses to WWW home pages, etc. A common reporting structure will be implemented to gather the relevant data. An annual survey of users will take place via the WWW to establish the number of people/SMEs who, as a result of the mentioned activities, have taken up new on-line connection by a service provider, acquired a CD-ROM drive, bought which CD-ROM titles, etc.

Monitoring the satisfaction of participants will also indicate the success of the network. The degree of collaboration, exchange and transfer of expertise will also have to be reported regularly during the MIDAS-NET nodes meetings which are organised on average three times per year during information days, conferences or at MIDAS-NET nodes centres.

ACTION LINE 1.2: ENCOURAGING CLUSTERS OF PAN-EUROPEAN USER GROUPS

1.2.1 BACKGROUND

A flourishing demand side is necessary for the development of a healthy market for advanced information products and services such as multimedia. In view of the rapid changes taking place in the information content market, a regular dialogue between content suppliers and content users is required to support market development.

In the content industry the demand side is poorly organised and fragmented. User groups are beginning to emerge at national level, where professional organisations and industry sector organisations are starting to address the content issues. National and pan-European user groups are needed for an effective dialogue between the supply and the demand side to emerge.

1.2.2 OBJECTIVES

The objective of this action line is to stimulate this dialogue, by providing incentives for co-operation and exchange of experience concerning content related issues between national user groups, thereby encouraging the emergence of European groupings.

1.2.3 ACTIONS

The network of MIDAS-NET nodes (see action line 1.1) will be instrumental. Based on their knowledge of the national information content market, the network nodes will contribute to the establishment of user groups by providing an appropriate electronic infrastructure (WWW and E-mail) for the discussions and exchange of experience between the groupings. In addition, they will arrange regular meetings (every 6 months) for the groups, where specific issues and the conclusions from the E-mail sessions can be discussed and elaborated further.

The Commission will assist the MIDAS-NET nodes in setting the agenda for the national discussions, by identifying the key problems and issues to be discussed concerning information content. In addition, the Commission will use the I'M-EUROPE WWW-Server to provide a pan-European infrastructure for discussions between the different national groupings. It will also arrange regular pan-European meetings for representatives of the national groupings once a year.

Areas targeted for co-operation and exchange of experience will be the key areas that are tackled under Action Line 3.1 and also such important themes as information quality and information liability.

The experience gained by information content services directly aimed at end-users and citizens, notably those already established and emerging consumer on-line services will be re-used. Experience will be exchanged with services such as CompuServe, America On Line with Bertelsmann, Apple e-world, Microsoft Network, Europe On line as well as with EINS (European Information Network) in the area of Scientific and Technical Information.

1.2.4 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

The MIDAS-NET nodes are well placed to identify active associations in their own regions, but in the process of establishing the groupings, existing groups already focusing on Community policies with regard to SMEs (established by DG III and DG XXIII) will also be consulted.

This action line will be carried out in synergy with other Commission initiatives and programmes related to SMEs, notably those operated by DG III and DG XXIII.

1.3 BUDGET FOR ACTION LINE 1

The Council decision on INFO 2000 foresees around 22-32 % of the total budget for Action Line 1.

Sixty five per cent of the amount reserved for Action line 1.1 will be directly allocated to the MIDAS network nodes, covering the actions of the individual centres and the initiatives at network level (Actions of individual MIDAS-NET nodes + Joint actions of MIDAS-NET nodes). The remaining thirty five per cent is assigned to the tasks of theCommission Support Actions. Assuming an actual funding level of around 25.5% over four years of the overall budget a breakdown is indicated below.

 

BUDGET %
Action Line 1.1
  • Actions of individual MIDAS-NET nodesContracts for 20 centres @ 100,000 ECU/year (on average)
12.3
  • Joint actions of MIDAS-NET nodes Joint Action by the network nodes
4.1
  • Commission Support Actions 
    Personnel and infrastructure
8.8
Action Line 1.2
  • Establishing pan-European user groups
0.3
TOTAL FOR ACTION LINE 1 25.5


ACTION LINE 2: EXPLOITING EUROPE'S PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION

ACTION LINE 2.1 DEVELOPING POLICIES TO ACCESS AND EXPLOIT EUROPEAN PUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION

2.1.1 BACKGROUND

The public sector collects and produces vast amounts of information, much of which is of interest to citizens and businesses and which can be the raw material for value-added information services produced by the content industry. In the Member States, rules for access to public sector information are very different or in some cases do not exist at all. As the transition to the information society progresses, this situation could become a barrier to full participation by citizens and businesses across Europe. A number of working groups established by the Information Society Forum have identified this as an issue requiring priority action.

2.1.2 OBJECTIVES

Developing European policies to access and exploit public sector information for the benefit of citizens, businesses, public administrations and the European Union as such.

Easier access to public sector information relevant to their professional, civic and personal activities, and possibly a greater choice of sources and better quality/price conditions.

Opening new opportunities for businesses in the information market to commercially exploit public sector information at European level and produce value-added multimedia information products and services in fields of commercial interest. For businesses in general it will provide easier access to public sector information of interest in the context of their activities. For public administrations it will create opportunities and a motivation for better information management, improved efficiency and transparency.

Contributing to the overall openness and transparency policy of the European Union.

2.1.3 ACTIONS

Following a number of studies and preliminary discussions, a Green Paper will be drafted, discussed informally with appropriate public sector representatives from all Member states and published by April 1996. This will invite a public debate on all the issues concerned (opportunity and conditions for a right of access to public sector information, respective roles of the public and private sectors, supplementary practical measures for better access, exploitation of related E.U. initiatives). The first responses to this Green Paper will be discussed at the conference on access to public sector information to be held in Stockholm in June 1996. Based on the results of this conference and on further responses to the Green Paper, actions will be decided by the Commission will be implemented in the following years. They could include:
  • legislative proposals,
  • information exchange and co-ordination mechanisms,
  • studies leading to further initiatives

2.1.4 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

The development of a public sector information policy requires the widest possible consensus. It is, therefore, necessary to discuss and consult with all relevant public sector actors throughout the whole process. For this regular and extensive consultation procedure the public sector actors will be invited to participate in the Green Paper discussion, updating and follow-up, workshops, conferences and various awareness activities. Moreover, important co-ordination work will be undertaken with related Commission activities in the context of the Interchange of Data between Administrations (IDA) programme, telematics applications (especially public sector applications) and transparency, and with the G7 project, Government On-Line.

2.1.5 EXPECTED RESULTS

Actions are expected to lead to a growing consensus between Member States of the importance of the issues and of the need for convergence of national policies.

ACTION LINE 2.2 LINKING DIRECTORIES OF EUROPEANPUBLIC SECTOR INFORMATION

2.2.1 BACKGROUND

In a number of Member States practical initiatives are being taken to improve access to public sector information. In the European information society it must be ensured that the relevant public sector information becomes more easily accessible to all European citizens and businesses that may have an interest in such information. Presently, such access is still difficult across the EU, because of lack of transparency, cumbersome procedures and lack of interconnectivity between different national access routes.

2.2.2. OBJECTIVES

EU initiatives to improve access to public sector information aim at achieving interoperability based on standards, and transparency to facilitate the free movement of public sector information in the European information society. An important step in this respect is the creation of standard directories on public sector information which are interlinked across the EU to guide interested citizens and companies in identifying and accessing the information

2.2.3. ACTIONS

Initiatives will follow an analysis - development - implementation path requiring permanent co-ordination and dialogue with national public authorities. The process will be supported by consensus-building initiatives and the work of specific task forces for defining and developing concrete solutions. Calls for proposals will identify pilot projects which will address interconnectivity of existing national, regional and local services and resources, as well as collaborative implementation of new services. Particular attention will be given to multilingual solutions.

In particular, systems presently being implemented in the US such as the Government Information Locator Service (GILS) system to improve access to government information, may be a reference for action undertaken by the EU.

Specific EU actions will include:

  • identifying public sector information areas which are of particular interest for the use by citizens and value-added information providers;
  • establishing an inventory of existing public sector information directories;
  • establishing guidelines on the production of interoperable, comparable and user friendly directories;
  • stimulating the development of pan-European public sector information directories in a common format, applying standard access and retrieval protocols, and common methods to identify information resources;
  • encouraging national projects, in particular in LFRs, to establish digital national or regional directories in selected areas.

2.2.4 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

The actions will be implemented in close collaboration with national public sector institutions that are operating or are planning to develop and operate public information directories, and in coordination with other related Commission initiatives.

2.2.5 EXPECTED RESULTS

This initiative will result in a limited number of interconnected national public sector information directories. It will lay the foundations for rapid growth of such directories and their interconnection, increased transparency, easier access by citizens, etc. These foundations are a necessary condition for the development of a public sector information space in the EU.

ACTION LINE 2.3 MAKING USE OF CONTENT RESOURCES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR

2.3.1 BACKGROUND

Europe is blessed with a rich stock of content repositories under public sector control such as museums, libraries, copyright and patent deposit systems, educational and training bodies, historical archives and architectural objects. These content repositories need to be mobilised if Europe is to fully exploit these cultural assets commercially and to realise the potential of advanced technologies in support of public sector services. They are central to the Union's strength in the global Information Society and their commercial and strategic potential has already been underlined by a series of deals transferring control over some of them to private companies, not all of which have been European.

Most of the public sector content repositories are available in analogue form and as such are not suited to be used for multimedia information services which operate in a digital environment. They need to be converted to digital format. A similar conversion effort occurred for manuscripts after 1450 when Gutenberg's printing technique had matured, but this was not only different in nature but also in scope.

2.3.2 OBJECTIVES

Mobilising public content resources complement actions 2.1 and 2.2and should ensure that the political, organisational and operational infrastructures which emerge from these actions will be adequately exploited by European players. Detailed inventories of the information available in the different public sector information repositories will be encouraged and interconnected in order to facilitate exploitation of these content resources through value-added services.

2.3.3 ACTIONS

Initial activities will establish an overview of existing public sector information repositories in selected areas, such as geographic information. Selection criteria will include market potential, the existence of common standard formats and the opportunities for integration with intellectual property asset trading systems to facilitate public/private partnerships and transnational applications. Pilot projects meeting these criteria will be stimulated in the areas selected.

2.3.4 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

There will be co-ordination with the digitisation and interconnection work taking place both at Member States level and in the context of Commission initiatives.

2.3.5 EXPECTED RESULTS

Digitised inventories and their interconnection will support the effective exploitation and trading of public sector information content and will thus lead to increased opportunities to develop pan-European value-added services.

2.4 BUDGET FOR ACTION LINE 2


BUDGET %
Action line 2.1
  • developing policies to access and exploit European public sector information
2.0
Action Line 2.2
  • Linking directories to public sector information
5.5
Action Line 2.3
  • Making use of content resources in the public sector
TOTAL FOR ACTION LINE 2 18.0



ACTION LINE 3: TRIGGERING EUROPEAN MULTIMEDIA POTENTIAL

ACTION LINE 3.1 CATALYSING HIGH-QUALITY EUROPEAN MULTIMEDIA CONTENT

3.1.1 BACKGROUND

Potential European multimedia content producers are currently not fully exploiting the wealth of opportunities in Europe because of the fragmentation of the markets, language and administrative hurdles, the dispersion of source material, rapidly changing technology and the difficulties related to intellectual property rights in the different domains and Member States. Transnational cooperation to overcome these obstacles represents a high risk, especially for SMEs, and an additional cost overhead and therefore support is needed at Community level for pilot ventures to lead the way forward.

OBJECTIVES

The action aims to help create a European information content industry that is able to compete on a global scale, resulting in positive effects on employment, the economy and European cohesion. To do this it will support the development of pilot products and services that embody advanced applications using multimedia features. Such projects will be innovative, bring high quality information to users and demonstrate best practice in information service development.

3.1.2 ACTIONS

Support will be given to projects that will accelerate the development of the multimedia content industry in four key areas: economic exploitation of Europe's cultural heritage, notably through edutainment methods; business services for firms, in particular SMEs; geographic information; scientific, technical and medical information.

Calls for proposals will be launched in order to select the pilot projects to be supported, the first of which will be published in Spring 1996. Further calls may subsequently be launched, either in the context of the INFO2000 programme and this action line, or in coordination with other programmes, e.g. in the framework of the Educational Multimedia Software initiative, or other action lines.

Projects will be supported in two phases: a definition phase of six months to elaborate technical and business plans, consult users, negotiate cooperative agreements and produce a working model to demonstrate the envisaged functions; an implementation phase (following evaluation of the results of the definition phase and selection of the most appropriate for further development) in order to refine the service, process the relevant data, carry out user testing and establish an operational service or facility.

All projects will be required to include a plan for the dissemination of information about methodology and experience gained, for the benefit of others in the field. In addition to the formal requirement of the involvement of partners from at least two Member States, all projects will exemplify the benefits of transnational European cooperation and have at least four partner organisations. This will enhance European cooperation, increase the possibilities for organisations to participate in the programme and aim towards a wide linguistic and cultural coverage.

Community support will normally be calculated at up to 40% of the actual costs of project work. However, small enterprises having less than 50 employees, and those enterprises established in a less favoured region, may receive funding up to 50% of their costs. Funding of definition phase projects will be limited to 100 000 ECU per project. Implementation phase projects will normally be subject to a ceiling of 500 000 ECU per project. However, a higher ceiling, up to a maximum of 1 000 000 ECU support may be decided in exceptional cases.

3.1.3 SUBJECT AREAS

Cultural Heritage 
In the Cultural Heritage area the aims are to stimulate the economic exploitation of Europe's cultural heritage through the implementation of new multimedia information services and to allow a wider access to those resources. Multimedia systems allow images, sounds and text to be combined in imaginative new ways, to be transmitted in digitized formats and to be stored and reproduced or networked for wide public use. The projects supported may have one or more of the following orientations:
  • The production of new multimedia information content together with new educational and edutainment tools to access such content and deliver it online or off-line. These projects should aim at providing cost-effective electronic information, including data, pictures, texts, video and sound where appropriate, to increase understanding of Europe's cultural assets by its citizens.
  • The creation of directories and guides to cultural heritage information resources that allow correspondence of information across the cultural and linguistic diversity of the different European regions;
  • The constitution and availability of shared digitised data resources that can be re-used by the electronic publishing industry for the development of value-added products and services.

Services developed should utilise delivery mechanisms that are widely available and appropriate to the purpose. They must also exhibit a high quality of data content in order to meet users' needs. The projects supported should take account of standards for the exchange and integration of cultural information and where appropriate be coherent with the objectives of the G7 Information Society Pilot Project "Multimedia Access to World Cultural Heritage".

Business information for firms, in particular SMEs 
SMEs are a key element of the structure of the European economy, through their capacity for growth and their essential impact on employment. However, they face difficulties in accessing appropriate and timely information necessary to seize the opportunities to integrate themselves in transnational trade and achieve competitiveness in an increasingly global marketplace.

The objective of actions in this domain is to encourage initiatives by the European information industry to improve the supply of information in a multi-lingual and multimedia form to industrial and commercial enterprises, especially SMEs. The information content must be seen to help firms to increase their productivity, improve competitiveness and expand their markets, especially across borders.

Information service developers must show an adequate understanding of the working conditions of the businesses in the economic sector concerned and the services produced must use accepted standards for the classification and description of materials and services in the industry concerned. Proposals should show substantial involvement of end users and, where appropriate, should take account of relevant industry association policies and initiatives, as well as those of the EU, for example in the case of standardisation or data collection.

Projects will network multimedia information from different sources, process the data for easier use and provide adequate interfaces to the user's working environment. Delivery may be over networks for real-time data access combined with more static delivery facilities such as CD-ROM. Projects should take account of the objectives and framework for action of the G7 Information Society Pilot Project "A Global Marketplace for SMEs", which is intended to contribute to the development of a global electronic environment to enable SMEs to carry out their business more effectively and more profitably.

Geographic Information 
Geographic Information (GI) technology is acquiring increasing importance for its value in integrating, modelling, analysing and visualising many kinds of information content. It depends firstly on the availability of base or topographical data and currently too little base data is available at pan-European level which can be easily shared. Secondly, thematic information content, relating to applications such as statistics, demographics, environment and economics etc., has so far been largely exploited only at national levels, to varying specifications.

The projects supported will have therefore one or more of the following objectives:

  • to demonstrate through innovative pilot applications the advances made in integrating base data and thematic information content, especially where incorporating new or emerging GI standards, where new subject areas are tackled and where the user community is closely involved.
  • to provide pan-European information about GI, what is held, in what format and how it is accessed (metadata services);
  • demonstrate integration or interlinking of base data of a pan-European, or trans-border nature that may form the building blocks of future commercial applications, especially where such projects will help to establish common specifications for pan-European GI datasets;
  • demonstrate methodologies for collecting, exchanging and using pan-European GI, including provision for networked access to other services (e.g. links between metadata services);

Projects should include alliances between data owners and potential users in the application sectors concerned, especially for trans-border applications of GI, in order to avoid duplication of data collection effort and to help data providers to produce end products which serve actual needs of user communities.

Scientific, Technical and Medical Information 
The core creators and users of STM information are the research scientists. However, the information produced by them is also used by many users from different cultures and having different objectives, in particular those in industry. All these users must work together to effectively undertake the creation, dissemination and use of such critical information.

The calls will seek to support :-

  • Projects which address specific sectoral information needs and develop products and delivery services based upon proven commercial requirements.
  • Integrated information services which specifically address the prospects of integrating industry procedures and systems with the requirement for information market products. E.g. the development of technical information, such as materials test data, to integrate with tendering and bidding systems.
  • Services that address the need for public policy makers and administrations as well as workers' and citizens' organisations to have available scientific information adapted to their requirements in specific domains, such as public health protection.

Projects must include the active participation of representatives of both the scientific and the end user environments.

3.1.4 CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

The proposals will be evaluated taking into account the following criteria:
  • Formal Criteria, in particular,
    • participants must include at least 4 independent organisations from Member States of the European Economic Area;
    • at least two partners must be established in different Member States of the European Union;
    • the Coordinator must be established in the EU;
    • the proposals must include a plan for the dissemination of results
  • Strategic criteria, in particular,
    • Projects should clearly address the objectives of the programme in stimulating the European information industry through the example of high-quality European multimedia information content;
    • They should offer potential for a multiplier effect, e.g. through a major innovation in access to, handling or delivery of the source information or through the creation of new market openings;
    • They should address a verified need and a potential market at the likely cost of the end product to the user and through the use of hardware and software that will be commonly available by the end of the project;
  • Technical merit and soundness of approach, in particular,
    • overall technical feasibility and the use of most appropriate solutions;
    • quality of the information content of end product, i.e. reliability, depth and breadth of coverage, etc.;
    • demonstrated understanding of users' environment and information needs, validated where possible by reference to relevant associations or representative groups;
    • use of standards;
  • Organisation and management, including experience of proposers, quality control and management methods.
    • Commercial and Financial aspects, including,
    • soundness of financial plan and availability of matching funds;
    • financial standing of proposing organisations;
    • commercial viability of proposed products of the project;

3.1.5 DISSEMINATION OF RESULTS

In order to ensure that the projects supported have a strong impact outside their own development environment, it is essential that the results and experiences be disseminated as widely as possible. Suitably targeted exhibitions, conferences and similar events will be selected and attended, introducing presenters and demonstrations from the development projects in order to spread the knowledge gained and encourage further activity in the content production industry.

3.1.6 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

Close collaboration with other programmes, particularly the Telematics Applications, MEDIA, RAPHAEL and those of different industry policy sectors, will be pursued in order to achieve synergy with the programmes of those services and coherence of the projects supported with the needs of the sectors concerned.

3.1.7 EXPECTED RESULTS

It is estimated that over 100 initial or definition stage projects can be supported over the four-year programme, and about 30 projects to carry the initial results to the stage of prototype development and testing. The projects are expected to implicate in total some 500 organisations and will attract wide interest and emulation by many hundreds more. A catalytic effect and high visibility will be obtained by the use of promotional material and participation and demonstrations at exhibitions and information days and events to exchange best practice. The achievements of the IMPACT programme, where some 65% of participants were SMEs having less that 250 employees, indicate the likely level of interest and participation in this kind of action under INFO2000.

ACTION LINE 3.2: TRADING MULTIMEDIA INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS

3.2.1. BACKGROUND

Historically, the management of IPR rights is either individual or collective, the latter predominantly being organised by sector and by country. With the dawning of the multimedia age this situation is increasingly becoming a barrier to the development of multimedia content markets, as the time and effort that has to be spent by multimedia product developers on identifying and acquiring the different rights increases steeply with the number of data types involved and the number of countries where right holders are located. Small companies and new media start-ups suffer most from the present system as they may wish to re-use existing material. The development of pan-European multimedia content often requires input from various Member States.

Effective and efficient mechanisms for trading multimedia rights at the European level are therefore essential for the development of the European multimedia content industry and act as a basic infrastructure for all parties concerned. For holders of rights such mechanisms provide greater exposure to potential demand, lower transaction costs, increased volume of business, increased security, and more efficient asset management. For multimedia product developers, systems for trading rights provide a wider range of works on offer, increased supply-side competition, lower transaction costs, and more effective and efficient project management. End users will obtain their share of the benefits of increased efficiency in the form of lower end-user prices and better quality.

3.2.2. OBJECTIVES

The basic objective is to contribute to the enhancement of the current multimedia trading environment in the Union, by increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the rights dealing processes between right holders and multimedia product developers. The objective is focused on the organisational and operational issues of multimedia rights trading systems, complementing thereby the regulatory dimension addressed under the Green Paper 'Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society' (COM(95) 382 final of 19.07.1995). The objective concentrates furthermore on multimedia rights trading systems, supporting specifically the relationship between right holders and multimedia product developers, rather than the general electronic copyright management systems addressing end-user environments.

3.2.3. ACTIONS

Actions will be carried out in close consultation with all interested parties and will conform to the subsidiarity principle regarding private/public and national/Union roles.

They comprise a range of supporting activities, implemented through calls for tenders and pilot projects, which will be selected on the basis of calls for proposals.

Supporting activities will be initiated at the start of the INFO2000 programme to provide a strategic frame assessing the current situation and evolution scenarios with regard to relevant business, technology, standards and legal issues. They will serve as a basis for the definition of priority domains to be addressed under the call for proposals for pilot projects and will contribute to medium and long term policy development.

Pilot projects will be supported in a limited number of priority domains that lay the foundations for enhanced cross-border and cross-sector trading of multimedia rights. They will identify, develop and test business, technology, standards and legal models and demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed solutions.

3.2.4. EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

The actions will build on the relevant research and technological development activities under the Fourth Framework Programme, on the achievements of the Legal Advisory Board under IMPACT2 and on the results of the consultation process launched by the Green Paper 'Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society'. They will take account of ongoing activities at the global level, such as standardisation of work identifiers and information formats, developed in the framework of WIPO and ISO. In particular, account will be taken of the technological standardisation work carried out in the Esprit programme and close cooperation will be established with such projects as Imprimatur (international standardisation), Copysmart (ECMS), Copearms (technology transfer)

3.2.5. EXPECTED RESULTS

The proposed actions aim at accelerating, in a coordinated manner, the adaptation process of the rights management system in light of multimedia convergence and internationalisation. The key results expected for right holders and multimedia product developers are reduced transaction costs, increased cross-sector and cross-border business, and more efficient asset management and project management. Expected results for end-users are lower product prices and better quality.

3.3 BUDGET FOR ACTION LINE 3

Action line 3.1 Date BUDGET%
1st Call
  • Definition phase projects
1996 7.7
  • Implementation phase projects
1997 12.3
2nd Call
  • Definition phase projects
1998 6.2
  • Implementation phase projects
1999 9.8
  • Project and programme support
1998/9 4.5
  • Dissemination
1998/9 3.5
TOTAL 44.0
Action line 3.2
  • Supporting activities
1.2
  • Pilot projects
3.4
TOTAL 4.6
TOTAL FOR ACTION LINE 3 48.7


ACTION LINE 4 : SUPPORT ACTIONS

ACTION LINE 4.1: OBSERVING AND ANALYSING THE MULTIMEDIA CONTENT MARKET

4.1.1. BACKGROUND

Given the rapid change and the highly diverse nature of the information content industry, largely composed of SMEs, a flexible and dynamic approach for programme implementation is required in close dialogue with industry actors and users of various sectors. Methods, approaches and the results obtained will need to be periodically reviewed in order to ensure that during the programme's four year duration the right objectives are maintained and accomplished in the most effective and efficient way. Increasing internationalisation and convergence require the adoption of a transnational and cross-sectoral approach.

The successful experience derived from the IMPACT programme, particularly in relation to the strategic studies and the Member States studies, will guide future actions. Such studies play an essential role in fine-tuning Community policy actions, raising awareness among corporate organisations and users,. and in providing basic elements for the Commission and national governments in developing policies and strategies.

4.1.2. OBJECTIVES

The principal objective is to contribute to an understanding of the opportunities, changes and trends in the multimedia content industry. This understanding will be obtained through common analysis and discussions, scenario development and common monitoring of the markets concerned and the problems encountered. The resulting intelligence should boost confidence in the market, facilitate new initiatives, especially benefit SMEs and help in defining and implementing public policies.
  • The objectives will therefore be:
  • to articulate the aspirations of the content industries and the information user communities;
  • to envision long-term scenarios, updated whenever justified by major international developments in markets, technologies, industries and policies;
  • to investigate key issues of common interest to market actors from different sectors and from different Member States, such as legal aspects and quality assurance;
  • to examine obstacles to market development and recommendations to the industries, administrations and users to overcome them;
  • to guide the execution of INFO2000, making recommendations on orientations and priorities.

4.1.3. ACTIONS

Senior experts from the content industry, user communities and from Member States will be convened to monitor, analyse and discuss the impact of multimedia on the content industry and on the different actors in the information value chain. The composition of the meetings will reflect the various segments of content creation, distribution and use, as well as regulatory aspects affecting the content dimension, such as copyright issues, personal data protection, media convergence, universal service, liability and security issues. They will thus serve as a focus for discussion, exchange of experience and co-operation between the various sectors of the content industry, between European and national policy makers, and between the supply and user sides of the content market.

The senior experts will be nominated by the Commission, in close consultation with the representative professional organisations and the Member States. In addition, specific task fora will be set up to examine relevant issues and the MIDAS network will report periodically on developments in the content sector. The activities will also be fed by the relevant observatories, research institutes and consultancies. Equally, the experience gained in identifying, elaborating and discussing legal issues relevant to the European content industry will be drawn upon.

Actions will be launched to monitor changes in the European and global content markets and provide in-depth analysis of key issues, in close dialogue with the senior experts. These activities will be grouped around four main themes : the current and future market structure, including the updating and possible extension of the IMPACT Member States' studies, common problems within the European content Industry, strategic developments and competitiveness, and supporting governmental policies.

An annual review of the European content industry to provide an overview of the current situation, highlight problems and give perspectives in the multimedia content sector will be supported for production under the auspices of the industry.

4.1.4 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

Synergies will be pursued with related activities of the Commission (information society initiatives, audio-visual policy, R&D framework programme), other international organisations, Members States and relevant observatories.

4.1.5. EXPECTED RESULTS

These activities will contribute to the objectives of programme cost effectiveness optimisation, of synergy with relevant global and national public and private initiatives and of facilitation of structural adaptation, especially for SMEs. The results will be presented in relevant workshops, conferences and publications and will be disseminated electronically via the I'M Europe WWW services and by the MIDAS network.

ACTION LINE 4.2.: SPREADING THE USE OF MULTIMEDIA CONTENT STANDARDS

4.2.1 BACKGROUND

Standards for the structuring and presentation of data are essential for the multimedia industry to facilitate the exchange and re-use of information in electronic form. In such a new area many different organisations develop specifications. For developers of new systems as well as for end-users it is very difficult to keep track of developments in order to take the best decisions.

4.2.2 OBJECTIVES

To provide all market actors with an overview of existing and developing standards and specifications for information structuring and presentation and to obtain a better understanding in the content industries of the benefits of applying these standards and specifications. This will enable considerable improvements in the exploitation, access, maintenance and re-use of content.

4.2.3 ACTIONS

Actions will mainly consist of preparing and widely disseminating technical documentation and organising platforms for discussion through workshops and an electronic forum. In particular, the following actions will be implemented:
  • A List of Standards and Specifications for the multimedia content industry with regular updatings, published in print and electronically for wide dissemination, e.g. via I'M Europe, MIDAS-NET.
  • Two workshops per year on priority topics of Action Line 3.1 and targeting specific audiences; feedback of results to industry, users and standardisation fora.
  • Publication of reports for guidance on standards implementation; case studies on availability and use of standards-based business services for SMEs.
  • Surveys on standards products and services, their features and functionalities, and the adoption of standards by market products.
  • Operation of an Electronic Discussion Forum on the Internet for exchange of ideas and expressions, as a conduit for input into the standardisation process and particularly aiming at participants from SMEs.

4.2.4 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

The scope of these activities will be defined in close co-operation with the Commission's service responsible for the European Standardisation policy. Appropriate measures and liaisons will be undertaken to ensure that the results will fit into broader initiatives such as a generalised "Standards Documentation Centre", covering all areas of Standardisation. The input for the Standards List will be collected by experts active in the standardisation process.

4.2.4 EXPECTED RESULTS

These actions will result in improved transparency and a better understanding of the benefits of Standards and Specifications by all market actors. By providing more and better information on existing and emerging Standards, developers and buyers of information systems will be able to make better choices.

ACTION LINE 4.3: ENCOURAGING SKILLS DEVELOPMENTAT EUROPEAN LEVEL

4.3.1 BACKGROUND

The entering of the traditional European information providers into the age of multimedia and interactivity requires new skills and combinations of skills. In the long term it is essential that these new skills are defined and developed within a structured framework integrated into the higher educational sector throughout Europe.

4.3.2 OBJECTIVES

The action aims to improve the competitiveness of the European information industry by stimulating specific training in the use of new information technologies, multimedia engineering and information law. The implementation of pilot projects should provide the necessary basis to set up large-scale actions by national or Community programmes.

4.3.3 ACTIONS

The contribution of INFO2000 in this area will concentrate on:
  • identifying the training courses available and gaps and inadequacies in order to establish an inventory for dissemination and priorities for further action;
  • developing a series of continuous training modules for SMEs in the information industry and for training centres established through university-industry collaboration;
  • developing new diploma courses on an experimental basis covering the new professional skills needed in the multimedia content industry, e.g. multimedia engineering, multimedia law and training of trainers;
  • disseminating the inventories and other findings of the actions.

In close collaboration with the content industry itself and with representatives from universities, other educational establishments and vocational training organisations, the Commission will launch a series of initiatives aiming at identifying the available courses, best practice and gaps in training availability. The results will provide a clear set of recommendations for the development and implementation of a limited number of pilot courses.

Calls for proposals will be launched for cost-shared projects to develop, carry out and evaluate pilot courses. The evaluation will in particular focus on developing a strategy for how similar actions could be undertaken in the future. Responsibilities for implementation will be proposed between the European Commission, Member States' educational systems and the content industry itself. Equally, attention will be focused on disseminating the results of the research and development actions via the I'M Europe WorldWideWeb server and the MIDAS network.

4.3.4 EXPLOITATION OF SYNERGY

Concerted actions with LEONARDO and SOCRATES (DG XXII) and with MEDIA II (DG X) will be undertaken to focus training actions on the needs of the multimedia content industry. INFO2000 will develop kick-off actions which will be implemented in full scale under the relevant programmes.

4.3.5 RESULTS

This action will result in greater awareness of the training courses available, the improvement of courses where there are gaps and the consequent improvement of competences within the multimedia industry.

ACTION LINE 4.4 DEVELOPING AND EXCHANGING BEST PRACTICE

4.4.1 BACKGROUND

The emerging multimedia content industry will comprise elements of many different sectors: audiovisual, software development, publishing, library and information scientists and also domain expertise in varied specialised areas. The combination of these different cultures and skills offers enormous scope for new kinds of development but poses difficulties in two particular areas: organisation and creativity. On the organisational side, experience is being gained in different, isolated environments of working across different disciplines and traditions: exchanging these experiences with other companies will be beneficial to speeding up the overall learning process and contribute to greater efficiency and profitability. On the issue of creativity, the current high costs of multimedia authoring and production mean that safe, pragmatic solutions are often preferred to experimental, imaginative programmes. Therefore, a stimulus is needed to encourage the identification and visibility of creative developments in order to increase the pace of innovation and accelerate the advent of the new multimedia.

4.4.2 OBJECTIVES

The objective of developing and exchanging best practice is to accelerate the rate of change in the emerging multimedia industry and ensure that advances made in particular environments are communicated rapidly to the rest of the industry for the common benefit.

4.4.3 ACTIONS

Given the limited budget of INFO2000, action will concentrate on the dissemination of knowledge and experience gained in the conduct of the projects supported under Action Line 3.1, Catalysing high quality multimedia content.

Dissemination will comprise demonstration of prototypes and presentations of methodologies at appropriate events such as conferences and exhibitions. Workshops and seminars may be organised in conjunction with the awareness actions under Action Line 1.

4.4.3 EXPECTED RESULTS

This action line will contribute to the greater efficiency and competitiveness of the European content industry, which are mostly SMEs, through the dissemination of information about how best to tackle different issues in the new industry. The beneficiaries will come not only from new businesses but also from established publishers, audiovisual companies, etc. entering new ventures in multimedia publishing or online information supply.

4.5 BUDGET FOR ACTION LINE 4

BUDGET%
AL4.1 Observing and analysing the market 3.2
AL4.2 Multimedia content standards 1.5
AL4.3 Skills development 3.1
AL4.4 Best practice
TOTAL For Action line 4 7.8


ANNEX 1: RELATIONSHIPS OF INFO2000 WITH OTHER EU PROGRAMMES

INFO2000: Programme Characteristics

INFO2000 is a Community programme to encourage Europe's content providers to develop new multimedia products and services and to stimulate user demand for these products and services. INFO2000 aims at creating favourable conditions for the development of the European multimedia content industry, complementing other important policy actions announced in the Commission's action plan COM(95)347 final " Europe's Way to the Information Society " such as liberalisation of telecommunications and provision of a clear and stable regulatory framework. INFO2000 will focus on the transition from print to electronic publishing and on the interactive multimedia services that are currently emerging. Three lines of action are devised to tackle market bottlenecks and to meet the needs of both users and producers in this market area: - actions to stimulate demand and raise awareness, - actions to exploit Europe's public sector information, and actions to trigger European multimedia potential.

INFO2000 RELATIONSHIPS

IT and ACTS

IT and ACTS cover infrastructure-oriented research andtechnological development programmes in the field ofinformation technologies (addressing software technologies, technologies for IT components and subsystems andmultimedia technologies) and advanced communication technologies(addressing the technological base for interactivedigital multimedia services, photonics, high-speed networking, mobility and personal communications, intelligent networks and service engineering, and quality, security and safety of communications services and systems). In contrast, INFO2000 is content-oriented and concentrates on the use of both existing and future technologies and narrows the gap between research and market. In particular contrast to the ACTS programme, INFO2000 is delivery channel neutral and aims at stimulating multimedia content for both network-based and off-line solutions. In short, IT and ACTS stimulate the required research for providing better 'boxes and pipes' or information infrastructures of the future, while INFO2000 is concerned with content production, distribution and access over current and future technology boxes and pipes, enabled by previous research efforts. INFO2000 will thus be building on the results of the IT and ACTS programmes as and when they emerge.

TELEMATICS

The specific programme Telematic Applications of Common Interest, which is applied research-, network- andapplication-oriented, is focusing on applications in the public sector. INFO2000 is delivery channel neutral, is aboutcreating favourable conditions for the development of the private sector content industry. In short, Telematics stimulates applied research for a limited number of public sector application domains such as healthcare, education, transport and libraries, thereby setting an example in areas which come under government aegis, while measures proposed

MEDIA II

MEDIA II addresses the specific needs of the audiovisual segment, which is one sector of the content industry. INFO2000 will contribute to the establishment of a comprehensive European content policy, addressing print publishing and electronic publishing segments in complement to content policy measures proposed by the Commission for the audiovisual sector. The focus of INFO2000 is on the transition from print to electronic publishing and on the interactive multimedia information services that are rapidly emerging. In short, both programmes address different content segments and propose actions adapted to each segment's specific needs over the programme period.

RAPHAËL

Firstly Raphaël is an instrument of EU cultural policy, while INFO2000 is basically an instrument of EUinformation society policy. INFO2000 is essentially ahorizontal programme addressing more generic questions in relation to the information society. Thirdly, Raphaël covers a wide range of sector-specific policy actions relevant for the EU cultural heritage sector, while INFO2000 proposes a limited number of actions focusing on common structural problems of a range of sectors. Common ground between both programmes emerges in the areas of interplay between multimedia use for making cultural assets more visible, accessible and affordable as part of cultural policy (Raphaël) and exploitation of cultural assets for multimedia content industry development purposes (INFO2000). In short, INFO2000 and RAPHAËL are different in terms of overall policy domain, sectoral coverage and range of proposed actions. Both programmes address, however, in a complementary way, limited common ground, related to the exploitation of European cultural heritage through multimedia.

SOCRATES and LEONARDO

The SOCRATES and LEONARDO programmes establish general Community frames for education and training policy actions for the educational systems and for a wide range of economic sectors, while INFO2000 concentrates on the specific needs of the multimedia content industry, by setting up pilots to be extended under the SOCRATES and LEONARDO programmes. INFO2000, SOCRATES and LEONARDO are therefore complementary as on the one hand INFO2000 pilot actions can be extended favouring large-scale use of adequate multimedia content in education and vocational training contexts and on the other hand SOCRATES and LEONARDO schemes can be used for the purposes of skills development within the multimedia content industry. LEONARDO addresses predominantly supply-sector needs, while INFO2000, in addition to skills-development actions aimed at the supply side of the multimedia content industry, also proposes awareness and training actions aimed at the demand sideIn short, INFO2000 stimulates pilot and experimental actions, while SOCRATES/LEONARDO provide the frames for large-scale application.

SMEs AND CRAFT SECTOR

The purpose of the Integrated Programme in favour of SMEs and the Craft sector is, in the context of the White Paper, to initiate in a concerted manner measures facilitating reciprocal consultation between Member States and, where necessary, co-ordination between Member States with a view to improving the business environment by simplifying administrative procedures, promoting support measures for enterprises and identification of ways in which the Community can contribute to the development of enterprises. INFO2000 addresses the multimedia content industry which is, apart from a limited number of international and global players, composed of mainly SMEs. The INFO2000 programme aims at stimulating this sector and its users.In short, the Integrated Programme and INFO2000 are fully complementary in improving the competitiveness of SMEs in Europe.

IDA

IDA (Interchange Data Between Administrations) aims at efficient solutions for the interchange of data between the Member State's administrations, the Commission and the Institutions of the European Union via trans-European electronic data transmission networks. Networks that have been or will be implemented within IDA framework will be taken into account in implementing the INFO2000 programme.

ANNEX 2: Community Networks working in MIDAS-NET related areas

ACRONYM MIDAS-NET EDC EIC
NAME MultimediaInformation 
D
emonstrationAnd Support nodes
European Documentation Centres Euro Info Centres
NUMBER 20 375 213
TARGET Industry and trade, 
and citizens through libraries
Higher education and research communities SMEs
TASKS Conducting awareness and information campaigns in relation to new information services Help for educational bodies with the issue of European integration Dissemination of information and tailor made advice regarding community legislation, standards, programmes and financing
DG RESPONSIBLE DGXIII DGX DGXXIII
ACRONYM BC-NET UETP Value Relay Centres
NAME Business Co-operation Network University Entreprise Training Programme The Euro RTD Relay Centre Network
NUMBER 600 205 35
TARGET Chambers of Commerce, consultants, regional development agencies Universities, research centres and industry Industry, universities and research centres
TASKS Foster partnership and co-operation between SMEs from different member states Identify training requirements, Organise Training Programmes, Organise Exchange of experts Promore awareness on EU research programmes, dissemination of research results, valorisation of research results.
DG RESPONSIBLE DGXIII DGXXII DGXIII
ACRONYM ISPO NHC MSN
NAME Information Society Project Office National Host Centres Multimedia Support Networks
NUMBER 1 15 Selection in progress
TARGET SMEs, administrations, IT-manufacturers, content providers, universities and user groups Developers in IT needing broad band network access for research and experiments European multimedia producers
TASKS Support, promote and orient private and public actions in the fields of information society Demonstrate usefulness of broad band networks in the member countries by giving support to information providers, not users Provide a range of services that support the needs of EU organisations producing multimedia systems, multimedia content and/or multimedia applications. Define and implement best practice as it relates to multimedia support services
DG RESPONSIBLE DGXIII DGXIII DG III

NB The above list contains only the main networks working in MIDAS-NET related areas. Other networks were established in the framework of the Telematics applications programme, e.g. National Focal Points for Libraries.


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