AccessIT will deliver a unique package of practical training and skills development, supported by clear guidance, to enable smaller, local cultural organizations in countries where progress in this area is currently limited, to be able to maximise the opportunities provided by the new technologies (combined with major policy implementations such as the Digital Libraries Initiative) to most effectively deliver and disseminate arts and cultural offerings to the citizens of Europe. It will take into account especially the needs of candidate states for which eligibility for Culture 2007-13 offers an otherwise currently unavailable funding vehicle for this purpose.

Perhaps the most effective way to encourage widespread and democratic circulation of artistic and cultural works and products is by digital means. Increasingly, Internet-based services offer the end user the opportunity to select and view high quality, multimedia representations of works from a very wide range of Europe’s artistic and cultural productions, in their own language and set within their historic, thematic and geographic context. Equally, comprehensive online availability of works in digital format is likely to have a significant impact on the level of anticipation and demand for the circulation of original works as well as upon that among visitors to specific locations to view works in their usual setting.

The Culture 2007-13 programme at this stage can play a highly significant role in enabling the development of a service which represent the full extent and true richness of European culture. There are two key reasons for this, which centre upon the geographical reach and European vision of Culture 2007-13:

  • The necessary skill and competences to digitise cultural works, aggregate them and make them available in a way which is conformant with Europeana standards and infrastructure are not widely available in a number of countries for cultural institutions at local or regional level;
  • The resources to accomplish this goal are not widely available or cost-effectively distributed: this is especially true of the three countries from South-Eastern Europe – Greece, Serbia and Turkey to which this work to be carried out in this proposal chiefly applies.

AccessIT will initiate work to resolve this problem on a sustainable basis in the three target countries (Serbia, Turkey, Greece) by transferring expertise and successful approaches in use elsewhere in Europe to create centres of competence and by creating a practical model for training and implementation which can subsequently adapted and transferred elsewhere, perhaps especially to other EU candidate countries which are supported now and in future under Culture 2007-13.

See also : AccessIT Seminar in Veria (16-18 February 2010)

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