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The Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS
Information & Communication Technologies

Technologies for Information Management

ICT Challenge 4: Intelligent Information Management

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Work Programme under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is divided into seven 'Challenges' of strategic interest to European society, plus research into Future and emerging technologies (FET), and support for horizontal actions, such as international cooperation.

Background - Challenge 4, Strategic Objective 3: Intelligent Information Management


Content is setting an exciting innovation agenda at every step of the ICT value chain from production to user terminal. The explosive growth of digital content and knowledge, together with the emergence of ever richer and more sophisticated forms of content and experiences creates new socio-economic and technological challenges. Media creation becomes more participatory and personal. The boundaries between creator/supplier and audience/consumer and between content and communication are increasingly blurred. Social networks and virtual communities are a new force opening up new opportunities for personalised content and services.

This will result in a mix of professionally-generated and personal content, and change the economics of content production and consumption, moving from a few-to-many to a many-to-many model. It will have a tremendous impact on the media and advertising landscape at large, to the likely advantage of smaller players. By stimulating cultural richness and abundant choice, this may herald an explosion of creativity and expressive diversity that has the potential to reinvigorate the European content industries.

The challenge

The challenge is to take advantage of this paradigm shift to make European industry and society a key actor in digital content and knowledge.

  1. It is to combine Europe's unique knowledge, cultural and creative potential with key technology assets to respond to the upcoming content and knowledge explosion.
  2. It is to unlock immense economic opportunities and societal resources by making knowledge and content abundant, interactive and transparently accessible by humans and machines alike.
  3. It is also to lower the profitability threshold for the 'long tail' of content through new service concepts and business models.

The way forward is to strengthen the link between content, knowledge and permanent learning processes. The underlying challenges are twofold:

  1. Improving our ability to master and exploit content and knowledge over time, and
  2. Enhancing our capacity to appraise them in order to adapt our behavior and learn.

The research

Research will aim at establishing an infrastructure that will allow digital content and knowledge to be produced, stored, managed, personalised, transmitted and used reliably, efficiently, at low cost and according to widely accepted standards. This will open the way for new applications and services.

The key deliverables will be methods, technologies, infrastructures and application platforms to:

Create and capture content
  1. enable the creation of new, highly creative forms of interactive content and multimodal experiences by individual users or self-organised communities gradually making available to the general public technology now only available to professionals due to its complexity or cost;
  2. enhance the user experience by combining and exploiting component technologies such as gaming techniques, 3D modelling, simulation and animation;
  3. progress towards automatic annotation and indexing of multimedia documents by means of programs that can describe their conceptual content in terms that are intelligible and useful for a user.
Make content and knowledge available
  1. implement toolsets for the distributed life-cycle of formally represented knowledge and extend current formalisms;
  2. develop resources such as ontologies and ontology mappers for the integration of heterogeneous networked content and the management of enterprise knowledge assets;
  3. develop robust automatic reasoners handling knowledge designed by humans or data-mined from distributed repositories, community interactions or sensor arrays;
  4. address content transcoding and scalability to support personalised, semantic and perception driven adaptation, across different media, platforms and languages.
Search and discover knowledge and content
  1. implement robust, scalable and personalised search and discovery tools exploiting metadata annotation, semantic indexing and advanced query functionality, to match user information needs to available resources, across modalities and languages.
Deliver content and experiences
  1. develop architectures and technologies for sophisticated and yet intuitive forms of multimodal interactivity with content resources exploiting fully the functionalities provided by emerging ambient intelligence, nomadic devices and network communications;
  2. embed formally represented policies into content itself to allow it to reason proactively about its own intellectual property and access rights, as well as of any related privacy protection restrictions.
Ensure preservation
  1. create robust and effective environments for preservation of text, audio, video and other forms of complex, transient and dynamic forms of digital content held by public or private organisations, to ensure its continued availability over ever evolving formats and hardware and software platforms.
Exploit knowledge and content
  1. provide seamless access to Europe's vast scientific data repositories and cultural heritage in order to enable new experiences and support communities of use and practice;
  2. draw on results from cognitive psychology to organisational studies to implement an interdisciplinary framework for technology-enhanced learning designed to improve people's abilities to become active lifelong learners;
use computer-tractable knowledge for semantic data and application integration, automation of business processes, automated diagnosis and problem solving in a variety of knowledge-intensive domains.

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