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Information & Communication Technologies

Technologies for Information Management

FP7 ICT- 2011.4.1 - SME initiative on Digital Content and Languages

The Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Work Programme 2011-2012 under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) is divided into eight Challenges of strategic interest to the European society, plus support to Future and Emerging Technologies (FET), to international cooperation and to horizontal actions .

Find here the Excerpts for Challenge 4, Strategic Objective ICT-2011.4.1 - SME initiative on Digital Content and Languages.


Challenge 4: Technologies for Digital Content and Languages

Digital content is the foundation of a knowledge based society; it is in digital content that knowledge is stored and from digital content that knowledge is extracted and exploited by individuals and organisations across modalities and languages. This makes it crucial for this resource to be readily and reliably accessible over time to European citizens and enterprises and for every step in its lifecycle to be adequately supported and enhanced in response to changes in the technology landscape.

Challenge 4 focuses on:

€“ easing and speeding up the creation of added value, in particular by SMEs, using resources that are today too burdensome to acquire or complex to use; putting the ability to create quality content and innovative services within the reach of individuals and small organisations by lowering skill and cost barriers,

€“ allowing people to access and use online content and services across language barriers, in their preferred language,

€“ ensuring complete reliability of retrieval and use of digital resources across applications and platforms over time, and design digital content natively engineered for obsolescence avoidance,

€“ scaling up data analysis to keep pace with the rate of growth of data streams and collections and enable novel forms of real time intelligence that only become possible on extremely large data volumes.


Objective 4.1: SME initiative on Digital Content and Languages SMEs have ideas that sometimes cannot be implemented because they depend on the availability of data resources or specialised tools that are too expensive to obtain and maintain. In some areas, data pooling, sharing and reuse are further complicated by Europe's many languages. Actions under this objective aim to make it easier for innovative players, especially SMEs, to exploit and contribute to large digital resource pools. User-centred experimentation will be supported as well, with the aim of demonstrating the integration of data-intensive technologies within innovative solutions and processes.

Target outcomes

a) Bootstrapping a data economy: the target is to lower the barrier to entry in providing advanced services over linked digital resources, including both data analytics and reuse of creative content. Projects shall develop (or reuse and recombine where appropriate) practical and automated tools for the finding, matching, screening, validation, conversion, pooling, editing of data and content. The main objectives are:

- To maximise reuse of digital content resources by making them easy to find, evaluate and integrate.

- To foster reuse of digital content resources by providing guarantees and fair incentives for their creators and maintainers. This includes the creation of data exchanges or commons whose quality (breadth, timeliness, temporal qualification, ..) and value increases with the number of users and the feedback and validation they contribute. It also includes mechanisms for aggregating demand, thus stimulating the creation of additional resources and services .

- To develop robust and highly usable new services demanded by citizens and businesses (especially SMEs) and create value by correlating independently produced datasets or extracting valuable information not foreseen by the original data producer. Usability is of paramount importance, particularly when the science underlying such services (statistics, machine learning, data mining, ..) is non-trivial .

Consortia shall consist of a limited number of innovative, fast-moving actors, in particular SMEs, able to identify and address real market needs or opportunities and with a clear stake in the exploitation of results.

b) Community building and best practices: Produce rigorous studies on the actual or projected economic impact of digital resources pooling as a function of well defined parameters such as the size of resources, user populations, socio-economic sectors, and software stacks adopted. Use the results of such studies to set up data exchange facilities, disseminate best practices and increase awareness of short term existing opportunities. Develop educational curricula designed to train data analysis professionals, expert in the maintenance and exploitation of data commons.

Expected impact

  • Improved European competitive position in a multilingual digital market through the provision of better services to citizens and businesses .
  • Novel forms of partnership between new programme entrants and established players, reduced development costs and shorter time-to-market, thus stimulating innovation and expanding markets .
  • Result-driven knowledge transfer between research centres (and their spin-offs) and progressive technology providers (especially SMEs), data brokers/aggregators and content providers .

Upcoming Call

1 February 2011 [1] - Please check back here regularly!

Contact us:

If you wish to receive further communication on the call FP7 ICT €“ 2011.4.1 - SME initiative on Digital Content and Languages, target outcomes 4.1 a) and 4.1 b) , please indicate your interest by sending an e-mail with the name and address and the subject matter your organization is dealing with, a contact person and e-mail address to (email removed) , under the subject "SME-Initiative 2011".

[1] The Director-General responsible for the call may publish it up to one month prior to or after the envisaged date of publication.

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