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Telematics for Libraries
Call for Proposals 1996 - General Results

Updated: 08 OCT 97

1. Background

Following the Council Decision 94/802/EC of 23.11.1994 adopting a specific programme of research and technological development, including demonstration in the field of telematics applications of common interest (1994-1998) [Official Journal nº L 334, 22.12.1994, p. 1] , a Call for Proposals was published on 17 December 1996 in the Official Journal of the European Communities [OJ Nº S 244, 17.12.1996, p. 55] . The deadline for receipt of proposals was 15th April 1997. This was the second Call for Proposals for the Libraries Sector of the Telematics Applications Programme (1994-98).

2. Scope of the Call for Proposals

Taking account of the results of the first Call for Telematics for Libraries, this Call invited proposals for projects falling into the full scope of the sector's work programme, including accompanying measures and concerted action.

Excerpt from the work programme:

In the Libraries Sector the action is designed to help increase the ready availability of library resources across Europe and to facilitate their interconnection in order to help create a modern libraries infrastructure in support of economic, social and cultural life in the European Union as an integral part of the larger information and communications infrastructure.

The main approach in the work programme is to create an internal environment which allows libraries to offer network-based services to end-users; to stimulate library co-operation, resource sharing and networking; and to develop telematics systems for the extension of library services to networked information resources.

As long-term perspectives are necessary in this area, continuity and coherence is needed with the actions started under FP 3 in order to exploit the components being developed (eg. by their integration into new telematic service applications, extending test-bed platforms to new areas or users) as well as introducing a new dimension. Moreover the European market for demand and supply of IT products and services for libraries needs to be encouraged further, including the creation of new alliances and the entry of new players.

Priorities were defined for the whole work programme (real needs, integration, consolidation, open standards, human resources issues, links with other sectors, new alliances). The work programme is structured in three Action Lines:

A. Network-oriented internal library systems

B. Telematics applications for interconnected library services

C. Library services for access to networked information resources

plus specific support measures to promote standards, disseminate results, raise the awareness of library staff about the possibilities afforded by telematics systems and encourage the creation of "platforms" and concertations on common issues.

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The Action lines and their goals were expanded in the Background documentation for the Sector into a set of 9 Call Topics.

The Call was also open to specific support measures such as:

  • Special interest groups/platforms/concerted actions;
  • promotion of emerging results through focused seminars, etc.;
  • special actions (eg. to support standards and guidelines; to investigate questions related to digital libraries; to extend the demonstration stage of validated applications, etc.),
providing they were demonstrated to be pertinent to the work programme, to mobilise and assist the libraries community and providing they built upon or extended relevant national/regional and/or previous EU funded projects.

The indicative budget envelope announced in the Official Journal for the sector was 10 MECU.

Moreover the Call also encouraged the participation of Central and Eastern European countries (funding subject to the rules for international cooperation as well as the Telematics Applications Programme) not only as participants in new shared-cost R&TD; project proposals, but also in extensions to existing projects (eg. as additional demonstrator test sites or to provide additional features or test environments).

3. Information on the Call for Proposals

Of the 2760 information packages mailed from the Luxembourg Help Desk, 1600 included Libraries sector background information. In addition, the Call documentation (general and sector specific) could be downloaded from the I*M Europe Web site. The Telematics for Libraries Call documents page was visited over 6500 times during the period.

A special Information Day was held in Luxembourg on 9 January 1997 for the Libraries sector and was attended by 148 participants. National events held in 1996 and early 1997 were also held in most Member States.

4. Response to the Call for Proposals

83 proposals were received altogether for the Libraries Sector. Of these 2 proposals were transferred formally to be evaluated by the IE sector (Information Engineering) as they were out of scope for Libraries.

The 81 remaining proposals amounted to total costs of 90 MECU with an average EU contribution of 58% (60.5 MECU). Of this, 1.4 MECU was requested for C&EE participation.

6 of the 81 proposals did not comply with the formal eligibility criteria. Therefore, a total of 7 5 proposals finally underwent the technical evaluation.

5. Statistics on the response to the Call for Proposals

The following statistics provide an overview of the response to the Call. In particular they illustrate the geographic coverage of organisations participating, together with an analysis of the character of the participating organisations (size, type, roles etc.).

5.1. Distribution of proposers by country

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5.2. Type of partner

This table indicates the spread of different types of organisations in the proposals based on the type of organisation code as provided by proposers. The participation of libraries can only be inferred from the categories EDU/OTH/INT.
18.7 % 34 % 8.5 % 2.9 % 36 %

IND: Industrial or commercial enterprise
EDU: University, Higher Education
ROR: Research organisation
OTH: Other
INT: International organisation (publicly funded and non-profit making)

The 81 received proposals involved 626 cited participants representing 541 individual organisations from all Member States and Associated States as well as non-EU countries (Switzerland, Canada and C&EE countries). C&EE countries represented 49 participants and 45 individual organisations. In terms of types of organisations, libraries involvement represents 48% ( 299 participants) and industry involvement 19 %.

5.3. Type of library

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Total participating libraries: 299
- Public libraries: 76
- National libraries: 33
- Special libraries: 44
- Academic libraries: 122
- Library cooperatives: 24

5.4. Users

The main interests of the participants in proposals (based on a set of key-words) was as follows.
A1 A2 A3 A4 Not specified
16 % 16.8 % 9.4 % 9 % 48.6 %

A1: Principally a supplier of telematics services
A2: Principally a professional user of telematics services
A3: Principally an end or final user of telematics services
A4: Principally a provider of service to the project

5.5. Distribution of proposals over the Libraries work programme

On the whole the work programme was suitably covered by the elegible proposals for shared-cost R&D; projects received (55 proposals). A further 20 proposals were related to general and C&EE related support actions.
Action Line A Action Line B Action Line C Support actions & accompanying measures
16 17 22 20

Nine Call Topics in total had been defined to clarify the focus of the Action Lines, since the work programme itself was extremely synthetic. These Call Topics were not mandatory, but they were designed to provide an indication of the technical scope of each of the Action Lines. All the Call Topics were in fact addressed. Those with the largest number of proposals were Call Topics 4-5bis in Action Line B and Call Topics 8-10bis in Action Line C.

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6. General results of the Call for Proposals

39 proposals emerged from the technical evaluation with a favourable classification of RETAIN or CONSIDERED. This produced a short list of 26 proposals that, after recommended merges, will produce 24 projects and concerted actions, and a reserve list of 13 proposals.

6.1. The repartition of country participation in the short list and the reserve list are as follows

Short list 9 11 23 8 7 12 5 9 8 0 16 10 9 16 52 0 7 1
Reserve list 0 4 5 2 7 11 4 14 3 0 13 2 9 4 21 0 0 3
Total 9 15 28 10 14 23 9 23 11 0 29 12 18 20 73 0 7 4

Short list 1 2 3 9 2 2 4 2 0 1 1
Reserve list 0 4 0 3 1 0 2 0 1 1 0
Total 1 6 3 12 3 2 6 2 1 2 1

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6.2. The distribution between different types of libraries in the short list and the reserve list are as follows
Action Line A Action Line B Action Line C Accompanying measues Total
Public libraries 8 6 14 22 50
Academic libraries 13 22 8 13 56
National libraries 17 4 0 2 23
Library cooperatives 0 2 3 10 15
Special libraries 1 16 10 6 33
Libraries in total 39 50 35 53 177

6.3. Coverage of Work-Programme in the short-lists of the two Call for Proposals under the Fourth Framework Programme

The coverage of the work programme combining the projects and actions launched from the previous Call for the Libraries sector and the results of the present Call on the basis of the SHORT list is:
CfP'95 CfP'96 Short list Total
Action Line A 5 4 9
Action Line B 5 7 12
Action Line C 5 5 + 1 ext. 10 + 1 ext.
Sub-total 15 16 + 1 ext. 31 + 1 ext.
Sector specific support actions/measures 7 4 + 3 ext. 11 + 3 ext.

Summary information on the projects and accompanying measures is already available and will be completed in due course.

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