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INFO2000 Midas-Net: Multimedia Information Demonstration and Support Network

The European Commission, DG XIII, has published a call for proposals concerning the establishment of a Multimedia Information Demonstration and Support Network (Midas-Net).

In the framework of the Council Decision of 20 May 1996 (OJ No L 129 of 30.5.1996) adopting a multiannual programme aimed at stimulating the development of a European multimedia content market by encouraging the use of multimedia content in the emerging Information Society (INFO2000), the Commission foresees the establishment of a Multimedia Information Demonstration and Support Network (Midas-Net). The network would be composed of organizations active in promoting the Information Society in the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA).

The objective of Midas-Net will be to stimulate awareness and use of the newly emerging multimedia information services and applications in Europe. The actions of Midas-Net comprise:

- Creation of a human and electronic (World Wide Web) network;
- Development of common projects;
- Stimulation of cooperation of Member State activities for the creation of an Information Society;
- Exchange/transfer of expertise by spreading success stories and best practice about multimedia technologies.

The call aims to select centres from among the most active organizations in the conduct of awareness and demonstration campaigns in the EEA. They must be financially stable and consider the Community contribution as a European complement to their regular activities. Network activities will be aimed at user groups in business, industry and trade, and in particular at SMEs and citizens. Notably, it is foreseen to reach organizations that can act as multipliers, e.g. chambers of commerce, user associations in industrial sectors and libraries. Special incentives will be given to less-favoured regions and to actions directed to encourage the involvement of women in the Information Society.

Given the nature of its objectives and tasks, the network of Midas-Net nodes will have to collaborate with existing organizations and other EU networks involved in the establishment of the European Information Society, such as ISPO, the EICs, BC-Net, INNOVATION Relay Centres, etc.

The purpose of this call is to select at least one organization or consortium in each EEA country to act as a node of the Midas network. It is open to legal entities, institutions or groups, whether private or public within the EEA.

The budget allocated for an initial period of 12 months is estimated on average at ECU 100,000 per Midas-Net node on a shared cost basis. The budget foreseen for subsequent periods, up to a maximum duration of four years, is in the same range.

Organizations or consortia interested in submitting a proposal should request an information booklet containing detailed information about the organization of the network, the tasks to be performed, as well as information about eligibility and the principles governing financial support.

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