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MIDAS-NET - European multimedia network members chosen

The European Community's INFO2000 programme which aims to promote the use of multimedia content in Europe and develop a European multimedia content industry was adopted in May 1996. The first calls for proposals under this programme were launched on 21 June 1996 (OJ No S 118 o...
The European Community's INFO2000 programme which aims to promote the use of multimedia content in Europe and develop a European multimedia content industry was adopted in May 1996. The first calls for proposals under this programme were launched on 21 June 1996 (OJ No S 118 of 21.6.1996), for a multimedia information network and for multimedia content projects. The Commission has recently published the results of these calls.

One of these calls was for the establishment of a European Multimedia Information Demonstration and Support Network (MIDAS-NET), and sought organizations active in promoting the Information Society in all the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA). The aims of MIDAS-NET are to stimulate awareness and use of the newly emerging multimedia information services and applications in Europe. Among actions which will be undertaken by the network are:

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

In total, 115 proposals were received, involving some 366 organizations from all EEA countries. Of these 23 nodes have been selected in 17 countries, and will start operating in January 1997. These will ensure that local access to information about multimedia is available, in local languages, to interested parties in each of the EU Member States plus Norway and Iceland. Each node will receive a Community contribution for its operation, with annual average support estimated at ECU 100,000 for each node. The Commission was particularly keen to support nodes comprising a number of partner organizations, in order to ensure the maximum geographical and sectoral coverage. As a result of this, the 23 nodes selected involve around 100 organizations.

Complementing the country nodes, a node at European level will cover the statistical information field, which is considered essential for SMEs. Each of the MIDAS nodes will be supported by the Central Support Team (CST), based in Luxembourg. The CST will coordinate activities of the network and provide information, documentation and tools to support their activities. In particular, the CST will manage the MIDAS-NET World Wide Web server, which will be of major importance in supporting the network's activities.
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