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Corporate multimedia information systems - technical documentation

Objective

The pilot aims to develop multimedia solutions to meet the technical documentation needs of SMEs. It will undertake user evaluations of the proposed solutions. Representative user groups will be employed in at least four European Member States to establish common requirements and provide a broadly based evaluation of the solutions. SMEs face a number of difficulties in accessing, browsing, selecting and understanding relevant information. They often lack the resources of time and human skills to undertake these tasks. Their difficulties may be compounded by information interfaces which are not sufficiently intuitive for efficient usage by occasional users. The pilot will specifically address problems in the areas of a) information on technology and innovation, b) assembly and inspection documentation and training, and c) maintenance and safety documentation.

This exploratory action will examine the possibility of establishing a pilot application in the area of multimedia technical documentation for European SMEs. SMEs have particular problems with the availability of time and resources to devote to technical documentation. Improved methods of delivery of technical information and of novel approaches to the provision of document preparation tools and services will allow SMEs to participate in the wealth creation process expected to derive from the multimedia revolution.

The pilot application is intended to address the technological, organisational, legal and methological framework within which SMEs throughout Europe can produce multimedia technical documents in an efficient and cost effective way. User groups of SMEs will be established in as many European Member States as possible to establish common requirements and to provide wide-spread evaluation of the solutions under investigation.

In this exploratory action, discussions will be held with SMEs in four member states to establish the potential for user groups, the problems faced by SMEs in this area, the projects comprising the cluster, the goals of the projects and how the results of the projects will be evaluated. As a parallel activity the technical issues will be examined with the aim of identifying a number of solutions which will be cost effective for SMEs and will address their needs.

Projects in the cluster are likely to include the preparation of different kinds of documentation, for example, in the maintenance, assembly, inspection, training and safety areas. Integration of information from suppliers into user produced documentation and provision of information on relevant innovation and new technology are also expected to be addressed. Technical solutions could range from low cost solutions for individual SMEs to the provision of services over networks and the provision of software environments over a network.

Management issues will also be addressed in the exploratory action including the organisation of the pilot application management, the interdependencies and interactions between the projects and their tasks, the expansion of the number of Member States involved and the preparation of an outline business case for exploitation.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts

Coordinator

FT Healthcare and Cartermill International Ltd
Address
Technology Centre North Haugh
KY16 9EA St Andrews
United Kingdom

Participants (4)

National Technical University of Athens
Greece
Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL)
United Kingdom
Address
Chilton
OX11 0QX Didcot
TNO Metals Research Institute
Netherlands
Trinity College Dublin
Ireland