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Vision, Insights and Trends for Awareness and Leadership in Media

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - VITAL MEDIA (Vision, Insights and Trends for Awareness and Leadership in Media)

Reporting period: 2017-06-01 to 2018-06-30

Recent research activities in the ICT (Information and Communications Technologies) area, in particular in digital content and media sectors, resulted in a number of technological enablers which allow the creation of new products and services establishing a new converged social media environment in Europe as a playground for a large number of stakeholders, to ultimately enable creation of the related business, new jobs, and revenues benefiting from these developments. However, the main drivers of the new media and content technologies are the big industries, whereas the main users of these technologies are small enterprises / SMEs, which are creating product and services to reach the end customers – European and world-wide citizens. We can still observe a gap in discussions between the “big” technology providers and the “small” technology adopters, which prevents the establishment of common strategies for the technology take up towards a more efficient creation of new innovative products and services. Therefore, there is a clear need for the establishment of a common European community in the area of convergence and social media, in order to lay-down common research and innovation strategies, of course, by involving important players from academia and research institutions, policy makers, end users, etc.

The large European industry in the media and content sector is mainly organised around the NEM (New European Media) Initiative ( a Horizon 2020 European Technology Platforms (ETP), dedicated to Content and dealing with Connected, Converging and Interactive Media & Creative Industries and driving the future of digital experience. Besides the technology providers in the area of content and media, the NEM involves various other actors, such as contend creators, delivery network providers (network operators, broadcasters, and Internet service providers), application developers from various areas, research institutions and academia, etc. The NEM Initiative also involves technology adoptors, mainly small companies and SMEs, which are, however, limited in resources and with it, their contribution, discussions, and interactions with other stakeholders at the European level is limited as well. On the other hand, there are clusters organised at national and regional levels in Europe, targeting smaller organisations / media and content technology adopters from the Cultural and Creative Industries.

Creative industries are often the early adopters of new service models and technologies, and thus forerunners of our emerging digital society. For these reasons, the cultural and creative industries have a strategic role to play in the economic recovery and growth of Europe, particularly in providing jobs and career opportunities to young Europeans, who are hard-hit by unemployment in the EU.

Accordingly, one of the main goals of the VITAL MEDIA project is to enlarge the community in the social media area at the European level, at level of the national and regional clusters, through collaboration among the NEM Initiative and the clusters, and to link those communities with the policy makers and stakeholders (ie standardization organizations) to increase the awareness of topics of interest from both side, for the benefit of the European CCI and ICT economy.

The VITAL MEDIA project pursues the following specific objectives:

1. Consolidate a visible and sound community across Europe (Member States and Associated Countries) for the Convergence and Social Media industry, building on existing European platforms and networks, such as the NEM Initiative, European Creative Industry Alliance and cluster networks (e.g. European Cluster Collaboration Platform) and enlarging the scope to less represented areas (e.g. Eastern Europe), where the development of new clusters will be encouraged and supported.

2. Connect, or set up where necessary, an optimal combination of online and physical collaboration tools (web based platform, social media, events, etc.) to support networking among all relevant players, conducive to establishing working groups on specific issues and challenges.

3. Define the Convergence and Social Media Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda in order to align a common strategic vision and roadmap shared by all relevant players from the industry, academia, research and policy spheres.

4. Ensure wide dissemination of all initiatives and activities carried out by the community via the platform, social media, events, working groups, workshops, publications, whitepapers, brochures, posters and videos where appropriate, to all relevant audiences at European, national and regional level, taking advantage of clusters pan-regional connections.
Important project activity was to onsolidate a visible and sound community across Europe (Member States and Associated Countries) for the Convergence and Social Media industry, building on existing European platforms and networks, in particular the NEM Initiative, where 750 members (out of more than 1,000 members) are considered as active, among them 78 clusters members, and where around 8% are from EU member states which joined EU in 2004 or later as well as EU candidates and associated countries.

In order to promote the exchange of knowledge and networking among the main players in the industry, which result in the creation of collaborative projects and working groups on key challenges, the team promotes both online and on-site networking among key community players through through a combination of online tools and events.

In the scope of its strategy relateed activities, the project worked on provision of a Vision document, representing community view for developments in the social media sector in Europe in 2025 and beyond. Furthermore, the project gathered significant community feedback on policy issues related to the social media and sumarized the corresponding outcome in its public deliverable, NEM SRIA document (version 2018), corresponding roadmaps targeting period until 2025, two community papers on Future of Social Media, and further eight position and community papers.

In order to ensure the project and the NEM Initiative prsence and promotion, the project redesigned the corresponding community website and consolidated the presence in our social media channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.). FInally, the project organized two focused workshops at the European level on specifics topics of the community interest and two annual community conferences, NEM Summit 2016 and NEM 2017 events.
In summary, the Vital Media project consolidated the NEM community, enlarged involvement of crative clusters witrhin NEM Initiative, established relations with different stakeholders and other initiatives for future collaboration as well as creatred new links to potentiual community members from Eastern European countries. To support aqll these activities, an online collaboration platform was established and a number of events have been organized. The project also supported research agendas, roadmaps, and position papers created within the NEM community.