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Path: Home | Publications | Global Report | Global Report 2002  | Portugal


Coordinating digitisation in Europe

Progress report of the National Representative Group: coordination mechanisms for digitisation policies and programmes 2002

Lídia Jacob
Ministry of Culture

National Report: Portugal


Policy scenario for digitisation

The XV Government Program has a chapter dedicated to Information Society with some strategic measures:

  • leadership and horizontal co-ordination of these matters within a public institution under the Prime Minister responsibility;
  • an Info 2005 Strategic Plan will be approved with digitisationlines and strategies for all public administration;
  • the Government want to mobilize all society bringing good and successful samples within the public institutions, assuring the first line on technologic innovation and developing a quick, cheap and nearest e-government.

To accomplish those measures the Portuguese Government is committed to improve some projects such as:

  • the launch of Portugal government Website;
  • all public services will be online in a year;
  • new accessibility between citizens and public administration trough interactive Internet;
  • the launch of an electronic strategic plan for public bodies in order to achieve the e-business to public administration as well the private sector is;
  • the creation of a national security digital plan.

The Government also want to fight the digital exclusion assuring Internet local points in every cities
and especially in all the public libraries, schools, and post offices.
The Portuguese government Website address is: http://www.portugal.gov.pt/ SiteEntry.
On 20 November 2002 the Portuguese Government as approved a Ministers Resolution (Resolução do Conselho de Ministros n. 135/2002, de 20 de Novembro) regarding the national Information Society. This Resolution approved some goals such as the increasing of Internet among all the citizens without exceptions, the fighting of digital exclusion and the creation of an Information Society for all, in order to achieve the Seville Action Plan e-Europe 2005 targets, as approved at the Seville European Council dated 21 and 22 of June 2002, working hard towards a real e-Europe.
The Minister Assistant to the Prime Minister is the Minister responsible for e-government and all issues related with Information Society, in order to accomplish the Portuguese and European goals on these matters.
The 20 November’s Ministers Resolution created a Mission Unit for Innovation and Knowledge, which is a governmental policy support structure responsible for Information Society issues, innovation and e-government, and also an Inter-ministerial Commission for Innovation and Knowledge encompassing all the Ministries representatives, including naturally the Ministry of Culture.
Concerning the Portuguese Ministry of Culture is important to know that it is responsible for different matters such as antique and contemporary arts, theatre, opera, cinema, media, dance, archaeology, national cultural heritage, libraries, and is organised as shown in the figure.
A Culture Minister and a Secretary of State Assistant lead the Ministry of Culture to the Minister. They are responsible for nine institutes concerning the different areas of culture (antique and contemporary arts; arts of spectacle; cinema, audiovisuals and media; archaeology, national cultural heritage, libraries, etc.) the National Library, two national theatres (one in Lisbon, another in Oporto), the National Opera House named S. Carlos; the National Orchestra; the National Ballet Company; the National Centre of Photography; the Cabinet for IPR issues; the International Relationships Cabinet, among other departments.
Under the Minister of Culture the four Superior Councils handle certain matters regarding libraries, IPR issues, archives, etc.
The Ministry of Culture participates in cultural foundations with private cultural agents, such as Centro Cultural de Belém and Serralves Foundations, and in the Cultural Observatory (see figure).
The Minister of Culture Website address is: http://www.min-cultura.pt.
The Minister of Culture has created, four months ago, a Society Information Assemblage, which has experts from some of the major institutions herein the Ministry representing the National Museums Institute, the National Cultural Heritage Institute, the National Library, the National Archives,
the Cinema and Multimedia Institute, the Cabinet of IPR issues and the Portuguese Book and Libraries Institute.
This group operates as a forum of ideas
to incrementing a real Information Society towards all the citizens as potential and real Web cultural users. One of the issues discussed on the last meeting was the “organisation” of a cultural Website (Portal da Cultura) in order to accomplish the Portuguese and the European aims in these subjects.

Terms of reference and National policy profile

Regarding the Portuguese policy for digitisation we are in position to affirm that the Portuguese Ministry of Culture follows and increases within all the operative institutions and public departments the Lund principles approved in April 2001.
As the Portuguese Government Resolution regarding the national Information Society has been
approved on the last 20 November (Resolução do Conselho de Ministros n. 135/2002, de 20 de Novembro), the next steps certainly will involve much more institutions in order to enlarge and improve our relationships with European institutions such as the NRG and other similar projects.


Co-operation activities

Co-ordination of national networks

The Prime-Minister Assistant Minister is the Minister responsible for e-government and all issues related with Information Society as we already affirm.
The 20 November’s Ministers Resolution – as identified above – created a Mission Unit for Innovation and Knowledge, which is a support structure to increase and develop the Government policies related with the e-government, the digital economy, the Innovation Support Program (PROINOV), the National Initiative for Citizens with special needs within the Information Society (ACESSO). The main targets of this structure are:

  • to propose and promote measures within the Information Society and e-government, co-ordinating the Government program application and the European Action Plans e-Europe 2002 and 2005;
  • participate and prepare, in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the annual report supporting the national position paper to present on the extraordinary European Council in the first semester of each year, concerning the evaluation of the measures applied in Europe since Lisbon - 2000 European Council;
  • to co-ordinate and develop actions towards an enhanced Portuguese Government Website;
  • studding ways to implement democracy values trough the new information technologies;
  • to approve main projects headed for the Information Society within e-Europe Action Plan - 2005.
  • to uphold prospective analysis about Information Society and assure the production of national statistic indicators in order to accomplish national and European determinations.

The Inter-ministerial Commission for Innovation and Knowledge, is another organization created by the above-referred Ministers Resolution; it is under the chairmanship of the Assistant Minister and the sixteen Ministries of Portuguese Government have one representative.
This Commission have some specific tasks as:

  • to promote the calendar of development about the strategies for innovation, the Information Society and e-government;
  • to articulate the different programs and projects and their concluding within the Information Society and innovation;
  • to approve and up to date the responsibilities of each Ministry and the all the different public institutions involved.

Each Ministry representative, in co-operation with the Mission Unit for Innovation and Knowledge, has to assist their own public departments regarding the Information Society measures implemented and ongoing.
Inside the Ministry of Culture each institution or public department has a fragment of responsibility attending their artistic and cultural aptitude and organic profile as we are going to explain underneath.

Relationships and co-ordination with other national initiatives in connection with eEurope, e-government, e-learning

As we already said the co-ordination within these areas – especially in what concerns the eEurope and e-government – are achieved by the new Inter-ministerial Commission for Innovation and Knowledge in co-operation with the Mission Unit for Innovation and Knowledge.
There are some initiatives made from the Minister for Science and Higher Education about e-learning.
The Website address is: http://www.mces.gov.pt/.
Amongst all the Minister initiatives we should made known the Innovation Agency called uARTE.
uARTE, the Educational Telemetric Network Support Unit, from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education (before was called Minister of Science and Technology) supports and promotes telemetric activities in schools.
This is partly carried out through this WWW site, which offers various services that support the development of this programme.
On this site you can find different services:

  • news sent in by schools describing their activities;
  • a catalogue of interesting educational resources on the Internet;
  • some forums (news or IRC) where schools may debate issues relating to education;
  • an e-mail and www directory of all schools in the programme;
  • several proposals of national and international projects based on Internet;
  • some guiding materials and a showcase of good examples and best practice.

Part of the educational support is carried out at the local level, through several actions centred on school visits, facilitating the correction of problems, and stimulating the use of the Internet as a library information resource.

Come and see some samples of our work:

  • Programme Internet in School
  • Forums
    Join these forums to discuss topics of your interest and share your opinions. It is your choice to make them an interesting and lively space.
  • School Websites
    Here is a selection of schools that have built their own web pages.

  • Schools and Scientists
    During Netdays Europe (October 1997) groups of students of different schools were asked to find out the answers to several challenges posed by scientists within certain scientific areas.
  • Keypals
    This is the right place for you to find out about friends and contacts in other places.
  • Projects
    Find out about on-going projects in other schools.
  • Mosaic
    Check out our school homepages in a reduced graphical view.
  • Macau
    Trends in science education and scientific culture in Europe and Asia.
  • Coordinates
    Wishing to contact us? Here’s how.
European and international co-operation

The major institutions and public departments within the Minister of Culture that work with digitisation take part in European and international programs and projects, as well in networks specialised in their respective sector areas: museums, archives, cinema, libraries, cultural heritage, and so on, as we are going to describe on the next pages of this document.



On the basis of European Commission apply for, Portugal has done the second evaluation about public services online trough a private consultant – Cap Gemini/Ernst & Young – within the benchmarking projected by Action Plan e-Europe 2002, trough the 15 European Union Members and also Iceland and Norway.
A final Report was made and is available online:

  • eEurope 2002 - Resultados da Primeira Avaliação dos Serviços Públicos em Linha
  • eEurope 2002 - Resultados da Segunda Avaliação dos Serviços Públicos em Linha
  • eEurope 2002 - Uma Sociedade da Informação para todos


Inventories and resource discovery

Attention please: about all these chapters we must say that was inevitable to avoid some repetitions in each point, so what we choose a method that explains all them by bring in the work that some of our institution or departments within the Minister of Culture are developing towards giving objective answers to each one of them.

I. Instituto Português de Museus (IPM) / Portuguese Institute of Museums

Website address: http://www.ipmuseus.pt
The Portuguese Institute of Museums (Instituto Português de Museus) according to the Decree-Law
n. 398/99 of October 13th, has the following competences:

  • to define and guide the national policy of the museums through a constant dialogue with the State institutions holders of cultural heritage, with the municipalities, the Church and the privates;
  • to define and execute a systematic program of movable cultural goods aiming at its protection and safeguard;
  • to assure the worldwide diffusion of the Portuguese movable cultural heritage, working together with the Portuguese Foreign Office, namely through expositions.

IPM’S New Website/Museum’s Websites
IPM new Website was conceived to act not only as an information provider, but serving also as a resource and online services provider for the general public and the museological community.
With twenty-eight museums under its authority, renewed and extended its presence on the Internet through the construction of ten new museum sites and the enlargement and renewal of its own.
The ten museum sites share a common architecture, through which each museum transmits to the public their mission, contents, programs, public activities without compromising their specific identity. Some museums developed online products such as site-specific educational games and discussion forums.
All sites, including the IPM site, are bilingual (Portuguese and English) and offer a search engine over all the contents, contacts, opinion sharing and the possibility of subscribing a newsletter. They are dynamic sites, linked to a database structure and may be permanently updated.
The MNA (National Archaeological Museum) was awarded the “Web Art d’Or 2002” by the “International Museum Committee for the Audiovisual and Image and Sound New Technologies” (AVICOM), within the Unesco.
Websites addresses of some Museums within the IPM:

The others museums under IPM are:

  • Monographic Museum of Conímbriga
  • Museum Francisco Tavares Proença Júnior
  • Museum of Alberto Sampaio
  • Museum of Aveiro
  • Museum of Ceramics
  • Museum of Ethnology and Archaeology
    Dr. Joaquim Manso
  • Museum of Évora
  • Museum of Grão Vasco
  • Museum of Guarda
  • Museum of José Malhoa
  • Museum of Lamego
  • Museum of Popular Art
  • Museum of the Abbot of Baçal
  • Museum of the Biscaínhos
  • Museum of the Earth at Miranda
  • National Museum of Machado de Castro
  • National Museum of Soares dos Reis
    Regional Museum of Archaeology D. Diogo de Sousa

Digitisation of museum collections
The digitisation of all information concerning IPM museums collections is an ongoing project that aims at the complete computerisation of all documentation concerning museum inventories and collections management activities.
For this, software (MATRIZ) was developed in 1993 and updated in what refers to content and technology in 1999.
Matriz is available on the Portuguese market, and was conceived as tool that fosters good practices within the field of museum documentation.
As stated above this is an ongoing task.

Portuguese museums online
MatrizNet materializes a major goal defined by the Portuguese Institute of Museums in what concerns its policy towards research and disclosure of the collections safeguarded by its museums.
This action is integrated on the eEurope Action Plan in what relates to the production of European digital content for the world networks and is also integrated on the Internet Initiative in what concerns the digitalisation and availability of public content, namely from museums.
MatrizNet (http://www.matriznet.ipmuseus.pt/) makes available on the Internet, catalogue information about the collections of the museums co-ordinated by the Portuguese Institute of Museums.
The Portuguese Institute of Museums (IPM) has been following a policy of digitisation of pieces of museums and has digitised, until September of 2002, 100,328 images, 13,298 of which in high resolution.
This is an ongoing project.

Museum libraries
Some IPM museums integrate specialised libraries on the thematic of their specific collections. Some of these libraries are open to the public, and an effort is being made towards its complete computerisation.
This is an ongoing project.

National Photographic Inventory
(Image Digitalisation Program/CUMULUS)

The National Photographic Inventory is an image archive that includes photographic records of the objects held within IPM museums collections. The computerisation of museum inventories, claims access to digitised images of the objects within the collections. In order to supplant this need, a project for digitising this entire archive was launched in 2001. The aim of this project is to incorporate a digital component in the National Photographic Inventory that will allow an image to be simultaneously used by the Matriz program, the Matriznet as well as its use by museums for dissemination and other activities, this way fostering an integration of all content digitisation components. The digital record also complements the preservation policy for some types of photographs by reducing the amount of handling of the originals.
The system generates three types of image format, one for large scale archiving that stores vast quantities of information without loss, another of intermediate dimensions and some compression and, finally, a distribution format used for incorporation in the Matriz program and for dissemination on the Internet.
This is an ongoing project.

Participation in relevant European projects

European Information Institute/EMII
Portugal, through the Portuguese Institute of Museums, is a member of the Steering Committee of the EMII, an institution that assumes itself as a pan-European network encompassing 17 partners. Each partner represents an organisation that plays co-ordinating role for museums in their respective countries. EMII objective is to quantify and evaluate the range of information and collections management standards in use across Europe. The broader aim is to, facilitate online access to the cultural heritage of Europe’s museums, create long term partnerships between them and provide a European focus for national and international initiatives.

The European Museums’ Information Institute Distributed Content Framework (EMII-DCF) is a European project that intends to investigate the feasibility of creating a framework for the provision of digitised cultural content. The aim is to identify common technical standards and guidelines available for the implementation of sustainable interoperability and the preservation of cultural resources.
Project partners include museums, broadcasters, archives, libraries and industry. Portugal participation is assured through the Museu Nacional do Azulejo.

II. Instituto Português do Património Arquitectónico (IPPAR) / Portuguese Institute of Architectural Heritage

Established by the Decree-Law n. 120/97 of May 16th, it is the body that, within the current structure of the Ministry of Culture, is charged with the safeguard and enhancement of properties that, due to their historical, artistic, scientific, social and technical value, are part of the architectural heritage of the country.
Under the project “Inventorying and Digitising the Historical-Cultural Heritage”, approved by the “2000-2006 Culture Operational Plan”, is undergoing since July 2001 a more accurate GIS (Geographical Information System) data search of the immovable goods of several cities, aiming at co-operating with other associations with the clear objective of promoting a more efficient management, relegating the (IPPAR) to a co-ordination role, defining rules and procedures, validation, support and training.
The Website address is: http://www.ippar.pt.
At the moment, the GIS data search maps of the Municipality of Lisbon, the Historical Centres of Santarém, Faro, Tavira and Évora are available, on a 1:1000 scale, at the Website of the IPPAR. The GIS data search map of the Historical Centre of Beja is expected to be available soon. This work includes the digitisation of the listed immovable goods, protection zones and special protection zones in CAD and the association of the alphanumeric information, from the Information System, to the digitised geographical information with software Ark View.
It also includes the digitisation of associated images: the IPPAR digitised until now nearly 10,000 associated images, 3,700 of which are available at the Website of the Institute.
The new approach concerning the heritage established during the past years assumes a comprehensive and global vision of intervention, refusing the idea of “works for works”, strictly conditioned by the financial means, which generally obstructs a global approach.
Since the 70’s, the European Council has imposed new heritage principles and approach philosophies, which defend an enlarged vision, not confining it to the major historical monuments (such as cathedrals and palaces) but including also all the humanised components of the environment (such as historical centres, industrial heritage and the 19th and 20th century architecture).

III. Instituto Português de Arqueologia (IPA) / Portuguese Institute of Archaeology

The Website address is:
Established by the Decree n. 117/97 of May 14th, it has the following main competences:

  • to guarantee the development of the policy measures and the accomplishment of the State duties in the field of archaeology, in all the national territory and in the contiguous maritime spaces (i.e. maritime spaces corresponding to the territorial sea, to the continental platform and to the exclusive economic zone), working closely with the other organisms of the Ministry of Culture;
  • to promote the institutionalisation of the archaeology through a contractual policy with other private or public collective individuals, to guarantee an adequate articulation with other institutions in the carrying on of the given policies to the sector;
  • to collaborate in the making of projects and actions so that the public becomes more sensitised to the archaeological heritage, stimulating at the same time in the civil society the promotion of initiatives intended to its knowledge and diffusion.

National Centre of Nautical and Underwater Archaeology (CNANS)
CNANS is a dependent service of the IPA. It was established in 1997 as an expression of the awareness that assumed that the running of the underwater archaeological heritage, by its specificity, required a form of integrated and operative management similar to the one adopted everywhere after the war to the terrestrial archaeological heritage.

National Centre of Rock-Art (CNART)
CNART is a dependent Service of the IPA and has the following competences:

  • to make the inventory and to promote the study and diffusion of the Rock-Art, trying to follow the maintenance status of the monuments and to guarantee its safeguard;
  • to co-ordinate the scientific study of the Côa Valley art;
  • to reopen and co-ordinate the study of the Tagus River Valley art;
  • to promote the accomplishment of sectorial studies on Rock-Art, to organise technical seminars and to give opinions;
  • to work closely with international institutions and organisms to enlarge the scope of study and the diffusion of the Rock-Art in Portugal.

Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley (PAVC)
PAVC is a Dependent Service of the IPA, “to manage, to protect, to put in a museum and to organise for public visit the monuments included in the special protection zone of the Côa Valley”.

IV. Biblioteca Nacional (BN) / National Library

The Website address is http://www.bn.pt.
The National Library act as the National Bibliographic Information Centre – which is provided by PORBASE – National Book Data centre, whose essential goals are gathering, conserving and disseminating all national book heritages.

The National Library and the European Program IST
BN participates in three types of projects under the development and innovation program IST (Information Society and Technologies) - European Commission: DELOS network; Demonstration Program TEL and development and innovation project called LEAF.

DELOS network
It is an Excellency network for Digital Libraries, which has fifty partners in a large range of acting areas and all over the world. DELOS Purpose is mainly promoting highly quality activities around digital libraries, such as the network group support, meetings on technical advanced areas and ECDL European Conference of Digital Libraries. BN participates and leaders a special intercontinental group inside DELOS network named: “Agents - Reference Models for Digital Libraries: Actors and Roles”.
One of the highest result is the report: Digital Libraries: Future Research Directions for a European Research Programme, made in co-operation with the United States of America. This report has been taken as a guide to European and American experts on this matters, and is available on the Internet Website.

TEL – The European Library
It promotes synergy between national libraries towards the future European Library. This project is participated by ten national libraries and the work plan includes, till the end of 2003, new demonstrative services related with digital management editions; new facilities with Z39.50 protocol and with OAI protocol and tests to build digital identifiers OpenURL, etc. National Library has being a reference partner in the matters specially related with metadata.

LEAF – Linking and Exploring Authority Files
(http://www.leaf-eu.org) This project has being conceived after the MALVINE successful project – who had also the BN participation – and intends to create new limits in exchange information from Library and Archives authorities. The project began on March 2001, for a three years action plan, and is studying several questions as the technologies Z39.50, OAI e XML and the development of the research services and tools. Concerning LEAF project BN has being a responsible leader, co-operating with external partners, towards the definition of the final system.

Digital National Library
Recently the Information Society Fund – supported partially on European Funds – approved a BN project: Digital National Library, ongoing till the final of 2003. The total investment predictable is over one million euros for services and equipment.
The main goal is getting the more number of books and important documents in different areas of Portuguese History, Science, and Literature digitised and getting them accessible to all citizens through the Internet.
BN developed already some work in order to establish a real Digital Library which can be consulted – since February 2002 – at the Internet address: http://bnd.bn.pt.
All this development and research turned on a fresh basic data infra-structure, composed by specialised human resources and new systems. With normalised communications and procedures BN can also help other libraries and archives.
The results of this work will be known trough Internet by experts and public in open code, as well as the procedures, rules and tools used by BN.
BN also intends to digitise 300,000 images – most of them from periodicals editions – during the nest two years; the goal is to achieve in 2004 about 500,000 digitised images, and 1,000,000 just final 2005.
BN participates in a lot of other programs and initiatives in Europe and around the world, such as:

V. Instituto Português do Livro e das Bibliotecas (IPLB)/ Book and Libraries Portuguese Institut

The Website address is http://www.iplb.pt.
This Institute was created in 1997 and has two different areas: Books and Libraries.
The Website of libraries area is: http://rbp.iplb.pt/, and contains all the information connected with the National Public Libraries Network, and related to each city where each library is located.
Since this year the IPLB site is dynamic and self sustainable with immediate information to the citizen, providing digital formularies online, especially those related with financial support.
During 2001 IPLB have the sense of hearing all the responsible on data bases and digitisation in order to specificity their data bases and created a new Information System ameliorating the Internet containing.
Nowadays the IPLB has two main data bases available to the public through Internet: one about writers and other about libraries.
IPLB is member of several international associations and institutions, such as IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions), and Eblida (European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations), and is founding member of NAPLE (National Authorities on Public Libraries in Europe).
It took part on the European Project PLAIL (Public Libraries and Independent Learners) and actually in the LISTED (Library Integrated System for Telemetric-based Education), towards the research and technological telemetric development, supporting the access and giving conditions for handicapped people and adults who want to study by themselves.

VI. Instituto dos Arquivos Nacionais/Torre do Tombo (IAN/TT) / National Archives Institut

The Website address is http://www.iantt.pt/.
This Institute has two main functions and goals: it is the Portuguese National Archive and simultaneously is the department that co-ordinates all the national archives departments all over the country and make rules about the technical and digitisation aspects concerning this subject.
The Website is adapted to handicapped citizens and gives different kind of information to the public in general and to the investigators and archives experts.
Some of the services are achieved online: lecture card, copies, booking visits, etc.
The site allowed to visit and research documents at the IAN/TT deposit and also at the dependent services located at the Portuguese main cities (district archives – Arquivos Distritais) and works as a server to some of this services that don’t have yet a Website.
IAN/TT is developing a virtual room with inventories, index document categories and original documents.

Digitisation Projects
a) As regular procedure the Institute facilitates the access to digital reproductions by request. Just before the citizen or expert’ access to certain documents was only possible trough paper copies or microfilm.
b) At this moment is digitising “ Church Memories “ since 1758.
c) In partnership with Universidade Nova de Lisboa (University) and with Humberto Delgado’ s Foundation have ongoing digitisation projects about “Costa Cabral Fund” and “Humberto Delgado Fund”.
d) IAN/TT is expecting financial support from European Funds in order to digitising and facilitate the Internet access to the Photographic collection made by Mozambique Company; to Oliveira Salazar’s Diary and other important documentation, photos and outdoors, made on the 30’s. to 70’s.

SIADE Project
This project has been initiated on 1998 in partnership between IAN/TT and Data Institute with a main goal: produce or adapt recommendations about electronic archives management. Towards that it was accomplished the translation of MoReq Specification (model made within IDA Program on European Commission) and it’s ongoing publication.
Actually is transposing ISO 15489 – Records Management in to Portuguese Rule.

International Cooperation
IAN/TT participates in a lot of European and International Initiatives towards Information Society as the national co-ordinator for archives issues. These actions are especially visible on SIADE Program as shown below:

  • DLM Forum: IAN/TT is part of DLM Forum Monitorizing Committee, within European Commission, and has recently declared interest to be a partner on the DLM Network of Excellence on Electronic Archives.
  • ERPANET: this Institute also declared interest to adhere to electronic resource preservation and access network, as result of the work and studies that have being made by IAN/TT (more information please consult http://www.erpanet.org).
  • International Archives Council: since 2000 IAN/TT is an effective member of the Current Archive Committee in Electronic Environment within the International Archives Council, participating and on the production of technical orientations towards the electronically archives management in an international level.

VII. Instituto do Cinema, Audiovisual e Multimédia (ICAM) / Institute for Cinema, Audiovisuals and Multimedia

The Website address is http://www.icam.pt.
With the creation of the Institute for the Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia (ICAM), by the end of 1998, the Ministry of Culture extends its tutelage to the multimedia area.
As the only entity of the Ministry of Culture with legal capacity in the Multimedia area, ICAM supports multimedia creation and multimedia production, aiming to encourage a diversified offer of original works and innovative products and services.
ICAM also supports initiatives with special significance in what concerns the promotion and diffusion of Portuguese content creation.
Professional training in the Multimedia area, through scholarships and training activities, is also one of the most relevant attributions of ICAM.
In 2000, the first calls for proposals in the Multimedia area were launched, and financial support has been provided for project development and multimedia production.
In 2001, financial support was extended to the transcription to DVD format of cultural existing works.
ICAM grants financial support for project development of multimedia works. This is a support mechanism specially intended for creative scriptwriting, graphic design and structural conception of multimedia cultural content works to be published on digital, optical or magnetic systems, and to be distributed through digital communication networks or in articulation with other publishing systems.
According to the description of Directive n. 96/9/CE of the European Council and European Parliament of the 11th March 1996, a multimedia work is understood to be any collection of works, data or other materials or independent elements, such as text, sound, image or facts, systematically ranged, that can be individually accessed electronically.
ICAM has established partnerships with several national and foreign entities, aiming to encourage the different areas of Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia. Thus, ICAM participates in different media observatories, taking part in debates on this sector, or collaborating in INE’s pilot study, carried out to apprehend leisure time and the habits of the Portuguese in what concerns Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia.

ICAM assures national representation at the National Co-ordinators Committee of Audiovisual Eureka, pan-European inter-governmental organisation, with headquarters in Brussels, which now includes 35 European countries as members, besides the European Commission and the Council of Europe (http://www.aveureka.org).
Launched in Paris, in 1989, as a result of the “Assises Européennes de l’Audiovisuel”, Audiovisual Eureka had its mandate confirmed and refocused in 1999, in order to fit its main aim: to improve the participation of all its members in the European audiovisual policy (namely bringing the countries of Central, Eastern and Southern Europe closer to the audiovisual policy and support programmes of the European Union and the Council of Europe) establishing interchange between professionals and representatives of this sector and setting up ties with other European and international bodies in the audiovisual field.
The activities of Audiovisual Eureka are focused on countries that do not benefit or are not yet substantially benefiting from financial support programmes such as those of Media Programme or the Eurimages Fund. Such countries are mainly those of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as those of the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

Protocol Between ICAM and Cyber Centre Association of Covilhã
As a result of a Protocol signed between ICAM, the Associação do Cibercentro da Covilhã and the University Beira Interior, the Cyber Centre of Covilhã was inaugurated on the 7th July 2001. The Cyber centre is a space especially conceived to act as an exhibition and practice centre for the promotion and diffusion of the new technologies, and designed for young audience and students.
This Cyber Centre has got an audiovisual and multimedia sector (audiovisual studio and a multimedia production area), whose main objective is to promote training and support for product development in these areas, insofar fulfilling a valuable role in skills improvement and capacity development.
ICAM takes part in its programming and may use its facilities to develop autonomous activities. The signature of this Protocol fits in ICAM’s attributions, namely the support for the development, production and promotion of the Portuguese Cinema, Audiovisual and Multimedia as forms of art and as cultural tools, aiming to reach the modernisation and internationalisation of this industry, as well as “to support professional training, to create new audiences and to encourage collaboration between schools and enterprises, aiming to the interchange in the areas of education, training, content creation and product development.”

Some of the ICAM projects ongoing:

  • Documentation Centre Database: digitisation concerning the media, audiovisuals and cinema documents archived at ICAM Documentation Centre granting the citizen access through Internet.
  • Online Films Catalogue: ICAM is digitising the entire annual reports edited since the 70’s.


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