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Path: Home | Structure | NRG | Meetings | Conclusions


Co-ordination mechanisms for digitisation policies and programmes:

5th Official Meeting of the National Representatives Group (NRG)

Parma, 19th November 2003

Summary and objectives of the meeting
Key statements
Progress of activity (up to December 2003)
Immediate actions (January-June 2004)
Emerging issues

Summary and Objectives of the meeting

The fifth meeting of the NRG was held on 19 November in Parma under the chairmanship of the Italian Presidency of the European Union. In addition, a conference on “Quality for cultural web sites” was held on 20-21 November. Both events were hosted by the Italian Ministry of Culture (MBAC) in Parma, in collaboration with the Ministry for Innovation and Technologies, with the Parma city local Authorities, the Region and the University of Parma.

The NRG is established, according to its Terms of Reference (ToR), to monitor, implement and coordinate actions concerning digitisation programmes and policies in Europe. Formal adoption or endorsement of the ToR by the participating EU Member States is ongoing and progress is reported regularly to the NRG.

The Lund Principles are a set of guiding objectives concerning digitisation and the coordination of Member States policies and programmes. The Lund Action Plan maps out the actions needed and is updated with progress and planning on a 6-monthly cycle. The actions are agreed at NRG meetings, and the MINERVA network working with the Member States representatives turns those actions into a practical reality.

The specific objectives of the meeting in Parma were to:

  • Report on progress in the Member States in meeting the objectives outlined in the Lund Principles, approve the Charter of Parma as strategic document of the NRG and start a review process leading to an Assessment Plan under the Irish Presidency.
  • Validate the content and planning for the 2nd « NRG report – progress 2003 and planning 2004 » to be published by the European Commission and MINERVA.
  • Introduce Newly Accession States (NAS) representatives to the NRG; Russia and Israel representatives were welcomed as observers at the meeting.
  • Identify and prioritise emerging issues and concrete results in 2004, recommend and endorse new strategies and actions to take these forward through the Lund Action Plan and other relevant ongoing initiatives.

This report presents firstly the key statements from the meeting, then the progress made up to December 2003 for each action line, and, finally future actions and emerging issues.

Key Statements

  1. The NRG welcomed NAS representatives’ Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the two observers from Russia and Israel. The MINERVA PLUS project with extension to the NAS countries plus Russia and Israel, was announced.
  2. The 2nd NRG Report will include a report from both the 25 countries and Russia and Israel. Next NRG report is planned for late 2003, but with a stronger focus on strategic issues. A first proposal for the NRG Handbook, as a companion compilation of factual data on portals and national profiles, useful contacts and networks, available guidelines and standards, training courses, etc. was presented for comments.
  3. The implementation of the Lund Action Plan is proceeding as scheduled. Concrete actions in 2004 are identified, and a clearer focus on results, “products”, and success indicators is envisaged. A review process is launched and will continue under the Irish Presidency leading to an Assessment Plan.
  4. The “Charter of Parma” is a strategic document presenting the overall initiatives and highlighting progress and potential impact. It presents activities and invites the Member States and the Commission to support the initiative.
  5. The NRG confirms that a new action plan will be developed for mid 2005. A blueprint will be produced under Dutch presidency. MINERVA will support the discussions and provide the necessary infrastructure. The Lund Principles remain the reference for the NRG. The position paper on EU-added value and post-Lund strategy produced by the Dutch representative and presented in Parma proved a valuable starting point for defining future strategic actions.
  6. Three practical products, the MINERVA knowledge base (the former NRG Handbook), the Good Practice Handbook and the 10 principles and the Handbook for quality in cultural web sites are in progress or being finalised.
  7. Smaller cultural institutions, and the inclusion of industry, academia and public authorities into the MINERVA user community, remains a key topic still to be addressed. MINERVA will develop an advocacy plan for the NRG on key issues and challenges. Minerva will present this advocacy plan to the next NRG for discussion.
  8. Cooperation with other projects, both EC funded and national, is progressing well through meetings and concrete agreements with main networks and new FP6 projects, e.g. the 'digitisation cluster meeting' held during Bibliocom in Rome at the end of October 2003. The NRG wishes to be informed in advance on these future cooperation agreements.
  9. The "Firenze agenda" is proposed by an experts group to the NRG for endorsement as an extension of the current action plan in order to link issues related to digital memory preservation. The initiative is supported by the Italian Presidency, the European Commission, the MINERVA and ERPANET projects. Other projects have already joined the initiative and also the UNESCO has given full support to the agenda.

Progress of implementation up to December 2003

The Lund Action Plan takes as its reference the Lund Principles, identifying four main areas where specific actions are needed. For each action it defines objectives, the implementation approach and associated tasks, actors, and results achieved. NRG has launched various activities to cover issues within the four areas and, even if they often overlap each other, it's possible to map back activities to the four core areas.

Five priorities were established for the second semester 2003, and were underlined by the Italian Presidency as areas where rapid progress was expected.

  1. Consolidate the leading role of the NRG and high-level commitment to the Lund Principles, also using the tool of publications and recommendations.

    Progress: the Italian Presidency presented the conclusions of the last NRG meeting in Corfu at the Committee des Affaires Culturelle CAC in Brussels in July 2003. The reception was very positive, and the NRG and MINERVA were encouraged to continue their work. The 2nd NRG report is being prepared by MINERVA, and will be published in Feb. 2004. The approach is more strategy-oriented and it will include national reports from the 15 Member States, from the 10 NAS, and from the two observers to the NRG: Russia and Israel. The NRG report will be published and widely distributed through the official channels as well as on the MINERVA web site. The Italian and Irish Presidencies have launched an Assessment Plan in order to review progress and outline future practical objectives. Concerning long-term strategy development, the Dutch national representative has developed a position paper focussing on the EU-added value of this initiative.

    A strategic document, the «Charter of Parma», is proposed to the NRG in Parma for approval. It represents the natural continuation of the NRG priority to consolidate the position of the group, to build consensus and to promote the adoption of common recommendations and guidelines. The draft Charter has been presented at the CAC meeting on the 27th of October 2003. After the NRG adoption, the Charter will be presented at the formal Council of Cultural Ministries, on the 24th of November 2003, still under the Italian Presidency.

  2. Present the guidelines for quality for web sites on culture.

    Progress : It was proposed 3 levels of tools: The Ten Principles, (a draft version) which is a guide for the development of cultural access points that celebrate European cultural diversity by providing high quality access for all to digital cultural content. (A short and a long versions were proposed). The explanations of these principles will be the 2nd level of tools, they will be drafted in the next months. The quality principles will be described through criteria which will be used to measure the principles themselves. And finally the 3rd level, the Handbook for Quality in Cultural Websites, improving quality for citizens which is a working document and also a work in progress.

    All these tools are building on the Brussels Quality Framework and taking also into account the W3C-WAI accessibility guidelines and other international initiatives. The principles outline quality criteria for cultural web sites and include a practical checklist to be used during site creation and maintenance. After the meeting in Parma, the workgroup will finalise the quality tools and will develop a concrete implementation strategy. Within the MINERVA Quality Working Group was set up a European Editorial Committee.
    Focus should be given to quality principles and criteria specific to cultural Web sites as opposed to general quality criteria for Web design. An international conference on quality and accessibility for cultural web sites was organised for 20-21 November in Parma. The substantial response and interest from user communities, national authorities and professional bodies, demonstrated the importance of the issue.

  3. Extend the network to NAS and small institutions.

    Progress: A new project MINERVA PLUS will be funded by the European Commission to enlarge MINERVA to the New Accession States (NAS), to extend existing working groups, and to include the participation of both Russia and Israel. The Italian Presidency, in cooperation with the European Commission, formally invited through the CAC the NAS countries to nominate representatives to the NRG. At this 5th NRG meeting most of the NAS countries nominated representatives and presented their national digitisation activities. Presentations from both Russia and Israel were also welcomed. Initial, but valuable, tasks have already been started in some NAS countries, e.g. translation of Lund Principles, establishing of national coordination groups.

    It is evident, based on the national reports and introductions presented by the NAS countries, that there are on going digitisation projects in almost every country. Common issues emerge such as IPR, quality and accessibility, interoperability and so on. Coordination at national and European level appears to be an important issue to be addressed in order to exchange good practices, focus investments and share results with other countries. MINERVA will offer co-ordination mechanisms already implemented and all the products such as training courses, handbooks and the web site. The MINERVA PLUS structure foresees the integration of NAS experts into the original workgroups to share experience and skill within the enlarged network.

    In the framework of the PATRAS-ROME initiative a network of small cultural institutions has been established in Greece.

  4. Finalise the handbook on good practice before publication.

    Progress: Comments and changes have been made following the meeting in Corfu. The first version of the “Good Practice Handbook” is now ready to be published and widely distributed and promoted in order to create awareness with institutional actors. The Handbook was discussed and validated by the MINERVA workgroup at the workshop in Rome on 29 October at Bibliocom. By definition this type of publication must be considered as ‘work in progress’, so an updating and validation strategy is needed. This must involve the collection of new good practice examples and the extraction of the new lessons learned. MINERVA is finalising a database project and one of the features will be a way to collect new good practice suggestions.

  5. Carry on the activity on preservation of digital memory.

    Progress: The Italian Presidency has promoted, in cooperation with the European Commission and the ERPANET and MINERVA projects, an international conference on digital memory preservation on 16-17 October 2003 in Firenze. In preparing the conference an expert group prepared a joint document, the “Firenze agenda”, identifying three priority topics – create awareness, exchange of good practice, and the development of a long-term strategy. A substantial consensus was seen with institutional actors, national authorities, UNESCO, as well as with many EU funded projects working in the domain. Some very practical short-term actions have been identified and progress will be reviewed during the Dutch Presidency.

Progress in other areas

NRG Report

The 1st NRG report gave visibility to a significant number of important national initiatives, showed that there was much to said on the issues of standards and good practices, and that coordination approaches in the Member States are now numerous and followed a wide variety of cooperative models.

Distribution of the report in most of the countries has followed official channels covering Ministers, ministerial advisors and correspondents in the field of digitisation, experts on digital documentation and multimedia, national programmes of digitisation, and cultural institutions and organisations, including provincial museums, archives and libraries. The approach opened channels for future NRG publications and reinforced the position of NRG in accordance with their ToR.

In addition it is now recognised that EU initiatives, such as the NRG and MINERVA, can influence national activities and that some new national initiatives explicitly reference the Lund Principles and the work of the NRG.

The 2nd NRG report is under preparation, coordinated by the Italian Presidency. It will focus on policy issues (institutional, regional, sectoral) in the Member States, as well as national programme initiatives and strategic developments considerations. This 2nd report will extend its coverage to the 10 new accession states (NAS), and will include a section for non-EU countries with contributions from Russian and Israel. A particular emphasis will be placed on how digitisation is becoming an element in wider information or knowledge society policies. It will also focus more on the emerging cooperative actions between Member States and in the international context. Another emerging issue to be addressed is how to make the Lund Principles and the actions of the NRG more relevant and visible to smaller cultural institutions. With the continued trend towards decentralisation in the Member States the 2nd NRG report will provide a more in depth coverage of specific regional digitisation activities.

Minerva Knowledge base

The definition of the NRG Handbook given in the Corfu conclusions has evolved in to a new concept of the MINERVA knowledge base. It will host all factual information relating to digitisation in Europe, including national policy profiles and web pages, information on membership, status, mandates and working methods of national coordination groups through a “Who is who in cultural digitisation”, information on centres of practical expertise and advice, and lists of nationally recognised guidelines, benchmarking results and training courses will be published and updated on the MINERVA web site.


Benchmarking helps increase the overall quality of digitisation projects and supports the exchange of good practice, is valuable for project monitoring and review, and it can be used in the selection of projects by funded authorities.

The model for benchmarking has been adopted and is being implemented, according to national requirements. The MINERVA benchmarking working group split its activities into 3 phases, namely:

  • Phase 1: experiment run during 2002 - results have been integrated into the NRG Report 2002
  • Phase 2: finalisation of tools and methods in order to extend benchmarking to a larger user community until August 2003 - delivering to phase 3 the online tool as well as a larger sample of surveyed institutions per country
  • Phase 3: starts late 2003 - focus on campaign for questionnaire collection, analysis and exploitation of gathered data, tool improvements, and the involvement of the new accession states.

The progress made so far has been very encouraging and MINERVA produced a report in August 2003 outlining ways to develop and promote the use of the benchmarking tool.

The next step is to help institutions find benchmarking partners so that they can share results and best practices. Another objective must be to define qualitative and quantitative data about current practices and to improve visibility on digitisation projects, programmes and policies.

Cooperative networks

Cooperative networks now exist in almost all Member States, and their role and competences are described in the NRG Handbook. The workshops hosted under the Hellenic and Italian Presidencies brought together many of the well-established national and European networks (Corfu in June 2003 and Rome in October 2003).

At Bibliocom on 29 October, MINERVA organised a meeting on digitisation and invited all the main networks and projects working in the field. A common approach based on a “terms of cooperation” joint document was developed with a view to creating a European Area for digitisation.

Among other significant initiatives, the cooperation with the EMII-DCF – ‘Minerva joint position paper on the importance of IST research for heritage resources’ is one of the most valuable results and example of synergy between projects funded by the European Commission.

Inventories and resource discovery

Lists of digitised content guidelines have been compiled to help set up national inventories of digitised content, as well as specifications for a pan-European platform. Descriptions of French and Italian collections are accessible through an experimental common portal.

A first meeting brought together European specialists of multilingual access to heritage resources. A cooperation with Minerva quality and good practices focuses will allow to raise awareness with cultural actors on the importance of taking into account the European multilingual environment when creating digital cultural content.

The identification of existing complementary digitised collections could eventually lead to the creation of joint services.


Interoperability depends upon the implementation of technical standards. Discussion between MINERVA and the ERPANET, EMII-DCF and PULMAN projects resulted in the agreed need to develop a common set of Technical Guidelines. These Guidelines were to be aimed to support those developing new digitisation programmes, encouraging the adoption of good practice as part of the requirements for funding. An initial version of the document was presented and comments are invited. The Technical Guidelines will be maintained and updated to ensure that they are kept up to date as standards change and new developments are adopted. Together, the Quality Principles, Technical Guidelines, Good Practice Guidelines and Benchmarking establish a virtuous circle.

Together with work on Inventories, a coherent model has been established for the development of interoperable services at a European level. The adoption of common XML schema for collections and digital services, agreement on basic terminologies, the use of DC.Culture for item-level searching, and the use of Open Archives Initiative together offer the opportunity to build a European inventory of digitisation projects.

In order to continue these developments, it is essential that work such as on the Technical Guidelines and Good Practice Guidelines are maintained. The role of an Observatory could be very interesting, undertaking roles of horizon-scanning, maintaining guidelines and co-ordinating the European contribution to global initiatives. This Observatory could be constructed by the networking, on a sustainable basis, of existing leading organisations in the field. The NRG should be look at the idea of an observatory in the near future.

On Intellectual Property Rights, work has concentrated on the ways in which the re-use of materials within an educational context can be enabled and on a framework that could be negotiated with copyright licensing agencies to simplify the cost of clearing rights for digitisation.

The Patras–Rome initiative and on-going work

The objective of this initiative has been to focus attention on the societal and economic value of digitisation and long-term digital preservation in Europe and has represented an instrument to link the priorities of the Greek and Italian Presidencies.

Two major focuses have been prioritised: the understanding of needs and requirements of small cultural organisations and the consolidation of recommendations and technical guidelines, representing a practical answer to the small organisations’ needs.

During the Italian Presidency, a network of small cultural organisations has been established experimentally in Greece to demonstrate a practical way to provide support in accessing national funds for digitisation (for further information about the initiative, please refer to the Greek National Report, November 2003).

The analysis of the demand of the small organisations will continue as a specific topic in the Minerva Plus work plan.

A collection of existing guidelines for digitisation has been included in the Good Practices Handbook.

Technical Guidelines are under development in the frame of WP3 and WP4 and in cooperation with EMII-DCF project. A first draft of the Technical Guidelines has been distributed for comments just before the Parma NRG meeting and will be finalised in early 2004.

Immediate actions (January – June 2004)

For the first semester 2004 the Irish Presidency sets out the following priorities:

  1. To complete the progress assessment of the ‘Coordinating Digitisation in Europe’ initiative. This will be formally launched by the Irish minister with responsibility for culture.
  2. To launch the Dublin Folio, comprising the publications completed by the NRG/Minerva.
  3. To coordinate the extension of the NRG to include the New Accession States, Israel and Russia.
  4. To explore the development of portal initiatives in the context of a future European Cultural Portal.
  5. To support the ongoing focus on digital preservation by hosting a meeting of national experts in this area. This will contribute to future work, led by the Netherlands presidency.

The meeting agreed that the NRG members at national level would undertake and support the following actions, in addition to the ongoing support for the workgroups coordinated through MINERVA.

Practical actions to be undertaken before the next NRG meeting:

  • The 2nd NRG report is planned for December 2003, under the Italian Presidency. It focuses on policy developments, national initiatives and strategic developments considerations. Coverage is extended to the 10 States preparing for adhesion to the EU, plus Russia and Israel. It will be published early 2004 and distributed by Minerva in cooperation with the Irish and the Dutch Presidency. The Dutch Presidency will also ensure the preparation of the 3rd NRG report planned for late 2004. Contributions for the 2nd NRG report must arrive by the beginning of December 2003.
  • Under the Italian Presidency the "Charter of Parma" has been produced, a strategic document promoting all the activities, to be presented to the Council of Ministers of Culture on 24 November 2003. The Irish Presidency will continue the distribution and promotion of the Charter that will be available on the web site and in a paper copy for distribution.
  • Under the Italian Presidency a scientific seminar on “Territorial Information systems for the Preservation, Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage” was held in Naples 23-24 Oct. 2003. The meeting looked at the important role of geographic information in the context of cultural heritage, e.g. archaeological sites, etc., and proposed a permanent group to bring together Europe-wide actions in the field. The NRG is invited to interact with this new group through the MINERVA network.
  • A new MINERVA knowledge Base has been developed in order to host factual information derived from the work of the network and to make them available on-line. The “Who is who” is a by-product of the knowledge base with factual information about policies, programmes and coordination activities in the Member States. Comments on the structure were from the NRG. Feedback is needed on the initial data structures and data collection for both products. Deadlines: all the partners to send comments about data structure and collection by 5 December 2003; Italy and Spain to deliver a full data collection plan by 19 December 2003; a first version of the populated database and 'Who is who' by January 2004; all the partners should commit to contribute to data gathering and updating.
  • The Good Practice Handbook distributed at the NRG meeting in Parma must be considered as the collection of the lessons learnt, through the analysis of good practices collected so far. Selection of good practices and competence centres is however a continuous work for which the support of NRG is fundamental. Web forms on the MINERVA web site call for new examples of good practices and competence centres, which will be stored in the Minerva Knowledge Base. Each country is asked to nominate at least one expert to join the MINERVA working group and to act as the reference point at national level for approving the proposed good practices and competence centres and for disseminating the Handbook in their respective countries. A summary version of the handbook will be produced in order to encourage national translation and distribution.
  • The Progress Assessment launched by the Italian and Irish Presidency will continue and will be integrated with the on-going work of the Netherlands on EU-added value and post-Lund strategy (including the work already presented in Parma). This will include a set of concrete objectives and success indicators for each action in the Lund Action plan. It will also define a set of possible priorities for a next action plan in 2005, and the Netherlands has indicated that they will the first to take on these new priorities.
  • The International Conference on Long-Term Preservation of Digital Memory organised under the Italian Presidency was a success and produced the Firenze agenda with priority actions to be undertaken in the next 12/18 months. Some projects have assumed responsibility for different areas. The Dutch Presidency has already offered to host another conference on this issue. A web page will be prepared and the workgroup will restart activity immediately after Parma under the coordination of the Italian Ministry of Culture – ICCU. The NRG has adopted the initiative and the experts group supported by MINERVA and ERPANET and other projects. Each country is invited to nominate experts by December 2003 (ideally those already participating in the current workgroup).
  • The 10 principles and the Handbook for quality in cultural web sites were presented in Parma - in a version ‘request for comments’ in order to enlarge consensus and to prepare an implementation strategy. The MINERVA workgroup will propose some mechanisms and a schedule of actions. A monitor and review strategy to measure acceptance by the different Member States and determine the impact of the initiative must be produced by the workgroup in the next 6 months. The focus should be on criteria, principles and guidance for quality of cultural Web sites and only consider general Web design criteria where absolutely necessary.
  • At the meeting in Rome on 30 October, important consensus has been collected about the idea of a digitisation cluster launched in Corfu. Representatives of many networks or projects joined the proposal and declared terms of availability for cooperation with other projects. The final document, referred as Roma agenda summaries agreements and outlines the next steps towards an ambitious objective of a European Area for digitisation. The next meeting of the group will take place at the EVA Florence in March 2004.
  • The benchmarking report produced by the MINERVA workgroup closes a phase of development. Now the work should focus on providing a tool to measure and improve practices. The longer-term focus will be online benchmarking, analysis and exploitation of gathered data, tool improvements, and the involvement of the new accession states. A clear strategy for follow-up is expected by the MINERVA workgroup and NRG.
  • The Italian workgroup on IPR has produced a work based on the national legal situation that is a starting point to define possible scenarios and opportunities. The objective is offer a clear map for decision-makers and the national level, and to identify a minimum common platform to build European e-services. Additional work must be done in exploring suitable business models and revenue production for economical sustainability. A completed framework to lower the costs of clearing IPR will be presented to the next meeting of the NRG.
  • General call to extend experts participation in all the MINERVA workgroups as a way to bring together a wider range of experts in different national networks.
  • The inventories of resources and the interoperability MINERVA workgroup will cooperate to write a explanation on: the quality principles for cultural web sites and multilingualism. This will include a description of good practice of multilingual access to cultural resources, the use of good practices methodology, the identification of several European complementary collections, and any improvement to the French-Italian portal in order to attract additional participants.
  • MINERVA e-learning courses aim to introduce participants and institutions to the key issues and decision points that they face in acquiring, managing, and preserving digital collections. The course combines elements of distance learning with face-to-face interaction. It also includes learning material elaborated by other projects and institutions such as ABSIDE, HATII of the University of Glasgow, and the joint masters degree of the Universities of Northumbria and Parma.

emerging strategic issues

Future strategies and EU-added value
The Lund Action Plan will close in 2005. A follow-up is under discussion and preparation by NRG and Minerva. A concrete outline of new and continued objectives, actions and instruments will be prepared and possibly presented by the Dutch Presidency during the Council meeting in November 2004, for further preparation by the following presidencies.

Preservation of digital and digitised memory
A first agenda for co-operation and actions has emerged in the form of a “Firenze agenda” adopted by the NRG. Cooperation exists bringing together all current European and international actors in digital memory conservation activities. Actions consist of workshops, seminars, and co-ordination and network services. During the Dutch Presidency attention to the issue will continue, and they plan to organise a European conference on preservation and access of digital and digitised heritage, cultural websites and media-art. Progress of the Firenze agenda will be reviewed during the Dutch Presidency.

Cultural Portals
The concept of a portal is increasingly seen as valuable tool to present cultural resources and to dialogue with the citizen. Today it should be seen as an important practical step in providing improved access to cultural collections. Many Member State reports highlight the role of cultural portals, and/or culture “nets”, and indirectly underline the increasing importance of collection building and standards. Portals and culture-nets can integrate work on policy profiles, inventories and interoperability, research on distributed digital libraries, resource discovery services, collection descriptions, quality, accessibility and usability, multilingualism, best practices, etc. The portal is an excellent way to reach a very wide user community and offer a set of e-services based upon digital heritage. The portal federates the efforts of cultural and memory organisations (archives, libraries, museums), e-government actors, academia, and industry. Today education and cultural tourism are two of the most powerful drives for creating these applications, however others can be expected to emerge in the future.

The Irish Presidency will host a conference in Dublin on 29 June 2004 examining the issue of portals from an end-user viewpoint.

The issues of IPR are complex, with uncertainty on the adoption of DRM mechanisms and a legal framework that has many difficulties for the cultural sector. Even the private sector has difficulty in building sustainable business models. In this context, five actions will be launched:

  • Creation of training guide on IPR, based on the EMII-DCF project deliverables and the Italian study
  • Development of a model requirements for a Digital Rights Management system, and a tool to assist cultural sector organisations in assessing the suitability of DRM solutions
  • Meeting of experts to review the implementation of the Copyright Directive
  • Define the parameters and roles for creating a secure and protected digital environment of cultural heritage collections
  • Define the parameters and roles of Trusted Third Parties and services in cultural sector business models

New interactive technologies
New technology developments in the fields of 3D scanning, photo realistic modelling, geographic information systems, location-based systems and services, virtual-, mixed-, and augmented-reality, etc. are increasingly being featured in Member State reports. These technologies are becoming both less expensive and easier to use, the technical delivery infrastructure such as broadband is now more diffused and affordable, and thus new «3-D » programmes for cultural heritage are increasingly being developed.

The use of these new tools, when combined with the cultural expertise resident in Europe’s institutions, allows the creation of new cultural experiences. They permit the creations of, and interaction with, models and visualisations of objects, sites, monuments, etc. and collections of such objects. Some cooperative effort could be useful if concentrated on:

  • Understanding the way such models can go beyond a simple visualisation, and support new evaluation processes, control and management activities, etc.
  • The way such models can be linked to documentary and data collections
  • The role such models and visualisation can have in supporting the way the public in institutions interacts with cultural content and cultural institutions
  • The coordination of public and private efforts to create a new form of digital library of models and visualisations, supporting comparative analysis and acting as an education resource.

The specific features of 3D digitisation and the role of such data when included in portable or fixed immersive and interactive systems would justify the creation of an ad-hoc working group. The task would be to look at the usefulness of the different technologies and document good practices, identify particular technical barriers and constraints, examine interoperability issues, and ensuring a proper articulation with the work of the NRG and MINERVA.

Conclusions of the meeting

The NRG is guardian of the Lund Principles and a platform for pro-active coordination, as stated in its Terms of Reference and from now on in the "Charter of Parma". MINERVA is responsible for the routine implementation of Lund Action Plan. The NRG promotes the objectives of Lund and where appropriate the products of MINERVA, identifies emerging priorities, and encourages wider cooperation both between different cultural institutions and with other related sectors. NRG members must ensure the continuity of the actions, develop collectively new themes and goals, and plan for their regular meetings.

The NRG appreciated the Italian Presidency’s work in support of the Lund Action Plan and welcomed at the strategic level the discussions on new priorities and the assessment plan to review the process, and at the practical level the development of concrete results and products and the follow-up given to the former Presidencies work on digital preservation. In particular, the NRG considers that the effective cooperation and grouping started with some other projects and national initiatives is an added value really significant to reinforce the consensus and approach across Europe.

Building on the positive experience made during the Greek and the Italian Presidencies at the NRG meeting in Corfu. Now the cooperation and planning of actions to be undertaken in common by current and successive presidencies has taken a step forwards, and also involves the Irish and Dutch Presidencies. The European Commission and NRG encourages such initiatives.

The Irish Presidency will host the 6th NRG meeting in Dublin on 28 June 2004.On the preceding day, the final report of the “Progress Assessment of the coordinating digitisation in Europe” initiative will be launched. On 29 June 2004, there will be a digitisation conference “Access all areas: serving the user”. This conference will examine portals from an end-user perspective.

The NRG thanked the Italian Presidency for the organisation of and constructive input to the debate of this meeting. A special thanks was expressed to the city of Parma, the local authorities and institutes for the warm hospitality and excellent support.



Copyright Minerva Project 2003-12, last revision 2003-12-22, edited by Minerva Editorial Board.
URL: www.minervaeurope.org/structure/nrg/documents/parma031119.htm
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