Innovative Platform for Electronic Archiving
01/01/2005 - 31/12/2006
Has been finalized

Within Flanders there is interest from various directions for a community initiative that encompasses media, culture and government services. Not only from the government sector, but also within the private sector. It is clear that “digital archiving” is important in scores of sectors. IPEA focuses first of all on all technological and user aspects of digital archiving for production houses and radio and TV broadcasters. In a later phase the project can also focus on the digital archiving of audiovisual data with other players such as press agencies, advertising agencies, publishers, the government, regional broadcasters, production houses, educational institutions, etc.

Broadcasters and media production houses are faced with a great challenge. Through convergence between traditional broadcasting and information technology, both the production of programs and the access to the media is undergoing far-reaching changes. New distribution possibilities are opening up for media houses. The current challenges for these organizations include the following: How can we make production models more efficient? How should we deal with a massive quantity of visual content, with constantly changing digital standards and more and more fragmented productions?

A structured and complete digital archiving system permits broadcasters to make their existing archives accessible in a more efficient manner to B2B users (production houses, facilitating companies, other domestic and foreign broadcasters, etc.) and B2C users (art centres, schools, governments, citizens, etc.). In addition a digital archiving system can play an increasingly important role in the context of “ownership rights” by making the protection of data not only easier but also more secure and easier to monitor.

In order to develop the envisaged digital archiving technology, competency and additional research is a necessity in the following domains:

Research with regard to the identification of “user needs”, in the context of which professional, semi-professional and individual end users are eligible
Development of a standardised meta-data model for the description of audiovisual data
Establishment of guidelines for the use of specific media formats in the context of a digital archive
Securing multimedia data and networks, bearing in mind both B2C and B2B user scenarios
Specification of a general technical infrastructure that permits digital archives to be accessed in an efficient manner
Study of possible business models
The idea is to convert the acquired knowledge into a joint digital archive prototype. To begin with this prototype will be housed in the IBBT. After the conclusion of the project, the participating companies (and/or other companies) can of course build further on this prototype, albeit within the context of their own business operations.

VRT, VMMa and Videohouse are all participating in this project and in this way contributing their own expertise and knowledge of the problem area. Hopefully the participation of the market leaders in the broadcasting world will lead to a generally applicable standard for the exchange of audiovisual data. In addition, all the partners in the project also know the Flanders is not an island, and that agreements with the countries and regions surrounding us are also desirable if not indeed necessary. This is why within this project we also strive toward active collaboration with similar initiatives at home and abroad.

IBBT/SMIT was involved in the research regarding user needs and business modelling.

(Picture by Paolo Margari under a Creative Commons license)

Partners: VRT; VMMa; Videohouse; IBBT