background image
DigiCULT
.
Info
35
enter into a firm framework of co-opera-
tion. A permanent home for E-Culture
Net has been found at the new European
University of Culture in Strasbourg.This
co-location with the premises of the
Council of Europe (CoE) ensures a fitting
and enduring home for the network.
E
-Culture Net has twenty-four main
participants, and an attached 132
organisations with a total of 537
researchers. In effect, the NoE is a consor-
tium of a number of smaller, specialised
NoEs which, in isolation, lack the critical
mass to achieve what is now possible.The
activities of E-Culture Net included two
conferences for members (11-14
December 2002, 16-17 June 2003), which
included guests from the Artnouveau and
Netzspannung networks, resulting in
agreements for further co-operation.
N
ext steps for E-Culture Net include
the development of a Network of
Excellence to integrate our goals through a
prototype DEER, with joint research and
concrete pilots for e-learning.The DEED
(Distributed European Electronic
Dynamic) resource is a prototype for the
long-term DEER and will combine an
integration of projects and activities and
the development of networks in each
country.The DEED will be updated using
the defined Research Matrices.There will
follow concertation meetings to link the
NoE's and the IP's and a proposed accom-
panying measure that explores how the
long-term framework for the DEER can
be further operationalised.
national, regional and local levels; new
fields of study; and changing boundaries
of scholarship.These new areas for future
research confirm that the so-called revolu-
tion in new media is much more funda-
mental than hype about more powerful
computers linked by faster connections. It
is changing the methods for creating, pre-
serving, accessing and learning (presenting)
knowledge. It is changing the boundaries
between disciplines and in many ways
transforming the nature of knowledge
itself.
NATIONAL NETWORKS
A
model of national networks ensures
that E-Culture Net can expand to
achieve a critical mass that is representative
of Europe's enormous diversity. In the
course of the first year Spain established a
solid national network complete with its
own Website at:
http://www.ucm.es/info/eculture/index.h
tm. Content pilots served as a motivation
to integrate these efforts. In most
European countries a permanent or tem-
porary representative was found to lead the
national network.Within the thematic net-
work, membership expanded to sixteen
European countries, and nine NAS coun-
tries.
N
ational networks, with close links to
the policy strands of national gov-
ernments (e.g. via MINERVA) can address
the challenges of subsidiarity and assure
that local, regional and national interests
become more visible and are fostered
through a European E-Culture Net.They
can raise awareness of Europe's remarkable
unity of diversities as emphasised by
Giorgio Ruffolo (of the European
Parliament) and thus contribute to a new,
emerging consciousness of what it means
to be a European.
W
ritten agreements with UNESCO,
a number of organisations and
existing projects ensure that members will
interlinked, hence the rise of terms such as
multi-media, inter-media, trans-media and
cross-media.There are new links between
content, context and communication,
which leads to new interplay among cul-
tural organisations, industry, research insti-
tutions and government. New overviews
are needed to fully understand these devel-
opments, therefore E-Culture Net began
to develop a prototype for such research
matrices.This began by identifying basic
categories for a macro- and a micro-
research matrix (details available on
http://www.eculturenet.org/). Next, a
working model was developed to which
members can add content.
Netzspannung.org (http://www.netzspan-
nung.org/) has been working on knowl-
edge discovery tools with semantic maps
and other features, which will in future
enable users to walk through knowledge
landscapes. A next stage will be to combine
the research matrices with Netzspannung's
approach to achieve new understanding of
the digital knowledge production life-
cycle. In the longer term the research
matrices will become one of the dimen-
sions of the DEER.
I
n the short term, by way of preparation
for the DEER, two research topics were
identified: access to (and preservation of)
existing cultural knowledge, and production
and preservation of new cultural knowl-
edge.These two areas generated four inte-
grating themes for further research which
could become Integrated Projects (IPs)
5
:
multilingual, semantic access and knowledge
organisation; spatio-temporal access with
historical-cultural dimensions; collaborative
creation with multimodal interfaces; person-
al and collaborative e-learning.
T
wo areas for long-term research were
also considered: dynamic knowledge,
and new models of culture. Five further
implications were identified: massive new
content; new methods of scholarship; mul-
tilingual methods to reflect diversity at
More detailed information on E-Culture
Net, including deliverables, resources and
the DEER, is available from:
http://www.eculturenet.org.
5 Four such possible IPs were identified:
i) DILIGEANT (Digital Libraries in a GEANT framework)
ii) ACE (Augmented Cities and Environments)
iii) CO-CREATE (Collaborative Creation)
iv) PACE (Personal and Collaborative E-Learning).