Europeana Cloud kicks off under clear skies to develop new infrastructure for its aggregators

A cloudless sky in the Hague, Netherlands saw on the 4th and 5th March the Europeana Cloud kick-off. The event was visited by about 70 delegates from the partner institutions and also by the chief of the responsible European Commission unit. One of the important tasks of the kick-off was to further discuss the infrastructure requirements that will be used to select and shape the type of the Cloud to be developed. This initial meeting on 4-5 March marked the official start of three years of collaboration between 35 partners. It is a diverse group, including representatives of libraries, research infrastructures, developers, publishers and researchers. They come from many different backgrounds but nevertheless share a common goal of establishing a cloud-based system for Europeana and its aggregators. Europeana Cloud is a €4 million Best Practice Network coordinated by the Europeana Foundation, designed to establish a cloud-based system for Europeana and its aggregators. In Europeana Cloud will be new content, new metadata, a new distributed storage system, new tools and services for researchers and a new platform – Europeana Research. Content providers and aggregators, across the European information landscape, urgently need a cheaper, more sustainable technical infrastructure that is capable of storing both metadata and content. Researchers require a digital space where they can undertake innovative exploration and analysis of Europe’s digitised content. Europeana needs to get closer to the target of 30 million items by 2015. KMi is the partner with the second highest number of person month (after Europeana Foundation) out of 33 partners. KMi was invited to the project based on our experience in content aggregation and text-mining acquired in the CORE family of projects. Apart from developing the Cloud specification, reviewing existing Cloud technologies and assessing their suitability for Europeana, KMi will also be responsible for experimenting with different models for identifying semantically related content from a database of around 30 million objects. This technology will be then provided as a service of the Cloud. 

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