Event Summary: Culture for Digital Innovation

What do iconic football boots and the digital economy have in common? Europeana – Europe’s digital library, archive and museum showcasing more than 23 million objects.

A unique event in Brussels, 9 May, highlighted how the rich and diverse cultural heritage that you can explore online at Europeana can drive innovation and economic growth and what needs to be done to make that a reality.

More than 350 people including Culture Ministers from across Europe, key figures in the creative industries and leaders of Europe’s GLAMs (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) got together to debate the hot issues that have to be tackled, and on the top of that list was why we need to open up digital data.

Neelie Kroes Neelie Kroes
Commissioner Kroes exploring Europaena from her iPad

Vice President of the European Commission Neelie Kroes was a key speaker and passionate champion of the digital economy and the role cultural heritage and Europeana can play in supporting innovation and economic growth. Jill Cousins Europeana’s Chief Executive stressed that Europeana was for everyone and that open data was the future if its full potential was to be realised.

Europeana e-cloud presentation

During the event Europeana showcased the latest technology to help bring online cultural heritage alive with the e-cloud. With the help of cutting edge technology, a special 3 metre by 7 metre screen took viewers on an interactive three dimensional journey through some of Europeana’s treasures and the stories behind them. Culture ministers, European Commissioners and key figures in the creative industries were among those who put on their 3D glasses for the interactive, interspatial e-cloud experience. This cutting edge technology could be the future of visitor experience at museums galleries and libraries.

Commissioner Kroes launching Hack4Europe! 2012

Commissioner Kroes also launched Hack4Europe! – a series of ‘hackathons’ in five European countries where Europe’s digital designers, programmers and developers are challenged to come up with innovative applications based on the open data and the treasure trove  of cultural objects in Europeana.

UK's slide from 'top treasures' presentationUK’s slide from ‘top treasures’ presentation

And European Culture Ministers revealed their personal ‘top treasures’ of the very best of Europe’s sporting, literary, artistic and cultural heritage from Nokia football boots to Carvaggio. In the coming weeks all their choices will be published together with a personalised blog entry on Europeana.

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