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Metadata: increasing the value of digital content

Metadata: increasing the value of digital content

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Published by Justin Souter
Technology Strategy Board

Driving Innovation

Metadata: increasing the value of digital content

COMPETITION FOR COLLABORATIVE R&D FUNDING

SEPTEMBER 2010
Technology Strategy Board

Driving Innovation

Metadata: increasing the value of digital content

COMPETITION FOR COLLABORATIVE R&D FUNDING

SEPTEMBER 2010

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Published by: Justin Souter on Jun 02, 2010
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Metadata: increasing
the value of digital content
Technology Strategy Board
Driving Innovation
COMPETITION FOR COLLABORATIVE R&D FUNDING
SEPTEMBER 2010
02 | Technology Strategy Board
Metadata: increasing the value of digital content
COMPETITION FOR COLLABORATIVE R&D FUNDING
Summary

We have allocated up to \u00a35m to invest
in collaborative R&D projects that will
demonstrate how businesses may
increase revenues \ue000rom the metadata
relating to their digital content.

While the internet has enabled digital
content industries to gain greater access
to the global market, it has made it more
di\ue000fcult to control, manage and monetise
digital assets. The ease with which content

can be copied and distributed is threatening

the economic viability o\ue000 content-based
businesses. These companies are
challenged by illegal fle sharing and by
the shi\ue000t o\ue000 advertising to online media.

Digital content companies can no longer
rely on historic business models but
need to secure other sources o\ue000 income.
Better metadata systems \u2013 ways o\ue000 storing
in\ue000ormation about individual items o\ue000
content \u2013 o\ue000\ue000er a possible route to
improving consumer access to content
and to helping rights holders better
manage and exploit their assets.

This competition addresses the new
challenge o\ue000 generating revenue \ue000rom
digital content, by supporting projects
that demonstrate the value o\ue000 metadata.
A second competition in early 2011 will
support the development o\ue000 tools and
solutions to produce higher quality
metadata and use metadata to produce
digital content more e\ue000fciently.

In this competition we will invest in
business-led collaborative R&D projects
to develop prototypes and demonstrators
with the potential to enter the market within
1-2 years o\ue000 completion.

We will \ue000und two types o\ue000 project:
1. Fast-track projects: less than \u00a3100k in

total project value. These should be
completed within 12 months and must be
led by a creative industry1 SME. We will

hold three rounds o\ue000 \ue000unding \ue000or \ue000ast-track
proposals and will invest up to \u00a3200k in
each round, with a total o\ue000 up to \u00a3600k.

2. Mainstream projects: more than

\u00a3100k in total project value. These will
typically last between 12 and 24 months
and must be business led. There will be
one round \ue000or mainstream projects, and
we will invest up to \u00a34.4m in total.

All UK-based companies and research
organisations are eligible to apply.
Success\ue000ul proposals will receive a grant
\ue000or up to 50% o\ue000 the total project costs. The

competition opens on 13 September 2010.
Background and challenges

Although there has been considerable
investment within the sector in developing
metadata in\ue000rastructure (eg, databases,
schema and tools), the development has
been restricted to individual subsectors
and to largely proprietary solutions.
This has led to \ue000ragmentation with many
di\ue000\ue000erent, incompatible solutions.
This competition encourages solutions
that increase interoperability between
di\ue000\ue000erent approaches.

Rather than exploiting commercial
opportunities, metadata has been developed

\ue000or logistical purposes (eg, in music and
publishing distribution). Because o\ue000 this,
metadata is o\ue000ten seen as an operational
overhead and a business cost, rather than
something o\ue000 strategic importance that
can be used to drive value. We highlighted

metadata as a strategic priority in our report
Creative Industries Technology Strategy
2009-2012, published in July 2009.

Another challenge is to ensure that
metadata remains persistently and
dynamically associated with an item o\ue000
content. Today\u2019s solutions rely either on a
fle header or on integrated techniques
such as watermarking, but neither o\ue000 these
approaches has seen signifcant take up in
commercial applications, suggesting that
\ue000urther research is needed.

Systems that use digital fngerprinting
techniques to link content with its
metadata have had some success, with
the audio recognition system Shazam
being perhaps the best known example.
The potential to extend digital
fngerprinting to create applications that
would allow all types o\ue000 content to receive
updateable metadata over the network
o\ue000\ue000ers interesting new possibilities; \ue000or
example, enabling in\ue000ormation about a
product (such as price, rights or licensing
data) to be updated dynamically.

This more sophisticated use o\ue000 metadata
may support the emergence o\ue000 new
revenue models. Better quality, more
consistent and more readily available
metadata will improve understanding o\ue000 the
ways \u2013 both authorised and unauthorised
\u2013 in which content moves around networks
and interacts with consumers. Metadata-
based solutions may also help address
some o\ue000 the complex licensing challenges
that rights holding organisations \ue000ace, such
as trying to fnd ways o\ue000 releasing value
more e\ue000fciently \ue000rom orphan works (where
it is di\ue000fcult to trace the copyright owner).

Such insights may help rights holders
develop stronger relationships with their
consumers and help identi\ue000y new
commercial opportunities. This will only
increase as the more advanced \u2018next-
generation access\u2019 networks emerge with
greater intelligence built-in that can read,
understand and interpret the metadata.

Scope

We will invest in collaborative R&D projects
to develop prototypes, demonstrators,
tools or solutions that use metadata to
address the challenges identifed above.
Such solutions may create, but are not
restricted to creating, any o\ue000 the \ue000ollowing:

K\ue000commercially exploitable interoperability

between di\ue000\ue000erent existing metadata
systems such as databases, ontologies
and schema (eg, by developing
translational algorithms)

1 Creative industry sectors include TV and radio, flm and video, computer games, music, advertising and media, per\ue000orming arts, publishing, arts, cra\ue000ts, design, architecture, and \ue000ashion design.

Technology Strategy Board | 03
Metadata: increasing the value o\ue000 digital content
COMPETITION FOR COLLABORATIVE R&D FUNDING
K\ue000technologies to ensure the persistent
association o\ue000 content with its metadata
K\ue000increased understanding, analysis and

exploitation o\ue000 patterns o\ue000 content use in
networks (eg, peer-to-peer tra\ue000fc) that
could lead to new revenue opportunities
\ue000or content owners

K\ue000increased accessibility o\ue000 content

through more e\ue000\ue000ective navigation and
discovery services at the consumer and
business inter\ue000ace

K\ue000novel approaches to visualisation o\ue000
metadata (eg, in processing search
results)
K\ue000increased e\ue000fciencies in licensing,

rights clearance and remuneration \ue000or
the use o\ue000 digital content (eg, to enable
more rapid even real-time licensing)

K\ue000new services or business models that
exploit the value o\ue000 metadata as an
asset in its own right.

Other innovative proposals to develop
metadata-driven solutions to derive
economic value \ue000rom content not
mentioned above may also \ue000all within the
scope o\ue000 this competition. Proposals that
centre on new metadata creation and
content production are out o\ue000 scope \u2013
these challenges will be addressed in the
second competition, to be held next year.

This competition is particularly relevant to
any company that develops commercially
exploitable content-based services \u2013 as a
vendor o\ue000 services (advertising, social
media), a producer o\ue000 creative product
(flm, music, games, TV and radio,
publishing), an archive o\ue000 content
(galleries, libraries, museums) or a data
specialist (in\ue000ormation engineering,
large-scale simulation and modelling).

Funding allocation
and project details

All projects must be collaborative, with at
least one partner. Proposals must
demonstrate that each partner will make a
signifcant contribution to the project and
will expect to derive value \ue000rom the

outcome. Partners can be drawn \ue000rom
large or small businesses, academia,
research and technology organisations,
and not-\ue000or-proft organisations, but the
projects must be led by a revenue-earning
business entity. Applicants who intend to
apply \ue000or \ue000unding o\ue000 \u00a31m or more should
contact us be\ue000ore submitting a proposal.

Success\ue000ul projects will receive a grant to
cover up to 50% o\ue000 total project costs, with
the partners providing the balance in
matched \ue000unding. For example, applicants
\ue000or \ue000ast-track project \ue000unding can apply \ue000or
a maximum \u00a350k grant.

The project must result in a prototype,

demonstrator, tool or solution built around a specifc content-based service or application, with the potential to enter the market within 1-2 years o\ue000 project completion. It should be the precursor to a new commercial service or product, or it should signifcantly enhance existing products or services. Solutions that have the potential \ue000or wider, global adoption across other businesses and market

sectors will have an advantage over niche,
geographically discrete applications.
Applicants must:
K\ue000explain how their proposal will enable
digital content businesses to increase
their commercial revenues
K\ue000show that they understand the

opportunity or problem their solution is
looking to address, and are aware o\ue000
potential competing approaches

K\ue000explain what is innovative about their
proposed solution and what benefts it
will o\ue000\ue000er over existing approaches
K\ue000show an understanding o\ue000 the

standards relating to metadata and an appreciation o\ue000 the relevant legislative environment

K\ue000provide an outline o\ue000 how they will exploit
the result o\ue000 their project commercially,
and describe the anticipated:
K\ue000target market
K\ue000business model (how you intend to
earn revenue)
K\ue000route to market
K\ue000time \ue000rom project completion to launch
o\ue000 the product, service or capability
K\ue000attempt to quanti\ue000y the annual global
revenue potential \ue000or the solution \ue000or the
frst fve years \ue000rom launch.
Application process

Full details o\ue000 the application process
will be included in the Guidance \ue000or
Applicants. This will be available \ue000rom

13 September 2010 at www.innovateuk.org
under Competitions. Applicants must read
this document be\ue000ore submitting a proposal.
Briefngs \ue000or \ue000ast-track and mainstream
projects will be held on 23 September
2010 to explain the application process
and competition requirements. We
strongly advise that all applicants attend.
Fast-track projects

Applicants must complete a single
application \ue000orm. Applicants who are
unsuccess\ue000ul in the frst or second round
o\ue000 the competition may revise and
resubmit their proposal in the subsequent
rounds until the third round has been

completed, when the competition will close.
Mainstream projects
Applicants must submit a compulsory
expression o\ue000 interest application \ue000orm by
21 October 2010. An optional expression o\ue000
interest may be submitted by 14 October
2010. In this case we will review the proposal
and give \ue000eedback be\ue000ore the compulsory
expression o\ue000 interest is submitted.

The compulsory \ue000orms will be assessed
and we will invite a shortlist o\ue000 applicants
to submit a \ue000ull application. Applicants who
are not shortlisted will take no \ue000urther part
in the competition. Applicants who intend
to apply \ue000or \u00a31m or more o\ue000 \ue000unding should
contact us be\ue000ore submitting an
expression o\ue000 interest.

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