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
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.
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.
\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
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
\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
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.
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:
between di\ue000\ue000erent existing metadata
systems such as databases, ontologies
and schema (eg, by developing
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.
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
through more e\ue000\ue000ective navigation and
discovery services at the consumer and
rights clearance and remuneration \ue000or
the use o\ue000 digital content (eg, to enable
more rapid even real-time licensing)
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).
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.
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
opportunity or problem their solution is
looking to address, and are aware o\ue000
potential competing approaches
standards relating to metadata and an appreciation o\ue000 the relevant legislative environment
Full details o\ue000 the application process
will be included in the Guidance \ue000or
Applicants. This will be available \ue000rom
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
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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