New Research and Development will Address Challenge of Generating Revenue from Digital Content

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Over thirty British companies, institutions and further education establishments are to share £3 million of government investment to carry out research and development projects aimed at helping demonstrate how businesses may increase revenues from the metadata relating to their digital content.

New research and development will address challenge of generating revenue from digital content

Over thirty British companies, institutions and further education establishments are to share £3 million of government investment to carry out research and development projects aimed at helping demonstrate how businesses may increase revenues from the metadata relating to their digital content.

The Technology Strategy Board funding will be invested in eight business-led collaborative R&D projects that will develop prototypes and demonstrators with the potential to enter the market within 1 to 2 years of completion.

Explaining the background to the investment, Nick Appleyard, the Technology Strategy Board’s Head of Digital, said:
“The Technology Strategy Board Creative Industries strategy identified the ease with which digital content can be copied and distributed as posing a threat to the economic viability of content-based businesses. It also found that better metadata systems – ways of storing information about individual items of content – offer new opportunities for both improving consumer access to content and helping rights holders better manage and exploit their assets.”

The R&D projects include “OpenArchive”, led by Twofour Group, who will be developing an innovative web based service to provide online access to digitalised archive film footage, sharing the UK’s rich visual and cultural heritage with a global audience.

Another project, led by Soutron Ltd, is “MEDIA” – Metadata Encapsulation for Digital Information and Assets – which aims to create a proof of concept system that allows an organisation to control and manage digital assets after they have “left” the repository in which they are normally stored. This will be done through an innovative combination of cloud computing services and encapsulation technologies using metadata-based encoding.

The eight projects are led by the BBC, Bodymetrics Ltd, Guardian News and Media, Pearson Education, Soutron Limited, Twofour Studios, Xtensis Ltd and ZOO Digital Group plc. The total cost of the research and development projects, including contributions from the partners involved, is over £6 million.

A second funding competition relating to metadata – Metadata production tools – opens on 14 March 2011. This will see the Technology Strategy Board investing up to £5m in collaborative R&D projects looking to create tools that make the production of content (such as film, music and computer games) more cost-effective, less risky and yield greater value through new advanced uses of metadata.

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Nick Sheppard
Technology Strategy Board
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