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of the project and offer additional services to institutions, administrations, companies,
scholars and professionals in order to become a major reference point in the cultural
heritage sector. Ideally, the portal will become a virtual network of excellence where
products and technologies are sold through e-commerce applications. (cf. the feasibility
study: Guarino, 2001)
The portal will be launched at the begin of 2002 as an Italian project. Driven by the
CNR the project is supported by the following partners:
Telecom Italia, that will provide the ICT infrastructure,
Banca Nazionale del Lavoro, and the
Sviluppo Italia, the national development agency for the Mezzogiorno and other
less developed areas throughout the country. <>
The portal will be subdivided into the following areas respectively "channels":
Databases: will offer access to databases on specific themes.
Technology: will offer services related to the safeguarding of cultural heritage
targeted at public bodies (e.g. regional and local councils) as well as oppor-
tunities for innovation in enterprises in the cultural heritage sector (B2B).
Publishing: will promote print and multimedia products (e.g. manuals and
textbooks, videos and CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs)
Events: will offer services connected to the organisation of congresses,
meetings, workshops.
Training: will promote awareness of the numerous training courses related to
cultural heritage offered by universities, research bodies, regional and local councils.
New business: will in particular showcase new business opportunities related to
technologies, equipment and methods e.g. in the field of diagnostic
or restoration work.
Institutions: will provide information on scientific and technological activities of
institutions in the cultural heritage field (e.g from the ministry to the level
of local councils)
Scientific news: will highlight international news on scientific activities
and achievements.
Towards an European cultural heritage business platform
The CNR (Progretto Finalizzato Beni Culturali) already in 1999 has suggested to the
Italian Ministry for University and Scientific Research (MURST) a European cultural
heritage Internet platform to be considered as a EUREKA/Eurocare project. (cf.
This initiative, the "European Agency for Cultural Heritage" (EACH), is still listed as a
potential EUREKA/Eurocare project. (cf. E!2209 EUROCARE EACH on
<>) The Italian partners of EACH are CNR - Progretto Finalizzato Beni
Culturali, ES S.R.L. and Officine Solari S.A.S.The financial contribution from Italy would
be 55 percent, with the other resources coming from Austria, Spain, Sweden, and Greece.
This platform would provide supportive online services for cultural heritage business
processes, including for example an exhibition and market area as well as an information
and development center for companies in the sector dealing for example with restoration
and conservation.
In a recent EUREKA news (No. 54. August 2001), it is noted that "EUROCARE will
shortly offer a mechanism to help such companies work together and innovate. A new sub-