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European Projects

PLACES – Cities of Scientific Culture

Duration: 2011-2014 (four years)
Coordinators: Ecsite, EUSCEA, ERRIN, OCC-UPF
Funding: OPEN PLACES is a project funded by the European Commission, FP7 Capacities

PLACES is a four-year European project establishing and developing the concept of the European City of Scientific Culture.

The project focuses on developing and strengthening City Partnerships, bringing together 69 science centres, museums, festivals and events, each partnering with local authorities. The project facilitates cooperation among these alliances to structure their science communication activities, sharing tools, resources and results. To do this, PLACES establishes a working community that will share activities, resources, ideas and innovations. The operational links stimulated by PLACES will generate much new knowledge, contributing to develop the whole field of science communication, and will impact citizens and policymakers with the social, cultural and scientific added value of scientific culture. Many more actors and stakeholders are encouraged to participate in PLACES during and after the project lifetime. After the four years of the project, a new and wide European community will continue to share and exchange ideas, experiences and information on Science in Society issues.

The work developed in PLACES will provide a wealth of data, good practices and innovative strategies concerning Science in Society issues. Besides the valuable knowledge contributing to the advancement of the science communication field in general, PLACES will produce concrete recommendations for policymakers and the EU regarding the engagement of citizens, local authorities and the key role of science communicators in the development of the Cities of Scientific Culture.

Within the project a Pilot Activity is expected from each city involved aimed to sensitise and attract the institutions and the public. In Florence the Pilot Activity has been carried out in the form of a video contest called "Firenze Fior di Scienza" which gathers all the Florentine institutions that deal with the dissemination of science and history of science. The operation is described and promoted by the site https://sites.google.com/site/fiordiscienza/

The City Partnership of Florence is coordinated by Museo Galileo in collaboration with the Municipality of Florence and is open to all the active organizations in the area.

Web site: http://www.openplaces.eu/

Europeana v1.0

Start: 1 February 2009
Duration: 30 months
Coordinator: EDL Foundation (Europeana Office)


The Europeana v1.0 project is the successor network to the EDLnet Thematic Network and will include the development and implementation of the European Digital Library and turn the prototype of November 2008 into an operational service. The project is coordinated by the EDL Foundation, responsible for the development of the European Digital Library.
The Europeana v1.0 thematic network includes those people and organizations which contributed to EDLnet, Europeana, and the EDL foundation, and concentrates on the issues of maintaining the alliance of stakeholders, disseminating services to users, creating the Europeana service, and developing a sustainable funding model.

Among other results, the thematic network aims to deliver continued and proactive involvement of partners, participation of new partners, development of license and partnership agreements, management of partner content and access, creation of the service (functional implementation), service agreements, implementation of data and models, and fund raising.
The primary goal of the project is the release of Europeana v1.0 in month 18 (with 10 million digital items), followed by subsequent releases (four in all), specifically the release of Rhine and Danube. An extensive partner network, the Thematic Network Partner Group, will be established to support the development of Europeana v1.0 and provide content, including many of the institutions and partners that participated in the EDLnet program.

The project includes 6 work packages:
WP1 Developing the partner and user network
WP2 Defining the economic model
WP3 Further specification for functionality and interoperability aspects of Europeana
WP4 Building of Europeana
WP5 Dissemination of Europeana
WP6 Management and reporting

IMSS will provide content for the development of the Europeana v1.0 thematic network.

Website: http://www.europeana.eu/portal/index.html  


SMARTMUSEUM - Cultural Heritage Knowledge Exchange Platform

Duration: January 2008 – February 2010
Coordinators: APPRISE, ELIKO
Funding: Research and Development project sponsored under the Europeans Commission’s 7th Framework (FP7-216923)

SMARTMUSEUM is a Research and Development project sponsored by the European Commission’s 7th Framework (FP7-216923). The Consortium is composed of European institutions that represent areas of Museums, Universities and Enterprises.
The overall objective of the project is to develop a platform that will employ innovative services to enhance on-site personalized access to digital cultural heritage through adaptive and secure user profiling.
Using on-site knowledge databases, global digital libraries and visitors’ experiential knowledge, the platform makes possible the creation of innovative multilingual services for increasing interaction between visitors and cultural heritage objects in a future smart museum environment, taking full benefit of digitized cultural information.
The key feature of the SMARTMUSEUM recommendation system is the knowledge-based recommendation engine. The recommendation engine is able to rank the objects based on their semantic relevance with respect to the user’s interest profile and/or context profile.
The system relies on fully distributed storage and widely varying structure of object information (picture author, basic description, context, audio clips, etc.) allowing museums to store data in various ways and on various servers.
In order to fulfill the project requirements, the Museo Galileo has participated in defining the ontological standard and has provided more than 75,000 annotations related to 1,000 items, implying a semi-automatic mapping of existing data and manual addition of new external references (Getty and GUMO), as well as the development of an automatic extractor driven by an XML file containing parameters on what and how to extract. Data produced by IMSS is directly importable in the SMARTMUSEUM system.­ In terms of dissemination and exploitation IMSS has participated in conferences at the national level and produced joint publications with SM partners.

Website: http://smartmuseum.eu/

Demo: http://brunelleschi.imss.fi.it/smartmuseum/web/eintro.html


EDLnet Thematic Network Project

Duration: 01/07/2007 - 30/06/2009 (24 months)
Funding: European Commission, under the eContentplus program (part of i2010 policy)  

EDLnet Thematic Network is a project dedicated to the preparation of a European Digital Library, with a focus on diffuse accessibility to cultural content, including museums, archives, and audiovisual information.
The project was coordinated by the National Library of the Netherlands and supported by a partnership of 100 representatives of heritage and knowledge organizations, as well as IT experts throughout Europe, all of which contributed to the Work Packages solving technical and usability issues.
The goal of the EDLnet project was to address human, political, semantic, technical and organizational interoperability issues present in such a multi-lingual portal, for the improvement and efficiency of navigating Europe's cultural resources.
In a period of two years the EDLnet project aimed to deliver, among other results, a more visible community of archivists, librarians, and museum professionals dedicated to supporting the European Digital Library, summary reports and recommendations regarding interoperability issues, prototypes demonstrating the proposed solutions, with a final, fully working prototype with multilingual access supporting 2 million digital items, and a proposal for the funding of the European Digital Library service.

The Europeana prototype is the result of a 2-year project that began in July 2007. Europeana.eu went live on 20 November 2008, launched by Viviane Reding, European Commissioner for Information Society and Media.

IMSS participated actively in the work group 2.2, Semantic and Multilingual Interoperability, and provided metadata for the prototype Europeana.eu.

Website: http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/econtentplus/projects/cult/edlnet/index_en.htm


PENCIL – (Permanent European Resource Centre for Informal Learning)

Duration: 1 October 2004 – 30 September 2007
Coordinators: Ecsite (the European network of science centres and museums) and EUN (European School Net).
Funding: Sixth Framework Programme/Structuring the European Research Area

Pencil is the recipient of the European Commission’s single largest financial contribution in the area of “Science and Society” and combines field programmes and academic research with the aim of identifying the keys of success that transform informal science activities into innovative quality tools for science teaching.

14 science centres/museums had the task of creating mini-networks involving schools, pupils, teachers associations, research laboratories, educational authorities, and education and science communication specialists to run “pilot projects” on new science teaching methods.

At the same time, an academic “Resource Centre” was created in order to provide state-of-the-art education research, science communication, formal/informal learning, and best practices. Moreover, the Resource Centre assessed and monitored the pilot projects in order to disseminate the results and identify the criteria of innovation and quality that should become the standards for setting up future science teaching efforts.

The European Science Educational Portal (ESEP) is the tool for managing the project, setting up exchanges between partners and enabling diffusion of project results to the science teacher community.

The Institute and Museum of the History of Science was the leader of the pilot project “Online Access to History of Science Museum Objects” which anticipated the development of educational multimedia applications about objects preserved in the museum through the use of new technologies and with particular attention to e-learning. An innovative didactic laboratory was created: “Galileo and Experimental Science”. It was devoted to schools and focused on the evolution of Galileo’s experimental research as he came to master the elementary laws of motion. 

Explore Galileo at the Museum of the History of Science With a Virtual Visit

This application was developed with the aim of offering, primarily for students, an exploration of various aspects of the life and work of Galileo Galilei.

The application was created with the technological support of the Laboratorio Percro of the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa as part of the European project Pencil (Permanent European Network for Informal Learning).



Ecsite: http://www.ecsite.net/new/index.asp

European School Net: www.eun.org

SOCRATES Comenius1/Schools' consortia – "From Science to Life" (06/02-06/05)

Coordination: Gymnasium Wertingen, Germany.

The project explores some of the most important discoveries and inventions that have changed the image of the world and the quality of life of their inhabitants. Seven main inventions/discoveries were selected for this purpose: 1) the development of engines; 2) radioactivity and nuclear fission; 3) the helio/geocentric vision of the world; 4) fertilizers; 5) electricity; 6) radio and communication technology; 7) antibiotics and vaccinations.

The main objective of the project is to bring together the subjects of science and humanities by analysing the historical context in which these discoveries and inventions appeared and the social effects they produced.

IMSS took part in the project as to the helio/geocentric vision of the world offering guided visits to the museum, giving support to the schools in the project web-site planning and providing materials: texts, MPEG videos, (JPEG), slide shows.