By Luis Pinto, Europeana Network Coordinator

In the last three years, we have seen our membership grow and grow. So has the diversity of backgrounds of our members. It is this diversity along with a united passion for digital heritage that makes our community great.

Recently, we welcomed our 1,000th Europeana Network member Dr. Deveril, a cultural arts professional with a keen interest in developing new ways for people to experience cultural content. To commemorate this occasion, we decided to interview him and our first Network member Dan Mattei to see how the perception of the Europeana Network and its usefulness has evolved.

Dan Matei is the Director of the Movable, Digital and Intangible Heritage Department at the National Heritage Institute, Bucharest, Romania

Dan Mattei has been with us since day one; he was even present in the meeting where the Europeana Network was proposed. Being in charge of a national aggregator, it was a natural decision for him to became part of the Europeana Network. The Europeana Network has been an invaluable tool for Dan to communicate with his peers, improving his insight into the mapping of metadata. Learning from the other members how to negotiate and motivate the data providers was also a key skill developed through the Network. Overall, belonging to a group of very interesting people and sharing knowledge with a community of professionals in the field have also been key rewards of his membership.

Dr. Deveril is an independent researcher and artist, currently working part-time at University of Surrey, as well as being a think tank associate with Pacitti Company 

A dance filmmaker and site-specific performance facilitator, Deveril has been working on ideas of alternative visitor experiences. He heard about the Europeana Network during a recent collaboration in this field with the Pacitti Company and archaeologist Lucy Walker. They were working on an experimental film to ‘unlock’ objects from an Anglo-Saxon collection. He finds that being a Network member is a great way to learn of the latest thinking in digital culture and potentially connect across a range of institutions.

As he develops his own research into community arts and heritage, Deveril sees Europeana as a valuable source of information and contacts. In his view, anyone engaged in heritage work or related areas should be involved in the Network as it promotes an open and creative approach to sharing human art and culture, which Deveril believes is important in maintaining a progressive and cohesive Europe.

By Alastair Dunning

Part of the Europeana Cloud project involves the creation of Europeana Research.

Tying it with Europeana's broader strategy of seeing itself as a platform rather than simply a search portal, Europeana Research will be a way for digitally-minded researchers in the humanities and social sciences to exploit the data provided by Europe's museums, libraries and archives.

A team from the project (made up of staff from CERL, Europeana, Trinity College Dublin, The European Library and the Digital Curation Unit from Athens) met this week to go through some priorities for what Europeana Research should become.

They began sketching a wish list for features in Europeana Research, and discussed how it should differ from both the main Europeana search portal and Europeana Labs. There are many overlaps with the latter that need to be worked out. A preliminary list of desirable features for Europeana Research was produced (see photo below).

Features such as the ability to download data, find relevant tools and (as ever) higher quality metadata were perceived as being important.

This work will be followed up by interviews with potential users and the creation of user scenarios. These will provide the guiding detail on the type of users that will utilise Europeana Research. A first version of the platform will be available at the end of November and work will continue on it as part of the Europeana Cloud project in 2015.

By Joris Pekel, Community Coordinator Cultural Heritage

Theehuis in de buitenlucht in Fukuroi, Hiroshige (I) , Utagawa, Takenouchi. In or after 1833 (public domain).

If you regularly read the Europeana Pro blog, you have probably already heard of the open access policy of the Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands. Europeana has, alongside other organisations and initiatives, worked with the museum since 2011 to make their public domain collection available online without restrictions. This has resulted in over 150,000 high resolution images for anyone to view, download, copy, remix, print and use for any purpose they can think of.

The museum has been really satisfied with the results of this move. They believe that their core business is to get people familiar with the collection and the museum. By making the images available without copyright restrictions, their reach has extended exponentially and far beyond their own website. The material is now for example being shared and used widely in all kinds of online platforms such as Wikipedia or educational websites.

However, the decision to make everything available in the highest quality possible was not made overnight. Many small steps had to be taken to get where they are now, and a lot of both internal and external discussions were held. We believe that this case can be an inspiration for other cultural heritage institutions as well. We have therefore taken the effort to describe in a paper the entire process from the beginning to where they are now.

Besides the various steps that were taken by the museum, the paper also addresses the broader discussion on the importance of keeping cultural heritage that is out of copyright in analogue form in the public domain in digital form as well. It shows the effect on their revenue from online image sales after they started to make available the material in an open way, and the business potential of openly available cultural heritage collections.

In the coming months we want to publish more case studies about cultural institutions that have opened up their collections. If you have an experience that you want to share with a wider audience, we would love to hear from you.

The full paper can be found here.

We are delighted to be able to reward you with a unique prize if you win one of our Europeana Creative Challenges.  The winners receive an incubation support package designed to give you a structure within which you can develop, build and validate your own product or service. The process aims to enable you to find the optimal route to growth by helping you develop the right business model, identify the right business partners and create the right financial plan, to succeed.

We do this by providing:

* Expertise from highly qualified experts in a number of specialist fields and all this tailored to your specific needs for increasing your chances of success in the marketplace.

* Access to a partnership of 26 cultural and creative organisations from 14 European countries to help you build and pilot your proposal.

The winners of the first round of Challenges

We are not an investment programme, as we know that investment often comes with its own challenges, such as giving away a percentage of your business in return. Many competitions offer monetary prizes, which do sound enticing. It is our view that, although it is great to receive some finance, the money awarded does not stretch very far in terms of obtaining the right blend of advice and guidance to bring a new and innovative product to market. 

Many start-up businesses fail due to a number of reasons including having a poor business vision, bad business guidance, lack of a watertight product strategy, technical issues and building a product for a customer group that does not exist. Lack of finance is usually the ultimate reason for a start-up failing but the root cause is normally a combination of other factors, which completely drain any finance the business originally had.

With the above in mind we have configured a prize that can help your start-up company tackle those pressing business issues head on and build a strong springboard from which to launch your product. This is the fundamental theory behind business incubation. So what exactly does all this mean for you in practice?

Different start-ups and entrepreneurs have different incubation support needs. The first thing we do with our Challenge winners is get a solid understanding of where support is required by attempting to answer a number of questions, including:

- What is the business vision?

-What is the unique selling point and are there competitors?

- How is the business to be sustained?

- What is the plan for moving it forward?

- What are the existing staff strengths and weaknesses?

- Are there things consistently blocking business progression?

- What are the immediate priorities where Europeana Creative can help?

Once we have understood this we are able to produce an incubation support offer for that winner.

So what do we actually provide? Our full breakdown of potential incubation support can be seen in the factsheet. From this full 'menu' we select a subset that are the most suitable to the business and tailor our offer accordingly with specific measures. We then work with the business in a hands-on manner over a three month period to fast-track its development. Some of the incubation measures we have offered to previous winners have been:

Business development support

          o   Creating a Business Vision for the next 5 years

          o   Developing a Business Model

          o   Creating a Business Plan that will enable sufficient growth to achieve the vision

          o   Accessing finance to support the Business Plan’s implementation

Europeana support

          o   Understanding the Europeana Data Model

          o   Understanding content provider licenses and under what terms content can be re-used

          o   Understanding how to search and identify suitable content for the business from Europeana’s large dataset

Piloting support

          o   Supporting the planning and delivery of product piloting

          o   Sourcing partners (people or organisations) to join pilots

          o   Eliciting feedback from partners to feed into product development

The above are just a few examples of how we can help a Challenge winner. Some of the above may or may not be suitable for your own business. What we will ensure you, as a winner, is our full attention to tailor our support so it meets your needs and your business has the best chance of gaining market traction and succeeding where others not fortunate enough to benefit from our support may fail.

Last but not least, all there is left is to apply to the Challenges to win this prize! 

If you still have any questions drop us a message on Twitter or Facebook

On the past 23rd May, the last Business Model Workshop was organised in Helsinki, at the Media Lab of the Aalto University. In the same fashion as the other editions, the aim was to trigger a discussion on how to develop a business model that underpins and encapsulates the successful reuse of digital cultural heritage content like in this case via Europeana -this time as far as Design-specific applications are concerned.

The business models were related to the concepts identified in the co-creation workshop, which preceded the organisation of the business model one. The projects which presented the best potential were further explored, and translated into viable products or services.

A business model refers to how value is created, delivered and captured within an organisation point of view. Value takes several forms such as cultural, economic, social, environmental, etc. (thus not being limited to a common perspective that refers only to for profit businesses). It can be developed not only within organisations but also specific projects, products or services.

This specific workshop resorted to the business model canvas methodology to provide a framework and a guideline on how the “Design” pilot can be explored in a sustainable way, while at the same time provide “inspiration” for the challengers.

An expert on business modelling was invited to guide and support discussions. Jukka Ojasalo (adjuct professor at AALTO University) introduced the Service Logic Business Model Template, an own developed version of the original Business Model Canvas by Osterwalder and Pigneur. The Service Logic Template emphasises a deeper understanding of implicit and explicit customer needs. According to the author, the focus of this canvas is strongly on the perspective of the customer, and not on the company.

The business canvas that was used for this workshop takes into account 9 elements:

  • Customer’s World and Desire for Ideal Value
  • Value Proposition
  • Co-creating value with the customer
  • Interaction and co-production
  • Key Resources
  • Key Partners
  • Mobile Resources and Partners
  • Cost structure
  • Revenue Streams and Metrics

Source: Ojasalo, Katri and Jukka Ojasalo (forthcoming 2014), “Adapting Business Model Thinking to Service Logic: An Empirical Study on Developing a Service Design Tool,” in The Nordic School – Alternative Perspectives on Marketing and Service Management,

3 prototypes were developed after the co-creation workshop using the Service Logic Business Model Template:

  • Pattern Gems: through this prototype service, professional-amateurs in design can find high quality reusable images which can inspire them to create and share new patterns for clothing, furniture, interior design etc. that are printable on a broad range of different design products (e.g. chair, wallpaper, T-shirts, jackets);

  • eFab: this prototype offers an environment for designers, DIYers and students to make Europeana content digitally "makeable" by use of 3D-printers and laser cutter. The final product - the digitally fabricated object - can be used for for example decoration, to build theater stages or to sell in museum shops.

  • Collage: this prototype is a customisable online tool and mobile application targeted at a general public and design professionals that allows new masterpieces to be created from the reuse of works of art, in a fun and pedagogical way. Europeana content can be accessed, transformed and placed for public viewing and rating. Own creations can also be uploaded and used to mix heritage and new content.

As an example of the very interesting thought process in the workshop, a business model called “Pattern Gems: Create your own patterns from vintage images” was developed.

Pattern Gems’ business model can be translated as a service targeted at professional-amateurs (Pro-ams) in design/creators/makers; students, amateurs that like to create patterns and have the ambition to go from amateur to professional level. Designers are offered a very smart search tool (enabling search on similarity, color, forms etc.) through which they can search through inspirational Europeana content (example collections, e.g. high quality cut-outs of butterflies from different paintings).

The revenue is generated by sharing sales of design patterns with registered designers. It also liaises with external related services that are already on the market, like platforms where fabrics can be ordered and professional tools and services that you can use to mask and cut images (e.g. Adobe InDesign).

View of the filled-in Service Logic Business Model Template

RSS (Opens New Window)
Showing 1 - 5 of 100 results.
of 20


The Europeana Professional Blog is for people working in the field of digital cultural heritage. For more information or to contribute, contact

RSS (Opens New Window)