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

By Liam Wyatt, Europeana GLAM-Wiki Coordinator

Galleries, libraries, museums and archives (GLAMs) can now make their digital content visible in Wikipedia articles more easily than ever before with the new GLAMwiki Toolset built by Europeana.

Several years in development, this tool gives cultural organisations the ability to mass-upload their own images, videos and sound recordings to Wikimedia Commons in the same way that they have done with other platforms like Flickr for years. For the first time GLAMs can mass-upload content without needing bespoke software, without external assistance required, with their own metadata, and at their own pace.

Piazza di Monte Citorio, Rome, Italy, Library of Congress, available on Wikimedia Commons. Public Domain

Once multimedia is uploaded to Wikimedia Commons, it becomes available to all 287 language editions of Wikipedia. Images, videos and sound recordings are displayed in the immediate context of encyclopedic knowledge, adding to the understanding of that content in a non-commercial and neutral space. And, being the 5th most visited website in the world means that this material can be viewed in its new educational context by a far larger audience than ever before. With the tailored attribution that the new tool provides, Wikipedia readers wanting to learn more are only two clicks away from visiting the home institution’s website. Many GLAMs already report that Wikipedia-derived traffic is one of the most important providers of inbound traffic, sharing multimedia increases that flow dramatically. You can see the image view statistics for GLAM collections on Wikipedia for yourself!

The launch of this tool is just the beginning. In the coming months, Europeana will help to introduce its GLAM partners to their local Wikimedia community so that the newly uploaded content can begin being used to illustrate Wikipedia articles in as many languages as possible. Recently, the Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid (Dutch Institute for Sound and Vision) became the first cultural organisation to directly take advantage of this new tool, uploading 500 videos from birds in the Netherlands, generously donated by Stichting Natuurbeelden (the Foundation for Nature Footage).

Lepelaar in goud licht bij zonsondergang, Natuur Digitaal (Marc Plomp); Stichting Natuurbeelden, CC BY-SA

Within just one week, the Wikimedia community has responded to the challenge - translated titles, added appropriate categories and placed almost half of the videos in Wikipedia articles. One dedicated Wikipedian, Taketa, has already ensured that this video of a Eurasian Spoonbill is used to illustrate over 50 languages!

Material from several other cultural organisations from around the world have also already found their way onto Wikimedia Commons, and thereby to Wikipedia articles, thanks to the tireless efforts of the Wikimedia Community. For example Fae, a volunteer Wikimedian in London, has already uploaded 12,000 maps from the New York Public Library, 10,000 Photocrom prints from the Library of Congress, 2,000 images of Japanese art from the Rijksmuseum and 130,000 photographs from the Historical American Buildings Survey (a collection planned to reach 250,000 over the the next few weeks) with this tool - all beautifully digitised by the respective GLAMs and now available to be used in Wikipedia. Many other large collections are in various stages of upload with more arriving all the time.

The GLAMwiki Toolset has been developed and funded in partnership with four national Wikimedia chapters (UK, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland) and Europeana. Europeana works to make European culture accessible to all, and encourages the re-use of public domain digital content by researchers, educators, the creative industries and the wider public. The tool fulfills this objective by helping GLAMs to share their appropriately licensed content with Wikipedia users and disseminate valuable digital items of cultural heritage.

If you have a collection of digitised and freely-licensed multimedia and are interested in making it available to a global audience, please get in touch with us. Or, if you’d like to get started directly follow the instructions on the Beeld en Geluid blogpost, or on the documentation page.

By Paul Keller, Kennisland

On 4 July, Scottish-American law scholar James Boyle called on cultural heritage institutions to focus on providing everyone with as broad as possible access to public domain material. Boyle is the director of the Center for the study of the Public Domain at Duke Law school and author of The Public Domain. In his lecture he explains  that ‘this is worthwhile not merely because it is the right thing to do’ but also because it ‘will yield all kinds of benefits which are very hard for us to see right now’.

As custodians of our shared cultural heritage, institutions serve one of the most noble causes there is and he called on them to preach their principles louder. For Boyle, this is not only important to ensure that cultural heritage does not gets locked away by the unintended consequences of of copyright laws that were not designed for the cultural heritage 2.0, but also in order to more forcefully make the case for more funding from public and private sources. Boyle’s full lecture, and the debate that followed can now be seen online.

Kennisland, CC-BY

This lecture was followed by a reaction by Marjan Hammersma from the Dutch Ministry of Education Culture and Science, and a question & answer session with Boyle and Hammersma.

Kennisland, CC-BY

The event was hosted by Kennisland and the Rijksmuseum in collaboration with Europeana and the  Institute for Information Law.

This article was written as part of Europeana’s #PublicDomainMonth - a month dedicated to sharing knowledge, best practices and events all related to the Public Domain.  You can read and share the full Public Domain Charter. You can also get involved by following #PublicDomainMonth and @EuropeanaIPR on Twitter.

By Joris Pekel, Europeana Community Coordinator Cultural Heritage

At this week´s Open Knowledge Festival, Europeana together with the OpenGLAM initiative and Dutch think tank Kennisland ran a workshop to discuss how to maintain a healthy and thriving public domain of cultural heritage. The festival ran from 15-16 July in Berlin, and was attended by more than 1000 people from all over the world who gathered to talk about open data, transparency, development and many other topics.


The principles of a healthy and thriving Public Domain are established in the Europeana Public Domain Charter, as essential to the social and economic wellbeing of society.(You can read our Introduction to this here). During this workshop we explored how cultural institutions can work towards maintaining the public domain as a valuable source of knowledge.

The session started with Kennisland’s Paul Keller presenting the difficulties for institutions to define if an object is in the public domain or not. Thanks to complex international, European and national copyright laws, calculating when an object is in the public domain ranges from simple to the complex. Cultural heritage institutions, who are required to make decisions based on copyright, do not typically employ copyright law experts. This lack of clarity combined with lack of very specific expertise can often result in an organisational policy, which restricts the use of digital objects by incorrectly claiming copyright allows them to do so.

If we stick with the strict interpretation of law, we run the risk of losing access to valuable cultural heritage material. So when should exceptions be ok? Paul went on to present a number of case studies where it is debatable whether this type of  organisational policy is acceptable or not, such as the recent release from the Wellcome Library, where over 100.000 images were made available in high quality using the Creative Commons Attribution Licence. While on the one hand it is applauded that these images are made available for anyone to use in an open way, it does not acknowledge that the material is out of copyright, and therefore cannot be made available under a copyright licence. For more details see the presentation slides below.



As we delve deeper into the issues, we turned to look at the application of copyright law itself. Thomas Margoni from the Institute for Information Law in Amsterdam presented his ongoing research, which queries when a digital reproduction of an existing (protected or unprotected by copyright) object gives rise to a new object that can claim copyright and/or related rights. This research reviews EU laws to address the  different ways in which legal exceptions are applied. The preliminary results are available in the slides below.



The many exceptions in the different European Member States make it difficult to come to a common approach. This is a challenge for both the cultural sector, as well as the organisations that work towards more openly available cultural content on the web. Would applying  CC-BY licence be acceptable in order to make beautiful material, that was previously unavailable to the public, available online? Or should organisations like Europeana take a firm stand against this? One idea proposed in the workshop was an ‘Open GLAM Scorecard’ for open datasets which can be used to rank the set. This way it can be acknowledged that an institution is doing good work, but it can also be used to point out things that could be done better in order to receive a full green status of ‘open’. 

This workshop was the kickoff of the broader discussion. In the coming period these ideas will be further explored with the wider GLAM community to see of this would work, and if so, how the ranking should be done. If you are interested in this discussion please join the mailing list. All the notes taken during the session can be found here.

This article was written as part of Europeana’s #PublicDomainMonth - a month dedicated to sharing knowledge, best practices and events all related to the Public Domain.  You can read and share the full Public Domain Charter. You can also get involved by following #PublicDomainMonth and @EuropeanaIPR on Twitter.

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

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