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2 minutes to read Posted on Monday July 2, 2012

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Eleanor Kenny

Eleanor Kenny

Former Head of Communications and External relations , Europeana Foundation

EU award for Europeana cultural hackers

On June 22nd 2012, Europeana showcased award-winning apps that demonstrate the social and commercial possibilities of open cultural data and its potential to touch everyday lives, at the European Commission's Digital Agenda Assembly.

The creativity of Europe's technological talent is highlighted in apps that:
•    bring items from some of Europe's finest cultural collections to your local coffee shop, library or school;
•    let you record personalised audio guides to your favourite objects on Europeana and share them online via your mobile phone; and
•    display your search results visually on a digital pinboard.

The applications were developed as part of a series of competitive hackathons in Poland, Latvia and Belgium. Hack4Europe! 2012, run by Europeana with local partners, was launched by EU Vice-President and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda for Europe Neelie Kroes on May 9 in Brussels.  
MEP Silvia-Adriana Ticau will present the winning developers with their awards at a prize-giving ceremony at the Digital Agenda Assembly.

Madame Ticau said:

"Europeana is not only about access to culture, it's also about how our cultural heritage and shared knowledge can inspire creativity and promote innovation and growth, which is key to Europe's Digital Agenda. The hackathons held by Europeana and their resulting winning apps are concrete, exciting examples of how opening up cultural data can drive innovation, create commercial opportunities, and make accessing cultural heritage relevant to our 21st century lives."
As Europe's digital museum, library and gallery, Europeana has grown from a portal of two million digitised objects in 2008 to a repository for 23 million objects with 2200 partners across Europe.

Today, it is at the forefront of promoting open cultural data in support of digital innovation across Europe.

Access to online open data fuels creativity and innovation and creates opportunities for millions of Europeans working in Europe's cultural and creative industries. The sector represents 3.3% of EU GDP and over €150 billion in exports.
Supporting the European Commission's Digital Agenda, Europeana is working to make data openly available to the public and private sectors so it can be used to develop innovative applications for tablets and smartphones and to create new web services and portals.

Through its Data Exchange Agreement, with partners across Europe, it is moving towards the goal of making the data for 23 million cultural objects available for re-use under open licence.

This dataset is already made widely available as an API to the Europeana partner network and was used by event developers from across Europe at each Hack4Europe! 2012 event.

Winners were selected in three categories at each hackathon: greatest commercial potential; greatest social impact; and most innovative. Developers themselves also voted for the Developer's Pick award. A winning team from each hackathon was selected to showcase its application at the Digital Agenda Summit in Brussels.

The three winning finalists were:

Poland: Artspace, developed by Agata Dziekan and Marek Sredniawa, promotes access to art in everyday situations. It means the Europeana collections can be made available in public places such as coffee shops, libraries, schools, and hotels. Making use of LCD displays and an online Collection Management System it allows a "Virtual art leasing" service and a highly personalised curation.
Latvia:, developed by Eriks Remess, Maksim Berjoza and Uldis Bojars, makes searching, navigating and sharing Europeana content more fun. Even simple search results are displayed in a highly engaging visual manner which can then easily be used to navigate further or retrieve details about an individual record.
Belgium: Stackathon, developed by Senne Van Der Bogaert, Mehmet Celik and Wouter Aerts, is a mobile phone app that allows you to create personal online guides to art or art critiques. The app allows users to search and select artworks in Europeana and then, using the phone as a recording device, add audio comments to the selected artwork, before sharing online.
Press contacts:
Jon Purday, tel: 00 44 1937 546614 mob: +44 (0) 7885 516234

Eleanor Kenny, tel: +44 (0) 20 7412 7113

Beth Daley, tel: + 44 (0) 1937 5466345

Notes for editors

Europeana is Europe's digital library, archive and museum. It currently gives people access to over 23 million books, paintings, films, recordings, photographs and archival records from 2,200 partner organisations, through an interface in 29 languages.

Hack4Europe! 2012 was organised in support of the Commission's policy to facilitate the wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies. It was organised by the Europeana Foundation and its partners, National Audiovisual Institute in cooperation with Poznan Supercomputing and Networking Centre (PSNC), and the National Library of Latvia in cooperation with TechHub Riga and Microsoft Latvia. Hack4Europe! also linked up with Digital New Zealand.
What is linked open data? Animation explaining Europeana's thinking behind linked open data.