I. Foreword / Bernard Smith
Europe's cultural and memory institutions are facing very rapid and dramatic transformations. These transformations are not only due to the use of increasingly sophisticated technologies, which become obsolete more and more rapidly, but also due to a re-examination of the role of modern public institutions in today's society and the related fast changing user demands. These trends affect all the functions of the modern cultural institution, from collection management and scholarly study through restoration and preservation to providing new forms of universal and dynamic access to their holdings.
Technological innovation plays a major role in the way our cultural institutions develop strategies for valorising their collections. It equally impacts directly on all those industries that provide products and services to, or with, the cultural sectors. Traditional demarcation lines between different types of institutions, between different skill and competence profiles and between different stages in the creation and management of collections are fading away.
In this context, the way Europe's cultural institutions should approach technology-driven mutation has to be assessed and options and recommendations provided. This is why the European Commission decided to fund the study entitled "Technological Landscapes for Tomorrow's Cultural Economy".
With the help of a Steering Committee the European Commission was able to identify and agree on the themes to be covered in the study, to make sure that the methodology was adequate, and ensure that the conclusions obtained were properly validated. The objective was to capture and make visible the opinions of Europe's cultural institutions and actors, and to provide recommendations for policy making in both the cultural institutions themselves and the public authorities directly responsible for funding those institutions.
The European Commission would like to acknowledge all those who provided input and commentary, and in particular those who participated in the workshops, interviews, online Delphi and case studies. The work has been performed by a reliable independent consortium of researcher, academics and cultural institutions, and there is no doubt that the readers and authorities will find valuable information in this report. The study should help improve the way Europe's cultural actors prepare for the inevitable changes that will take place in the next 5 years.
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