Metadata project attracts funding

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A project to help digital repositories control and make money from their digital assets has attracted funding from the UK government

Earlier this year Soutron and partners picked up a share of £3 million of UK government funding to help develop a way for organisations to control and manage digital assets after they have ‘left’ the repository in which they are usually stored.

The project, known as Metadata Encapsulation for Digital Information and Assets (MEDIA), uses a combination of cloud computing services and encapsulation technologies and is being carried out in partnership with the Chartered Management Institute, Collections Trust and Knowledge Integration.

‘Stored digital material is growing at a rate which would have been inconceivable just a few years ago. This funding will accelerate our delivery of a new breed of solutions which will allow professional institutes, museums and other protectors of digital material, to release the value of their assets. It will also facilitate unprecedented innovation in knowledge sharing to realise the full, and currently unknowable, potential of those assets,’ commented Graham Beastall, founder and MD of Soutron.

According to Soutron, the project will address two major problems that currently exist for many digital repositories and publishers of content. The first of these is the poor control of access to content and the digital assets that are referenced by metadata and easily downloaded and shared. The other problem is widespread unauthorised dissipation of content following initial access.

Metadata content flexibility and ease of publishing within an electronic charging system based on user usage and profiling is not currently available as an off the shelf application, says the company. Because of this, if an organisation wishes to publish content it will create its own website operations or place its content with a major online publisher. The concern with this approach is a lack of matching of the user with value or tracking potential secondary use.

MEDIA intends to address this by helping users to recover income and control additional revenue streams for content. It also promises a secure environment where content will not be dissipated.

The MEDIA solution will be integrated with Soutron’s existing appplications and will be offered as a service to integrate with other systems. The project is expected to be completed towards the end of 2012.