Irish initiative to open archives of national broadcaster

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Industry leaders in Ireland have announced a collaboration to develop an cross-archival semantic content discovery platform to open up the archives of RTE, Ireland's national television and radio broadcaster.

The plans were revealed at the 2013 European Data Forum in Dublin by the head of RTÉ Archives Bríd Dooley, together with Stefan Decker (Insight and director of the Digital Enterprise Research Institute at NUI Galway), and Sandra Collins, director of the Digital Repository of Ireland.

Opening the event Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, said: 'A key part of the Irish Government’s plan for growth and jobs is identifying areas where we believe Ireland can compete and win on the global stage.

'One such sector where our ambition is to be among the world’s best is in ‘Big Data’ and its analytics. The Irish Government believes that given our climate, educational and skills base and our existing major strengths in ICT, we can benefit significantly in terms of quality jobs and growth from the global expansion of this sector.

'Analysing this explosion of data will revolutionise industries such as manufacturing and pharmaceutical production to further develop Europe's data economy and create good sustainable jobs in Ireland.'

He concluded: 'Big Data will have a huge societal impact with projects such as that proposed by the new Insight research centre in partnership with RTÉ Digital to explore the RTÉ archives, and open up avenues to investigate our cultural, historical, sporting and linguistic heritage and provide us with deep insights into what it means to be Irish.'

Mark Ferguson, director general of Science Foundation Ireland, added: 'The Big Data sector is growing by 40 per cent annually and as a nation we must ensure that we are developing the specialised skills needed to remain globally competitive. Insight is a new national research centre in the field of data analytics that brings together the leading players from academia and industry in Ireland.

'This new SFI Research Centre will undertake research and develop new technologies that will attract dynamic partnerships with industry, further leverage investment for Europe, and ultimately help create high value jobs in Ireland and deliver economic and societal impact.'