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European Commission launches AthenaWeb, a new professional portal for audiovisual scientific information

Brussels, Paris 3 June 2005

The European Commission, in association with a number of European media and science organisations, is launching an innovative web portal designed for the audiovisual and scientific communities in Europe, to support their work in promoting and communicating science. Functions of this new professional platform include a fully searchable electronic library of science television programmes, online screening of science material, a European science news service, an online agenda of key events and a forum for co-productions and partnerships.

Janez Potočnik, EU Commissioner for Science and Research said “Most European citizens get their information from television, including on science and research issues. We need to make sure that the information available is of the highest possible quality. AthenaWeb is an innovative response to some of the challenges faced when communicating about science and technology.”

Developed in close partnership with, and with the active support of, European media and research organisations, AthenaWeb is a robust, user-friendly platform with innovative functionalities designed for the exclusive use of science communication professionals. A concrete response to well identified needs, AthenaWeb has five key objectives:

  • to valorise existing science programming from all sources in Europe, (broadcasters, independent producers, research organisations, industry) and enhance their circulation;
  • to facilitate the development, production and circulation of new science television programmes;
  • to facilitate new co-productions;
  • to improve circulation and visibility of science and research news;
  • to provide enhanced networking opportunities for all those involved in science communication.

Specifically focused on science and research, and reserved for professional use, Athena Web pilot provides its users with:

  • a fully searchable electronic library of science programmes with multilingual functionalities,
  • realtime online screening in medium or high definition to view and evaluate material;
  • innovative contractual solutions for negotiation, sale, or exchange of science material (copyright, copyleft and the innovative “copyshare” system);
  • thematic background dossiers on key science and research issues;
  • an online agenda of key professional events in Europe;
  • a European science news service, with constantly updated information drawn from a number of European sources;
  • a professional forum and marketplace for coproductions and partnerships.

The AthenaWeb pilot project will be launched Saturday 4 June at a press conference at the Salon de la Recherche et l'Innovation in Paris, with AthenaWeb's strategic partners and contributors (Saturday 4 June, 13:00-14:30, Palais des Expositions, Porte de Versailles, Paris, Hall 7.1, room Carina, level 7).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

For additional information on AthenaWeb and the lanch event, please contact

Patrick Vittet-Philippe,
Press and Information Officer,
DG Research, European Commission
Tel: +32.2.2969056 Mobile + 32 477 274663
Email: patrick.vittet-philippe@ec.europa.eu

For additional information on AthenaWeb, and to test the pilot, please go to
http://www.athenaweb.org

For aditional information on the Salon Européen de la Recherche et de l’Innovation, please see
http://www.salon-de-la-recherche.com

 

ANNEX

WHAT IS ATHENAWEB? WHAT’S IN IT FOR MY ORGANISATION?

AthenaWeb: a concrete response to well identified needs of EU professionals.

A concrete response to well identified needs AthenaWeb has five key objectives:

  • to valorise existing science programming from all sources (broadcasters, independent producers, research organisations, industry) in Europe,
  • to facilitate the development, production and circulation of new science television programmes,
  • to facilitate new coproductions, through more efficient search for partners, and pooling of ideas and resources;
  • to improve circulation and visibility of science and research news
  • to enhance networking between scientists and science communication professionals

AthenaWeb: a concrete response to well identified needs of EU professionals.

AthenaWeb is open to European professionals: TV commissioning editors, TV science magazines and programme producers, science journalists, science directors, information and communication officers and audiovisual departments of research institutes universities, corporations and industry. It provides scientific audiovisual professionals with:

  • a password-protected access for professionals only,
  • a fully searchable electronic library of a whole spectrum of science Television and radio programmes (news, VNRs, documentaries, fictions, etc), with multilingual functionalities,
  • realtime online screening in medium or high definition (full streaming, MPEG4 video) to view and evaluate material,
  • innovative contractual solutions for the negotiation, sale, or exchange of science TV material (online licences for copyright, copyleft and “copyshare”),
  • thematic background dossiers on key science and research issues,
  • an online agenda of key science and audiovisual professional events in Europe,
  • a European science news service, with constantly updated information drawn from the news services of the European Commission, AlphaGalileo, Euractiv, Research TV, and other international science news partners,
  • a professional forum/marketplace for coproductions and partnerships.

AthenaWeb: building partnerships, bringing added value for all contributors and users.

AthenaWeb has been developed with professionals for professionals. The key focus is partnerships – and the key objective to facilitate professional relations and activities between all users and contributors of AthenaWeb. More than a mere “one stop shop”, AthenaWeb aims to become the meeting point and common forum for the European science and science programming communities. Initial, first round, contributors to Athena Web included inter alia:

  • science web portals & European information services : AlphaGalileo, Euractiv.com, etc.
  • broadcasters: RTBF & VRT (B), SWR & WDR (D), Research TV (UK), VPRO (NL)
  • independent producers: Ex-Nihilo (F), MIF-Sciences (F), Herafilm (CZ), Ambernet (PL), etc
  • research organisations: CNRS, ESO, Max Planck Institut, etc.

AthenaWeb is growing rapidly, with new contributors and users joining every week. Currently offering in its pilot phase a sample of 30 hours of programming covering over 200 subjects in two key thematic areas (environment and industrial technologies), AthenaWeb’s database will grow to 100 hours of science programming, covering 14 themes by the autumn 2005 – becoming more valuable to all partners by the day.

 

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