Project and procurement management
Europeana is currently running as a service procured by the European Union. This is called Europeana DSI, funded under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). DSI is short for ‘Digital Service Infrastructure’. We periodically agree with the European Commission what we do in a formal document known as a ‘tender’.
In addition to the DSI, Europeana participates in other projects, also funded by the European Commission. They complement the DSI with innovation, new content or other useful themes. These are’ projects funded under Horizon 2020 and/or under Creative Europe. Our team is responsible for making sure these projects are aligned - that they work well together and that everyone involved - internal and external - knows what is expected.
Europeana is under open procurement, that means that - contrary to almost everything else Europeana does - not everything that we do is open by default. Moreover, we sometimes need to keep things confidential and you need to do the same if it applies to e.g. budgets, not published information, strategy etc.
The DSI-budget funds the core of Europeana (up to 98%) and consists of personnel costs (salary, insurance, pensions etc.), subcontracting and other direct costs (travel, events, renting of meeting rooms etc.). The DSI-budget is quite inflexible. If you find that changes need to be made, they must be approved by your team leader, as well as Victor-Jan, Albert and Harry. That said, the official rules state that we can, without approval from the Commission, move money within a budget category (so planned costs for event X can be moved to event Y) and between project partners. We cannot easily move money into subcontracting from other budget categories.
Deliverables and milestones: review and quality control
The DSI and other projects include two types of formal commitments: deliverables and milestones. Deliverables are documents (or other types of media, such as websites) that serve as a tangible outcome of a project. A milestone is an overview of the current state of affairs in a certain area. We mainly write plans as milestones and reports of our activities as deliverables. Both are subject to reviews of the Commission and can be rejected. We then have to adapt or improve the document, with possible financial repercussions. It is therefore important that we are on time and the documents are of good quality. Deliverables have a certain time path and need to be delivered to the European Commission at the end of the planned month. Milestones can, because of their nature, be a bit more flexible. Both deliverables and milestones have to respect a certain template requested by the European Commission.
Regarding deliverables, we have internally established a quality control process to ensure high-quality documents and on-time delivery. Every deliverable needs a reviewer (external to the work) and thus needs to be written about a month in advance to allow a proper review.
Subcontracts in project(s)
In the setup of any project, we can define subcontracts. That means that we pay other organisations or companies to deliver certain project tasks. There are strict rules and procedures for subcontracts.
Information on the subcontract process within our office as well as links to templates are described in the subcontract manual that staff members can find in Synergy.
Once in a while, we are asked to participate in a project proposal. We only join projects if their end goals are in line with our strategy. Project requests are handled by Victor-Jan, who discusses it with the directors. Please forward any such requests to him.
Subcontracts through which we provide services to other projects/organisations
Apart from joining a project, we can become a subcontractor in a new EU-funded project. This means we deliver a specific service to this project and get paid for it. Requests for a subcontract are handled in the same way as those for a new project.
If you receive a request for consulting other organisations or projects and they offer to pay your for the work (fees, not travel reimbursement), please forward it to your team manager. The team manager contacts his/her director (with a recommendation to accept or deny the offer) and the director's team takes the decision.
It is important that we keep a good overview of all projects, documentation and correspondence, as they involve both partners and funders. To do this, we use a ‘Projects’ Smartsheet, looked after by Programme Coordinator, Julia Schellenberg. She will be able to help you find out what you need to know about all the projects that we are involved with.
Business planning board and timeline
To facilitate business planning and to communicate major outcomes related to our business plan, we maintain a planning sheet in Google Docs (current BP 2018) and a business planning board that you can find on the wall in the kitchen area. These will be regularly updated.
Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) policy
Think of IPR like a house. It can be sold or licensed, bought, inherited or otherwise transferred. It refers to the underlying creative ownership in things such as artworks, music, fashion, photography, website pages, letters or design.
It is important to know about IPR at Europeana as good management of it e.g. which rights statement should apply to which type of content, leads to more content being shared, accessed and used on Europeana Collections, and more opportunities for new projects and collaborations being unlocked.
Copyright is a type of IP and the area that is of most interest to Europeana Foundation and the Europeana Network Association.
What is ‘open’ content?
When we talk about ‘open’ content, we mean cultural heritage items that have been made available under a rights statement that allows them to be saved or downloaded and used again in other ways, without payment and without restriction. We have developed a Europeana Publishing Framework that splits the collections we share into four ‘Tiers’. Tier 4 is the highest, allowing any kind of reuse, including commercial use. It means people can create new things with Tier 4 collection items, and we can share them widely too, for example on platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
IP Reform Advocacy
Current copyright law does not sufficiently allow cultural heritage institutions (CHI) to make their collections available online, partly because each member state has different ways of working. For a useful guide on how the law differs from country to country see here: http://outofcopyright.eu/. This will help explain why some items on Europeana Collections are made more open than others.
The Europeana Foundation plays a key role, working on behalf of the Network Association, aligning CHI interests and providing input to EU policymakers on the needs of CHI in policy debates. This includes improving copyright law to help make it easier to publish content in a more open way.
It is important for Europeana to influence the European Commission as one of our top priorities is improving the way people and businesses access, share and use cultural heritage online. This includes the opportunity to update current copyright law which would directly benefit all of our aims and achievements to date. Our efforts are ongoing and are influenced by the outcome of decisions made in the European Parliament. For more information see here: http://ec.europa.eu/priorities/digital-single-market/.
We achieve this work by writing position statements, blog posts, reports and analysis based on case studies from CHI and organising events with the European Commission to make sure our position is aligned along with others from the educational and creative communities. Copyright is dealt with in a cross-team consisting of Julia F, Henning, Pablo, Victor-Jan, Rhoda, and two colleagues from Kennisland, Paul Keller and Judith Blijden.
Europeana Network Association
The Network Association is an active community of cultural heritage, creative and technology professionals enthusiastic about digital cultural heritage.
Our responsibilities with regard to the Association are:
- coordinating the Association’s activities
- membership management
- event organisation
- secretarial support for the Association’s Management Board and Members Council
- the coordination of Task Forces and Working Groups
- communication with the Association through Europeana Pro and newsletters.
The Europeana Network Association has its own playbook, containing all its processes and policies - Association Playbook.
Members Council and Management Board
The Members Council (MC) is made up of elected representatives for the Association; the Management Board (MB) is their executive body. Members of the MB are ex-officio members of the Europeana Foundation’s Governing Board.
Task Forces and Working Groups
Task Forces (TFs) allow Association members (with the aid and supervision of the Members Council) to take a detailed look at specific subjects or areas of common interest to the digital heritage field and Europeana’s strategy Task Force Terms of Reference.
Working Groups (WGs) facilitate ongoing discussions on topics of interest to (a group of) Association members. Working Groups are proposed and led by a member of the Members Council (MC) only (Working Group Terms of Reference).
Communicating with the Europeana Network Association
We keep the Europeana Network Association up-to-date through various channels. The Europeana Pro website is the main starting point for information about the Association, its setup, governance, goals and activities. The blogs on Europeana Pro highlight Association activities and campaigns, the work of Task Forces, and the Members Council. A Network Newsletter, containing information about activities of the Association and its members, is sent out every month to all members. Europeana further manages a LinkedIn group in which newsletters and Europeana Pro updates are relayed, and in which Association members can interact. We also run specific campaigns to mobilise the network: e.g. for events registration or for the elections.
We also contribute to Europeana’s sustainability by producing country reports detailing countries’ relationship to Europeana and by organising events parallel to the EU’s rolling presidencies at which policymakers in culture, education, tourism, research and creative industries help us shape recommendations and strategic papers.
The country reports give a general country-specific overview. They detail how many national/institutional records are in Europeana, the funding we received to date, country-specific partners involved in Europeana projects, national search habits (language) on Europeana Collections, availability of openly licensed data, etc. Country reports also feature how Europeana promotes countries’ collections, exhibitions and other relevant information on social media.
Presenting country reports to member states open up opportunities to discuss the further involvement of national institutions in Europeana projects and give leverage to negotiate further financial support from the ministries. For detailed information on country reports set-up, please consult the Country Reports Handover.
To be able to run an event and keep a clear overview, we created the Europeana Events & Conferences folder.