Roadmap for the future of European Competence Centres

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Roadmapping the future

Description of work

  1. A vision document will be creaated with recommendations on Centres of Competence for future funding and and to support the EC in the preparation of the first call of the Connecting Europe Facility structure.
  2. We will also create a long-term roadmap

(2015-2025) for future research in the digital library and the role of Centres of Competence.

     The first outcome will be an initial vision document in August 2013 to
     support the EC in the preparation of the first call of the
     Connecting Europe Facility structure, and the second outcome
     will be a future vision for the period 2015--2025 to feed into
     the work on the long-term roadmap.


The generated documentation will include a report on the current best practices for setting up competence centres in the digital library area in a sustainable way, a common vision of stakeholders on long-term sustainability of Centres of Competence and an exploration of the possibilities of combinations of funding, business opportunities and public-private partnerships.


Ideas have been shared and collected at the blog for coordination "Centres of Competence in Europe" [1]

A possible scheme

European competence centres are devised as knowledge hubs disseminating expertise and excellence to a wide community of stakeholders.

The long-term maintenance of the competence centres calls for a number of actions/features:

  1. Creating a comprehensive and crisp catalogue of services.
    • Services must be clearly defined and, if possible, showcased.
    • Brokering should be provided by the competence centre: for given requirements, compare providers, prices and deadlines.
  2. Creating a comprehensive description of technical tools and resources applicable in the area of expertise and their associated licensing schemes.
    • This includes providing support for a (unified) signature of contracts with service providers.
  3. Interconnecting the information provided by complementary centres.
    • Users should be able to find information provided by other centres (seamless integration).
  4. Handling the disseminator paradox: while the competence centre main objective is to disseminate knowledge, it also needs to raise awareness of the centre itself.
    • What activities can help to create such awareness?
    • Do we need a unified catalogue of competence centres?
  5. Reaching the status of certification institutes in their area of knowledge.
    • In this realm, the EC can help.
  6. Launching pan-european professional training initiatives.
    • Liaisions with universities and educational institutions.
  7. Compiling and sharing best-practice guides.
    • They could become a series of books
  8. Contributing to the creation of an European legal help-desk for competence centres.
    • Pooling this need (a central service providing support for issues such as membership agreements, creation of the legal body, etc) would lower costs of setting up the centre.
  9. Reaching the critical mass of stakeholders.
    • A single fee giving access to multiple centres?
  10. Keeping their internal costs low.
    • Shared help desks?