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The SaaS Services are implemented in the framework of the project “A Platform for the Deposit, Management and Delivery of Open Metadata and Digital Content”. The project is funded by the Operational Programme “Digital Convergence” (NSFR), which is co-funded by Greece and the European Union-European Regional Development Fund. The programme runs between 2007 and 2013.

The project’s vision is to enhance the searchability and re-usability of trustworthy cultural and scientific content, by researchers, the academia and end-users. In order to achieve this, the project delivers an integrated digital environment that supports institutions to enhance and improve their web presence and internationalize their cultural data. For this reason, a range of services, based on the model of Software as a Service (SaaS) support the safe deposit, the management and online dissemination of digital data- are currently being developed. These services are delivered in the Cloud, a technology with significant benefits for the institutions which employ it.

The project also applies recognised technical and operational standards that allow for system interoperability and co-ordination of the business models followed. These interoperability standards are well reflected and further analyzed in the study " Interoperability standards and characteristics for open digital content". In this project, the National Documentation Centre of Greece (EKT) has a mission  to support the development of a dynamic network of institutions and other stakeholders across the country, a network that will act strategically towards the enhancement of quality digital content in the Greek web. This role reflects EKT's strategic choice to follow European trends and best practices in the Knowledge Society, promoting the free distribution of knowledge and public information and exploiting ICTs in the service of education and culture.

EKT brings in the discussion a long-standing experience in the development of library automation services, a thorough expertise in documentation processes and standards and a robust Datacenter infrastructure. 

The backdrop for the development of this project is provided by international trends and policies that support re-use of Public Sector Information and Open Access to the cultural and scientific data funded through public funds. Both the European i2010 Strategy and the Digital Agenda for Europe as well as all related European and national policies and recommendations stress the importance of the above for innovation and growth.  

In practice

Following a consultation that EKT will carry out, the SaaS Repository Services, OpenABEKT Services and a range of supporting services will initially be available to a number of selected institutions. Selection process will be based on a number of criteria such as geographic spread, public funding, availability of open data, etc.

The Single Point of Access/ Unified Search Service and the Data Protection Service will be, in the first place, provided to institutions that implement cultural content digitisation projects in the context of the Calls 31 and 31.2 of the “Digital Convergence” Operational Programme. However, in the long run, we aim to make these services available to any public or private institution that manages quality scientific and cultural material and would wish to use SaaS services.

The National Documentation Centre (EKT) of Greece: Enabling access to knowledge, facilitating research and innovation 

EKT is the national institution for the aggregation, documentation and dissemination of scientific information. Founded in 1980, the organization serves the country’s research, education and business communities and the wider public.

At EKT, research e-infrastructures embrace technological innovation in fulfilling the institution's main mission: to aggregate, document, store and preserve digital content and disseminate it openly to the public in a way that promotes growth, research and innovation. Placing emphasis on multi-directional content reuse, EKT develops enabling factors for the creation, use and growth of digital content in its entire lifecycle.

Access to knowledge lies at the heart of EKT’s activities. The organisation is a strong supporter of open access as a means for social and economic development and is at the forefront of national and international open access initiatives that support the development and implementation of relevant policies for scientific and cultural data.

Strategic priorities at EKT are structured around digital information: at the level of technological infrastructure which lies in the base of content creation, at the level of content development, and finally at the level of its dissemination and reuse according to the principles of open access.

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