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European Commission


Brussels, 22 June 2012

Digital Agenda: Hackers get EU award for Europeana apps.

Pin your favourite European masterpiece to your digital notice board. Discover Europe's cultural heritage on LCD screens at your gym or café. Create and share personal art guides on your smartphone. European web developers have come up with these ideas in a competition to create apps that expand the reach of Europeana, Europe's digital library, museum and archive.

Participants in Hack4Europe 2012 developed new ways of sharing, re-using, creating or opening-up access to the 23 million digitised objects on . Their efforts showcase the social and business value of open cultural data in Europe. Awards were presented to winners of hackathons in Belgium, Latvia and Poland at the Digital Agenda Assembly today in Brussels.

  • Belgium Senne Van Der Bogaert, Mehmet Celik and Wouter Aerts developed Stackathon. Their mobile app allows users to search and select artworks in Europeana. Using their phone as a recording device, visitors to Europeana can add audio comments artworks and share them online.

  • Latvia makes searching, navigating and sharing Europeana content more fun. Search results are displayed in a way which tempts users to explore further or get the details about an individual record. was developed by Eriks Remess, Maksim Berjoza and Uldis Bojars.

  • Poland Artspace, winner of the Warsaw hackathon aims to bring Europeana's collections into coffee shops, libraries, schools, hotels, clubs and other public places. LCD displays and an online Collection Management System enable a “Virtual art leasing” service. It was developed by Agata Dziekan and Marek Sredniawa

More than 40 web developers, programmers and designers took part and 22 prototypes were created at events in Warsaw, Riga and Leuven between 26 May and 15 June. Developers had access to Europeana's 23 million objects, the Europeana Search Application Programming Interface (API), digitised WW1 memorabilia collected during Europeana's WW1 road shows in spring 2012 and Europeana Linked Open Data Pilot datasets, which currently comprise about 2.5 million Europeana records available under a CC0 license

In October 2011 a Commission Recommendation asked EU Member States to step up their efforts, pool their resources and involve the private sector in digitising cultural material (see IP/11/1292).Online open data fuels the imagination and creates opportunities for millions of Europeans working in Europe's cultural and creative industries. The sector represents 3.3% of EU GDP and over €150 billion in exports.


Europeana was launched in 2008 to make Europe's cultural heritage accessible to all, giving a single point of access to 2 million objects. By mid 2012, this initiative has grown to a mature ecosystem of 23 million paintings, films, recordings, photographs and archival records in 29 languages from over 2500 partner institutions from the libraries, museums and archives of Europe. In October 2011, the European Commission challenged Member States to develop solid plans and build partnerships to place 30 million objects in Europeana by 2015. (see IP/11/1292 and MEMO/11/745)

Hack4Europe 2012 invited developers and designers to explore the potential of using the Europeana API to develop marketable applications and demonstrate the power of opening up cultural data. The Hack4Europe competition was launched by EU Vice-President and Commissioner for the Digital Agenda for Europe Neelie Kroes on 9 May 2012.(see MEMO/12/312) Juries at each event selected winners in three categories: greatest commercial potential, greatest social impact and most innovative. Hackers also voted for their favourites in the developers' pick category. The jury selected one prototype from each event to go forward to the Digital Agenda Assembly where the winners were presented with their prize by Adriana Ticau, Member of the European Parliament

Hack4Europe 2012 was organised in support of the Commission's policy to facilitate the wider deployment and more effective use of digital technologies. It was organised by the Europeana Foundation and its partners, National Audiovisual Institute, Poznań Supercomputing and Networking Centre, National Library of Latvia , TechHub Riga  and Microsoft Latvia.

For more information

Winning apps

Hack4Europe 2012

Digital Agenda Assembly

Digital Agenda website

Neelie Kroes' website

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