€250M EU funding for stories for mobile travellers!

With this Petition, we, the representatives of the European Museum & Cultural Heritage and Travel Communities, request the launch of a new €250M EU funding Programme for quality stories creation for travellers in Europe. Millions of stories will cover 500,000 km of European roads, 500 cities, and thousands of museums. The content should be available for free through open storytelling platforms for all apps like Trip Advisor, TomTom, Google Maps, etc., and will outlive any of these technologies.

Mobile technologies have changed the world, and the museum community has also been affected. The European authorities and other funding bodies have been supporting the efforts of museums to develop their own apps through technology-oriented EU programmes but, in most cases, these apps failed to survive beyond the end of the 2-3 year funding period, as any technology requires substantial efforts and ongoing investment to support it.

The advent of open storytelling platforms has resolved this problem: museums and cultural institutions do not have to invest in building and maintaining mobile apps any more, as they are now available for free. Much like the most popular social media platforms – Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, WeChat, Twitter, and the like – these game changers are backed by new business models that depend on participation and content creation on a global scale, and make the traditional boutique museum app or audio tour obsolete.

As the technological hurdle no longer exists, we can clearly see that the only issue that separates us from seeing millions of people enjoying the stories wherever they go is the lack of the content. Therefore, we would like EU funding programmes to concentrate on the mass production of high-quality stories for the existing mobile technologies.

We believe that "High-quality stories outlive any technology." Indeed if the same stories are used by competing platforms (like GuideID, GuidiGo, VoiceMap, izi.TRAVEL, Antenna Audio, Espro Acousticguide Sycamore and PocketGuide), the EU investment in the Storytelling Programme will last for decades, as a good story just gets better over time.

We estimate that the scale required by a Programme that will adequately address this need to be at least €250M to develop European heritage stories for the 500M travellers who visit Europe every year. We need stories for highways, for big and small cities, for archaeological sites, cultural trails, ancient battlefields, museums and castles. We need millions of stories to trigger the kind of real usage that changes people's cultural habits and engages them more deeply as well as more frequently in their cultural heritage. We expect large businesses to match the funding provided by the EU.

The Project Initiative Group can help the European authorities to elaborate further the proper policy in the field and build up a compelling Storytelling European Programme.

The content in the main languages will help travellers to understand European culture, its origins and values, and will add input into building world peace via building understanding in the minds of travellers.

With this petition, we would also like further to support the EU Horizon 2020 project regarding more accessible and open data. "The European Commission's vision is that information already paid for out of the public purse should not be paid for again each time it is accessed or used, and that it should benefit European companies and citizens to the full."

To sign the petition please click HERE
To download the PDF version of Petition please click here
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