IMS establishes European Foundation

July 3, 2001

“IMS in Europe” to support E-learning specification and product development
BOSTON, Mass. and AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – June 29, 2001 – IMS, a global consortium of more than 300 educational institutions, commercial entities and government agencies today announced the founding of IMS in Europe – an independent foundation incorporated in the Netherlands that will serve the needs of e-learning organizations throughout Europe.

A growing number of e-learning agencies, vendors, providers and universities are joining IMS in Europe to help develop technical specifications and involve the European e-learning community in their global use. Recently many of these organizations convened in Sweden and the UK to participate in an IMS Working Group on technical specifications for Digital Repositories.

“Europe has a rich commitment to the integration of knowledge services and heritage resources with learning,” said David Kay, Strategy Director for Fretwell-Downing Education Ltd., a developer of enterprise IT solutions for the education and training sectors based in the UK. “Repository technology is strong here and critically important to the publishing community as it moves online to provide interoperable access to a wealth of resources.”

Participants in IMS in Europe also sponsor key e-learning initiatives. Through EASEL (Educator Access to Services in the Electronic Landscape) Fretwell-Downing Education in the U.K. is using the IMS Content Packaging and IMS Metadata specifications in its project to build a flexible accessible Learning Object Repository. In Greece the Informatics and Telematics Institute (ITI) is applying and extending the IMS Content Packaging specification in its “Knowledge on Demand” project – a collaborative venture with xEcomm Advanced Systems (Israel), GIUNTI Interactive Labs (Italy) and the Centre of Advanced Technology in Image Analysis (CATAI) and PROFIT Gestion Informatica (Spain).

“IMS specifications and its Digital Repositories Working Group have moved us all closer to a truly open market for learning content,” said Fabrizio Cardinali of Giuniti Interactive Labs – part of the Giunti Publishing Group. “By using a native XML digital repository and the IMS Content Packaging specification, Giunti’s ‘Knowledge Packaging Architecture’ can function independently of the delivery environment and the display device,” he said.

About IMS and IMS in Europe

The IMS Global Learning Consortium develops open technical specifications to support distributed learning. Its mission is to facilitate the delivery of online learning to all users and all use environments worldwide. All of the specifications developed by IMS are available to the public without charge through the IMS web site . IMS is supported by worldwide consortium which includes more than 40 Contributing Members, over 250 “Developers Network” subscribers, and a web community of users.

Membership in IMS is open to organizations located anywhere in the world who are making a substantial and continuing commitment to the development, evolution and/or use of advanced distributed learning environments. For more information concerning participation in IMS in Europe and its activities visit the IMS web site.