Time Machine

The goal of the Time Machine Project is to develop means of digitalising books and other printed material of the past to enable the written cultural heritage stored in archives, libraries and museums throughout Europe to be made available in digital form on a large scale. With the aid of text recognition and pattern recognition, the project will preserve and make use of this “big data” of the past.

The Time Machine Project will also focus on creating AI-based solutions and services to give the general public, researchers and other user groups access to digitalised cultural heritage and enable them to use shared data in new ways.

One of the six applicants for billion-euro funding

Time Machine is one of the six projects that the European Commission has selected as part of its Funding and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme to compete to become one of its next billion-euro flagship science initiatives. Each finalist has received EUR one million to modify and develop its project application for the final phase of the competition process.

The commission will assess the final project applications of the six competitors in late 2020 to decide on how the total funding of EUR one billion is to be distributed. If the Time Machine project is selected as one of the beneficiaries, the project would start in 2021 and would last about 10 years.

A coordinating body, the Time Machine Organisation (TMO), has been established to bring together the skills needed to support the project. The organisation currently includes around 400 cultural heritage organisations, such as memory institutions, universities and other research institutes and companies. More interested members are still being sought, including from Finland.

Finland's role in the Time Machine project

Among the Finnish organisation that have already joined the Time Machine Organisation are the National Archives of Finland, the University of Helsinki (HELDIG), Aalto University, the National Library of Finland, and Music Archive Finland.

The National Archive of Finland acts as a connection point in the organisation. This involves acting as an ambassador for the project, with responsibility for matters such as communication of project ideas, guidance of the new TMO member organisations and convening meetings with relevant stakeholders at national level.

Additional information

Finnish Time Machine Project ambassador and National Archive of Finland development manager Tomi Ahoranta, firstname.lastname@arkisto.fi, +358 29 533 7004

Time Machine project proposal website

Time Machine Organisation (TMO) registration form

Sign-up page for Time Machine Project newsletter and newsletter archive

Summary of the project proposal (PDF)

Project proposal (PDF)

Project roadmap

Five videos about Time Machine