FITD AND THE MINISTRY OF CULTURE: We protect the originality of the Macedonian language by digitizing over 5 million records of the Institute for Macedonian Language "Krste Misirkov"

The Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia and the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development are starting a process for accelerated digitization of the files of the Institute for Macedonian Language "Krste Misirkov", in order to achieve protection, valorization, categorization and revaluation of the cultural heritage of the Macedonian language.

The challenge is intended for companies that can offer an innovative solution, alone or in cooperation with an institution that performs higher education, i.e. scientific - research activity or another company. The project should contain five chapters that describe the methodology of work, processes, technology and competencies that will be put in place to achieve the goals of the project.

The Minister of Culture Irena Stefoska at today's press conference in the Government emphasized that the Ministry of Culture is starting a project for adequate and urgent protection, i.e. digitization of more than 5 million leaflets.

"It is about language records collected for decades in the field by the staff of the Institute, but also by students, informants and lovers of the Macedonian mother tongue, who with their collecting activity helped preserve this linguistic spiritual treasure. Enthusiasm that enabled us, as a culture, to stand side by side with the world's greatest cultures," explained Stefoska. She added that out of the 5 million unique language records, so far, only 140 thousand leaflets have been digitized in 9 years, as Stefoska said, it is too little and too slow and if it continues at this pace, it will probably take almost another 400 years to digitalize only this precious material. “Therefore, the Government supported the need for urgent digitalization of the files in the Institute of Macedonian Language ", said Stefoska, who emphasized that digitalization as a permanent protection of the intangible cultural heritage is a top priority.

She added that we are obliged to protect our culture and rich history and to prevent any risk to them.

The director of the Fund for Innovation and Technology Development Kosta Petrov emphasized that this investment is of special and really great importance for all future generations because we invest in modernization and protection of the Macedonian language as our greatest spiritual cultural heritage, the dialects of the Macedonian language and the toponymy of the Republic of North Macedonia.

"The fact that over 5 million original records of the Institute for Macedonian Language "Krste Misirkov", which are over 500 years old, will be digitized, speaks of how important this process is. In this way, we will create active protection of the records in original digital content, as well as passive protection from all forms of risks that can damage or permanently destroy the cultural heritage ", said Petrov. He added that a total budget in the amount of 14 million denars has been provided, for which FITD provided 9, while the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of North Macedonia participates with funds in the amount of 5 million denars. The winning project proposal will be financed 100% of the total budget, i.e. up to 14 million denars. The implementation of the project can take up to 12 months.

The applicant should be a micro, small or medium enterprise according to the Law on Trade Companies and registered in the Central Register of the Republic of North Macedonia, annual revenues should not exceed 10 million euros in the previous two fiscal years according to financial reports and others.

Some of the activities that will be approved for funding are solution development and testing activities, regulation analysis, communication with potential participants and others. Some of the costs that will be approved for the projects are gross salaries for the staff of the lead applicant, purchase or rental of equipment and consumables for the project, subcontracting research and development services and others.

The procedure, from the receipt of the received applications, to the selection and making a final decision for selection consists of several steps: administrative check, pre-selection or first evaluation of the project proposal, peeling or presentation of the pre-selected project proposals before the Evaluation and Selection Committee, final selection and the last step is signing contracts. The Evaluation and Selection Committee consists of two representatives from the partner institutions, two representatives from the challenge area and one representative from the Fund.

The main criteria according to which the project proposals will be evaluated are degree of innovation, capacity of the project team, project quality, application potential, i.e. market potential and project impact.

The companies can apply for the public call no later than 21.10.2021, until 2:00 PM, while the application process and all project documentation are available athttps://fitr.mk/digitalmk/