The problem of preserving content in digital form has received widespread attention in the cultural heritage sector, and within the scientific research, higher education sector and beyond. Starting in the early 1990s within the digital library community it is now a recognized problem in business as well. For example personnel records and legal documents may need to be kept for 50 years despite the obsolescence of the computers and software systems that originally authored them. Today major memory institutions, despite being the major stakeholders and thought leaders in this field, suffer from fundamental lack of mature tools and production services. Commercially available standard solutions do not fit the specific requirement for a long-term strategy while bespoke custom made solutions are too costly.
The Open Planets Foundation is a start-up inspired by and building on the pioneering work of the EU funded Planets Project. Amongst its other deliverables, Planets successfully developed best practices, prototype tools and demonstrators that where validated by the sector as solid basis for a solution that addresses this long term access challenge.
Open Planets Foundation will take these tools and practices further and mature them into a comprehensive Open Source Suite. It will provide a coherent and useful set of digital preservation best practises and tools, including preservation planning, costing models, testing and evaluation solutions. OPF will develop a digital preservation services business that can be used both by a memory institute itself, or integrated as part of a solution provided by commercial partners.