Posted on Thursday 13 February 2014 by Ulster Business

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Moira Loughran from Invest NI announces the new contract with with Mark Gowdy and Frank Kerr from Aetopia.

Belfast-based Aetopia, a developer of digital asset management systems, has developed a bespoke software solution to digitise the archives of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin in association with experts at the National University of Ireland in Galway.

The Aetopia solution enables the historic theatre archive to be accessed quickly and easily using the latest Cloud technology. It is the largest digital theatre project ever undertaken, the company said.

Aidan McGrath, Co-founder and Director of the company, said: "Winning the contract with the Abbey Theatre and the National University of Ireland (NUI) in Galway is immensely significant business for us because it is an endorsement of Aetopia's technology and our customer-focused service, the latter being a key feature of our approach. While we have an established software platform, our systems are developed in line with the specific requirements of individual customers.

"Invest NI has been immensely supportive of our business and has enabled us to grow successfully through assistance from including R&D, Innovation Vouchers and export marketing."

Aetopia has used a range of support from Invest Northern Ireland, including R&D to develop its DAM technology and marketing support for its MediaCore software brand. It said this has helped the company achieve success in the Republic of Ireland and other European markets including the Netherlands.

Frank Kerr, Director of Engineering at Aetopia, added: "The Abbey holds one of the world's most significant archival collections. It features a wealth of extraordinary and unique material, which provides a fascinating insight into Irish theatre, history, culture and society. It was, therefore, an extremely challenging contract because of the breadth of material which ranged from show posters, programmes, photographs, minute books to lighting plans, set and costume designs, sound cues, prompt scripts and audio files."

The software solution was chosen by NUI Galway, which had acquired the rights to digitise the archive to create a fully searchable Asset Management System, because of its flexibility and proven track record with a broad range of media operations.

One of the key requirements was to facilitate the theatre's 30 year embargo rule, so a system of releasing material on a rolling, year-by-year basis, needed to be built into the digital asset management system.

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