"Internet trading communities and marketplaces with aggregated and customized catalogs, intermediary services such as auctions and reverse auctions, and information brokerage and  syndication networks are all examples of Internet business models that combine or interconnect offerings or services from multiple businesses. The explosive and massively uncoordinated innovation in Internet technology and business models makes it an exciting time." This Statement from one of the world's leading organization working towards an interoperable framework in the world of e-commerce applies also to the field of Cultural Heritage. A wide range of EU-funded projects has delivered exciting results in the field of digitisation of 'cultural goods' as well as in the development of interoperable systems providing access to distributed and heterogeneous public catalogues residing in museums, libraries, archives, and galleries or similar organisations. But the concept of a 'European Digital Library' cannot be only based on a technical framework enabling access to digital goods - there is also a need to introduce new ways of cooperation between different stakeholders ('Cultural Organisations', Industries, Administrations, etc) as well as to 'reengineer' traditional business processes in the light of globalisation and world wide markets. The main activities within a 'support environment for i(nternet) markets' comprise: Content Engineering, Platform Engineering, and Enterprise Engineering. The REGNET-Project targets to all three areas: Content Engineering (content management and integration) is a cooperative task of experts in the different domains (libraries, museums, archives, etc) and information specialists from the IT and media industry, Platform Engineering (network management, operations & service management) is based on available standards and methods and executed by integrators and IT-specialists, and Enterprise Engineering (Business Process Engineering, Organisational Changes) is a collaborative work of all addressed stakeholders in the project.

The objectives of REGNET are:

Development of a service infrastructure which enables business to business (B2B) transactions as well as business to consumer (B2C) transactions,

Development and use of existing - locally held - electronic catalogues (OPACS: Online Public Access Catalogues) referring to cultural & scientific objects contained in libraries, museums, archives, and galleries, as well as to goods and services.

Integration of a distributed search and retrieval system to achieve a 'virtual union' catalogue of all OPACS and product/service catalogues held locally ,

Definition of Information Products and Services including necessary 'supply chains' and the connected business processes and functions to deliver digital and physical goods,

Development of a legal framework necessary for all business transaction on the B2B and B2C level (containing payment features, copyright systems, authentication control, etc),

Integration and test of existing components, standards, and methods in the field of distributed search and retrieval and e-commerce,

Access to the REGNET-WEB services via wireless application protocol (WAP) using mobile phones,

Run a trial service (demonstration phase) which should be followed by a regular service.

The technical objectives of REGNET are:

Development of the ‘REGNET building blocks’ which are necessary to build up an appropriate infrastructure to access to catalogues (containing cultural & scientific data, product & service descriptions, etc) in the Cultural Heritage domain.

Access to the ‘REGNET System’ via wired communication lines as well as via the wireless application protocol (WAP).

The building blocks of the REGNET-System consist of:

REGNET – Portal (access to remote data entry, distributed search, e-business)

REGNET – Cultural Heritage Data Management (search over distributed meta data repositories connected to stores containing digital content)

REGNET – eBusiness Data Management (e-commerce system allowing access to distributed product/service catalogues)

REGNET – Ontology (Metadata) Subsystem (containing the specifications of all metadata needed in the Cultural Heritage domain as well as in the e-business domain; this subsystem also stores specifications of workflows and process related metadata)

REGNET – Electronic Publishing Subsystem (allowing the production of personalised digital products based on standardised meta data and workflows)