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Teaser, summary, work performed and final results

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Piql-GO (Ultra-secure data storage - and long-term preservation of digital and analogue data)


Our Piql System is based on technology breakthroughs in converting photosensitive film into a digital, migration-free storage medium from which data can be guaranteed retrieved in the future, but never hacked, manipulated, or deleted. It solves the needs of both end-clients...


Our Piql System is based on technology breakthroughs in converting photosensitive film into a digital, migration-free storage medium from which data can be guaranteed retrieved in the future, but never hacked, manipulated, or deleted. It solves the needs of both end-clients with a focus on guaranteed data authenticity and integrity, and end-clients focusing on keeping data for centuries.
The most commonly used storage technologies were developed primarily to provide cost-efficient storage of short-lived data, and innovations focus on increased data capacity and cost reductions. Securing long-term access to valuable data has proven to be more complicated, due to frequent obsolescence of the storage media, software, hardware, and file formats. Consequently, data migration to newer technological platforms every 3-5 years is common. Migration-based preservation strategies (using magnetic tapes, optical discs, and hard disc drives) are costly, involve a risk of data loss, and do not address the core of the problem; the need for data security and future-proof access. Alternative cloud storage services face high risks related to data security and privacy, as data is stolen, manipulated, and misused (e.g. Hacking/data breach incidents cost UK firms alone €1bn in 2016 , while Norway was hit by more than 22,000 cyber-attacks per Norwegian authorities.). Finally, analogue microfilm storage offers long lifetime expectancy, is migration-free, but the workflow for reproducing/retrieving the data is time-consuming and highly dependent on manual labour (i.e. expensive).

Piql directly addresses the EU objectives to increase data security and develop new tools for managing the ever-increasing amount of data - while reducing end-users’ data storage costs and their CO2 footprint. Our objective is to implement the Piql System and Service across multiple sectors, accelerate an ICT disruptive innovation and create growth and impact for our stakeholders. The amount of digital data is doubling every 2-years. This poses two major concerns, related to data security of sensitive data and related to how we can ensure future access to data with long-term value. If measured over a long period of time, storage savings can amount to 70–80% compared with conventional data storage, which often does not provide adequate and guaranteed data authenticity and integrity. Our data storage solution is environmentally friendly, with an emissions-free data vault, the Arctic World Archive. The climate condition inside the mountain is ideal for storing our piqlFilm, which can be safely stored without electricity for hundreds of years.

Piql-GO’s goal is to upscale, pilot, and commercialise our disruptive and patented Piql System for ultra-secure storage and long-term preservation of digital and analogue data.
• Technology maturation to optimise the functionalities of Piql subsystems and integrate them into an improved, final prototype to be piloted in real-life settings. Our goal is to raise the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of our technology from its current TRL7 to TRL8.
• Piloting and validation objectives to demonstrate the Piql System’s technical and economic performance, functionality, and user benefits through a large-scale piloting in real-life settings
• Commercialisation readiness objectives enabling us to successfully bring the Piql System and Service to the market, and reach sales traction post-project completion.

Work performed

At Piql, we know about the challenges associated with archiving and digital preservation, and how to manage, digitise, monetise and preserve data for the future. Years of working with different types of archives have given us a very good understanding of challenges associated with archiving and digital preservation. We have established an extremely solid knowledge base on how to manage, digitise, monitise and preserve data for the future. Piql can offer a wide range of services in the secure, long-term data storage domain
We have matured our technology that writes and reads data on piqlFilm to better service our clients. This includes the development of a smaller piqlReader so that clients can have one on location for fast access to their offline data. We will soon start Pilot Testing of our 10 new piqlReaders in countries all over the world and look forward to hearing our clients’ feedback.

In addition, we have extended and expanded our services to offer more assistance to our clients. This allows us to take a holistic approach to help our clients protect their data regardless of their current situation. We have achieved this through the inclusion of a broad range of plug-in services, including archival management, digitisation and complementary software solutions. In this way, Piql can assist clients to go from a purely analogue archive to a complete, well-constructed digital archive with the most resilient digital preservation technology around.

Final results

Piql Services are beyond the state of the art compared to existing data storage solution. Not only do we solved the problem of keeping data alive regardless of technological obsolescence, we have increased the longevity of previous digital preservation benchmarks by hundreds of years.
We have improved the Piql system during the first year of the project according to our plans. Our solution is now ready for the market and pilot testing. Piql as an organisation has also matured, shifting the focus more from R&D to commercialisation activities. Due to our learnings from the first part of the Piql-GO project, we have extended our value chain and services. Our market research has shown that a lot of clients needs more than just the storage of their data onto piqlFilm. They need digisation, restoration and assistance with cataloguing and designing a well-functioning digital archive system. Many also need additional support, in change management, software integration, and compliance.

Our goal is to be the expert on data preservation. The global Piql Partner network collaborates to deliver tailored services to clients. Although localised all over the world, we operate as one united team.
Our services are extended to include:
- Insight (consultancy services)
- Archiving and cataloguing optimisation
- Digitisation and restoration
- Data Transfer, preparation and ingest
- Digital and physical storage
- Online and offline access
We have already implemented this new service offering and are assisting clients overcome challenges in their journey toward digital preservation.
Working with our partner, SNSK (Norwegian mining company), we have also enhanced the Arctic World Archive to be bigger and more secure, allowing for more contributions from valuable archives around the world.
Following this enhancement, we worked with organisations from over 10 nations to digitally preserve and store more cultural and historical treasures in the Arctic World Archive for the benefit of future generations.
Through our campaign, Heritage for the Future, we asked the public to nominate and vote for items that deserve digital preservation and storage in the Arctic World Archive and deposited the top 10.
Not only does this ensure the survival of many valuable digital artefacts, it also served to raise public awareness of the importance of digital preservation.
In the next stage of the project we aim to mature in our new service offering and technology to be ready for commercialisation and rapid uptake of our services.

Website & more info

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