EghtesadOnline: Tapping the potential of blockchain technology, Iran ICT Ministry and the National Library signed a memorandum of understanding to digitize the library's massive archives and create an open data platform that can help promote successful business ventures.
ICT Minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi and Ashraf Boroujerdi, head of the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLA), signed the MoU on Tuesday which aims to establish a smart system which can provide the public with access to the library's priceless collection of historical manuscripts, print newspapers and more.
Boroujerdi says the agreement basically paves the way for the transformation of the library's database into a digital format that can be accessed by all across the globe.
Azari-Jahromi further detailed the agreement, saying another step has been taken to increase the Persian language's share on the World Wide Web, according to Financial Tribune.
He added, "Iran's long history is precious to all. Turning archives digital, in addition to helping preserve them can accelerate research in the country and boost online content production."
The agreement stipulates that the library's public archives should completely go online in the coming months.
While at first glance the agreement seems confined to a simple digitization of data, it entails further measures. According to Azari-Jahromi, for distribution of the data, blockchain technology will be employed so that the data provided by the national library would be accessible to all but to remain protected by copyrights.
Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, is a tamper-proof, decentralized database.
Azari-Jahromi says following the online release of library archives, systems utilizing artificial intelligence can review texts and prevent duplication.
Furthermore, the system can protect original works of authorship according to copyright laws.
The data released through the system will not be limited to the works of literature stored by the library and includes economic and statistical records complied by NLA over the years.
Previous experiences by other countries show that open data released by the government can stimulate a vibrant startup ecosystem as it grants entrepreneurs easy access to accurate information which in turn enables firms to be more creative and adaptable with realities.
Head of the Information Technology Organization Rasoul Saraeian says the soon-to-be-released data will create many employment opportunities inside and outside Iran.
Saraeian hopes the measure can be of most help to startups which require inexpensive access to data to kick-start businesses.