Since several years, the Image and Media Lab is doing basic research in the field of digitization of large image collections and the long-term archiving of digital data. A further important research field is the digital restoration and permanence of old, degraded and damaged photographs and motion-picture films (black/white and color) by digital image processing, i.e., interdisciplinary research combining classical photography - digital imaging - preservation of cultural heritage.
End of January 2006 the “Réseau Cinéma CH” was started. The “Réseau Cinéma CH” is a co-operation project of Swiss Universities and Swiss professional schools. Goal of the “Réseau Cinéma CH” is it to create in Switzerland innovative and interdisciplinary master studies in film practice and theory. An important part of the “Réseau Cinéma CH” will be research, particularly in the area ”archiving” and motion-picture technology.
This type of research requires a movie-scanner with special capabilities for the use in archives, i.e. the possibility to scan all type of movie films, especially degraded or damaged ones. The goal is to build a competence centre for digital movie restoration and archiving that will be operated by the Image and Media Lab and Schwarz-Film, Osermundigen.
However, the importance of this research goes beyond the pure scientific significance: It will contribute to preserve the visual heritage ("patrimoine visuel") of Switzerland. Therefore, the centre will also perform restoration work in a productive way for Swiss and potentially international institutions.