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Innovation ecosystems of digital cultural assets


Specific Challenge: The digital age has revolutionised our habits, behaviours and expectations. The utilisation of digital technologies for research in the humanities and social sciences demonstrates the need for innovation at the service of scholarship and its advancement. The shift to digital is impacting on identities and cultures and transforming the shape of the knowledge that we will transmit to future generations as well as the means by which we can interact with it. . This specific challenge responds to the growing urge to share the wealth of cultural resources, research and knowledge in our collections and recognises that new cultural assets are continually created. It will show how digital cultural resources can promote creativity and generate innovation in research design and methodology, lead to richer interpretations of the past, bring new perspectives to questions of identity and culture, and generate societal and economic benefits. Europe’s vast cultural heritage can be transformed into digital assets, whose integration and reuse through research-led methods can create value for European cultural institutions and heritage, tourism and the cultural and creative industries. The objective is to enhance the analysis of cultural resources to improve our understanding of how European identity can be traced, constructed or debated, and to use those resources to foster innovation across sectors.

Scope: Support and promote access to and resue of digital cultural heritage resources (available in scientific collections, archives, museums, libraries and cultural heritage sites) as part of research and innovation. Projects should enable new models and demonstrations of the analysis, interpretation and understanding of Europe's cultural and intellectual history and/or capitalising on state of the art technologies (e.g. mobile and wearable devices), bring cultural content to new audiences in novel ways, through the development of new environments, applications, tools, and services for digital cultural resources in scientific collections, archives, museums, libraries and cultural heritage sites. The developed technologies or services should be generated in the context of humanities research perspectives (identity, culture, questions of place, historical and cultural knowledge) and/or facilitate the access, reuse and exploitation of digital cultural resources meeting real user needs. They should illustrate how they allow new research questions to be formulated on the basis of cross-collaboration and/or stimulate cross-border, cross-lingual multi-disciplinary reuse of Europe's cultural heritage, enabling collaboration and partnerships and co-production of knowledge across sectors and communities of researchers and users. Proposals should demonstrate appropriate methods of re-using and repurposing digital assets, paving the way for wider exploitation of Europe's cultural resources and boosting innovation.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 2 million and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact: Activities under this topic will:

         stimulate new research perspectives for the humanities and social science communities, promote further the use of digital cultural heritage allowing its reinterpretation towards the development of a new shared culture in Europe.

         provide innovative and creative methods for approaching cultural assets and generate applications and services to access and exploit the rich and diverse European digital cultural heritage in a sustainable way.

         foster collaboration between those with primary expertise in the interpretation of cultural data and researchers with complementary expertise in digital and interactive frameworks.

Projects will strengthen the European capability in creating new forms of digital entertainment and engagement based on cultural heritage and will promote the use of new technologies such as new media and new modalities of access. In addition  these activities will create a viable and sustainable cross-border, cross-lingual and/or cross-sector digital exploitation of European digital cultural heritage assets by putting into place new networks of researchers, scholars, ICT professionals and specialists of digital heritage.

Type of action: Innovation actions