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Culture beyond borders – Facilitating innovation and research cooperation between European museums and heritage sites


A network will bring together European museums and heritage sites (national museums, regional and local museums, European Heritage Label sites and European cultural routes, among others) with researchers and relevant public authorities for supporting cooperation between European museums and heritage sites. The network will explore ways for innovating in sharing collections, research facilities and specialized knowledge for restauration/conservation, including skills in traditional heritage crafts and technics. It will jointly prepare traveling exhibitions or shared digital exhibitions during its lifetime. Based on a focused, critical mapping of current practice and obstacles, the objective of the network is to develop an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for the enhanced cooperation of European museums and heritage sites. The network should pay particular attention to the sustainability and employment dimensions of further institutional cooperation. The network will map and share European and extra European best practices. It will evaluate bottlenecks and opportunities of enhanced cooperation. It will also identify the specific research, innovation and training needs for policy makers for improving the cooperation of European museums and heritage sites, thus contributing to shaping the research and innovation agenda for cultural heritage in Horizon Europe.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Today, when communication, media and culture flows freely beyond borders, there is growing need to connect cultural heritage collections and sites and present Europe’s tangible and intangible heritage to citizens and tourists in their wider historical and geographical contexts. Museums and heritage sites are also knowledge centres for heritage conservation, management and cultural tourism. Sustained cooperation between museums and heritage sites would increase European public interest, cultural tourism and the innovation potentials of these institutions for heritage sciences and the cultural and creative sectors thus it would contribute to sociocultural inclusion, economic growth and job creation. However, cooperation between museums and heritage sites is hindered by lack of sustained financing, institutional and legal obstacles, IPR and insurance issues, etc. Stakeholder involvement at European level is necessary for identifying gaps and obstacles but also best practices and fields where research and innovation can develop new solutions for successful cooperation

The coordination and support action will create a representative and geographically balanced European network of European museums, heritage sites, researchers and policy makers. The network will support, as a pilot demonstration activity, the joint organisation of travelling exhibitions and shared digital exhibitions. It will develop and share best practises. It will also support knowledge exchange between museum curators, conservators and management. The CSA will provide an agenda with key research and innovation challenges for European museums and heritage sites for Horizon Europe. The research agenda will cover needs for new technologies, materials, management tools, legal solutions, IPR management, financing instruments and visitors’ and community involvement. The network will also identify short, mid- and long-term education and training needs for European museum and heritage professionals.