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Virtual Multimodal Museum

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - ViMM (Virtual Multimodal Museum)

Reporting period: 2018-10-01 to 2019-03-31

Cultural heritage is a significant force for 21st century Europe. The wide range of events and initiatives in the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 (EYCH2018) have not only promoted a sense of the cultural diversity in Europe and encouraged people to share and appreciate Europe’s rich cultural heritage but are also drawing attention to the challenges that Cultural Heritage Institutions (CHI) are facing, such as the impact of digital transformation

Virtual Multimodal Museum (ViMM) is a major, high-impact Coordination and Support Action (CSA - 2016 - COOP-8 ) for Virtual Museums (VM), but also within the overall context of European policy and practice on Digital Cultural Heritage (DCH). A highly expert seven (7) partner consortium supported by a unique and powerful Advisory Group, consisting of many of the Europe and the world’s leading public and private sector organisations in the field, has carried out work to help define and support high quality policies, strategic and day-to day decision making, the utilisation of breakthrough technological developments such as 3D/XR and to nurture an evidence-based view of growth and development impacted by DCH. This is supported by a set of 50 excellence examples and three regional case studies in culturally-rich regions of South Europe recovering from economic recession. The results of this work are visible on the ViMM Platform and through its social media.
A consultative process, involving 21 Working Groups with over 200 expert members, has succeeded in building a consensual framework directly involving Europe’s leading decision-makers and practitioners in DCH defining and resolving existing issues spread across 7 interlinked Thematic Areas (‘the 7 Ds’): Definitions – Directions – Documentation – Dimensions – Demand- Discovery - Decisions.

The ViMM Manifesto was produced following a milestone meeting in Berlin in April 2019 where the results of over 40 Propositions emerging from the Working Groups were discussed and ranked.

The Manifesto has since been evolved into a Roadmap and Action Plan (RM/AP) for the five years following Horizon2020, covering 4 main Aspects:
I. Research and innovation under Horizon Europe;
II.A European Competence Centre network in Digital Cultural Heritage;
III. Human Resources, education and training;
IV. Policy and international cooperation.

The RM/AP has been widely discussed among stakeholders and validated by the expert community at several meetings, held in Nicosia, Vienna and Paris, during the final six months of the project.

The ViMM Communication Platform at 31 March 2019 had 1153 registered members and 1,274,172 visits/page hits from 316,456 unique visitors. The domain has reached the top ranking of the domain search on Google, Yahoo and Bing showing a visibility of 100%. Through the engagements of partners, users and experts, the site hosts 1546 posts, 61 pages and 50 case studies. ViMM has an active social media presence on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In. During the final three months of the project Twitter impressions had reached well over 1000 per day.

ViMM has presented its work and sought the engagement of DCH stakeholder communities at over 30 external conferences and events. The project has also organised an influential internal event on advances in DCH at the European Commission in March 2017; and an additional high-level strategic stakeholder workshop on ‘How digital technologies can contribute to the preservation and restoration of Europe's most important and endangered cultural heritage sites ’, in conjunction with the European Commission and Parliament on 29/30 October 2018, in the framework of the EuroMed 2018 conference in Cyprus.
The final version of the ViMM “Decision Making Tool” (DMT) has been designed and launched on the ViMM Platform. VIMM Experts had been made accessible on the site and classified in order to connect them to the appropriate parts of the Decision Making Process (DMP) for Cultural Heritage projects.
The results of ViMM are having a discernible impact on the development of EU initiatives in the DCH field, on a recent declaration by Member States concerning the role of digital in the future of Cultural Heritage and on momentum towards cooperation and a common agreement among leading pan-European and international cultural heritage organisations, which will continue after the Horizon 2020- funded period of VIMM, through the 'ViMMPlus' initiative.

This initiative will assure responsibility for maintaining, updating and monitoring of use of the communication platform and social media for at least a 2-year period following the end of the project; help establish a resource base and strategy for sustaining a European VM/DCH community and stakeholder network into the future; and ensure the continuing recognition and participation of DCH stakeholders in policy-level discussions. Exploitation planning under ViMMPlus therefore includes four main components: The ViMM Community and Network, The ViMM Platform, The Roadmap and Action Plan (RM/AP) and the Decision Support Process and Tool (DMP/T)

The DMT and the methodology of the 4-phase digital project design is a self-sustainable first step towards an intelligent DCH project management and resource development. Future projects could build upon the methodology and extend and improve it, including intelligent services for the DCH, helping to improve European competence in cultural asset valorisation through digital technologies. Ultimately, the DMT may be adopted as a new standardised process for digital heritage project design and development offering maximum cost efficiency, sustainability, and socioeconomic added value for European cultural assets.
The Virtual Multimodal Museum Project