Skip to main content

Integrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IPERION HS (Integrating Platforms for the European Research Infrastructure ON Heritage Science)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2021-09-30

IPERION HS aims at establishing a distributed pan-European Research Infrastructure, opening key national research facilities of recognised excellence in heritage science. Since 2016, Heritage Science is acknowledged by ESFRI as one of the strategic areas for the EU development. IPERION HS support the further integration of E-RIHS, which is on the way to becoming an ERIC. IPERION HS provides a pan-European integration to the advanced community of heritage science, built 20 years ago and reinforced with the support of past EU projects. The project is building a unified scientific approach to the most advanced European instruments for the analysis, interpretation, preservation, documentation and management of heritage objects. IPERION HS core activity is offering TNA to a wide range of high-level scientific instruments, methodologies, data and tools for advancing knowledge and innovation in the domain, through more than 50 access providers and a catalogue of more than 150 services. IPERION HS partnership is wide and inclusive, counting 67 partners from 23 Countries in Europe and beyond it.
IPERION HS offers access through 3 TNA platforms:
• ARCHLAB: access to physical (and digital) data collections that constitute valuable research resources, such as objects, technical images, samples and reference materials, analytical data and conservation documentation, as stored in museums, galleries, conservation and research institutions, including related unique expertise;
• FIXLAB: key fixed facilities for heritage science research: particle accelerators, neutron and laser sources and other non-transportable research facilities;
• MOLAB: access to mobile analytical instrumentation for non-invasive measurements on objects, collections, buildings, and sites, allowing in situ investigations for complex multi-technique diagnostic projects.
IPERION HS is also contributing joint innovative research for better interoperability not limited to data, but including sample materials, methods and instruments. IPERION HS NA represents a coordinated approach to key issues in the integration of national nodes and facilities into an operational pan-European RI. Targeted actions are being developed to support interoperability, sustainability, exploitation and innovation, user engagement and training and engagement of users in new communities.
The COVID emergency largely affected IPERION HS: the mobility of people, hitting hard on those activities requiring face-to-face meetings, researchers’ mobility, mobile laboratories, and training in presence. Thus, several project activities suffered different degrees of delay, and among these the TNA delivery, the international cooperation, all the in-presence training and networking activities and joint laboratory research.
The project management reacted by asking for a 6-month extension of the GA duration, which was granted. Milestones and Deliverables were shifted accordingly, thus now the delays in delivering both are largely under control. No significant deviations from the new plan are to be reported. The management rescheduled all the project activities that could be run in remote/virtual mode, securing their prosecution throughout the emergency. By the frequent use of virtual meetings and events, the project was able to proceed, in several cases with excellent results.
WP1 established a robust project management structure since the beginning of the project. All the project bodies have been appointed, except for the Regional Development Strategic Advisory which will be launched at a later stage.
WP2, WP 3 and WP4 worked together with WP8 to enable starting regular TNA services on the three platforms. Peer-review panels were established. Apart from an initial delay, the first 2 TNA calls were regularly opened. The critical point is now the timely delivery of all the planned TNA. Projects were examined and access to users was granted. Anyway, the travel limitations across Europe make hard to provide a timely delivery of TNA to the successful proposals. Thus, many access projects are still waiting to be delivered. The uncertainty is still perduring and the chance of completing TNA delivery within the granted 6-month extension is currently unpredictable. A further extension will be discussed at the 2nd Annual Meeting in April 2022.
WP5 worked on the 5 Joint Research Activities, a key for the improvement of future access services. Activities have been replanned and restructured through frequent virtual meetings and exchanges among the WP leader/deputy and the Task Leaders. Cooperation on data management has been enabled with the DIGILAB WG in charge of planning the digital platform of E-RIHS.
WP6 activities ran at a good pace, by restricting to the virtual format all the meetings and the exchanges among WP and Task leaders and with IPERION HS partners. Several tangible results were achieved, including the DMP, the Interim Innovation Report, surveys for landscaping the research questions of users of RI and for analysing the research capacities within National Nodes, a flyer to help national coordinators to appoint members of the RDSAB and the outsourcing of the elaboration of the strategy for IPR management.
WP7 organized the training activities, branded jointly as #HS Academy, such as the 1st Doctoral Summer School, and a webinar series, all in remote modality. Specific actions were developed to enlarge the heritage science community and to engage the new users from the new communities.
WP8 has carried out intense work to achieve procedural consistency across the three TNA platforms and the Training activities to guarantee efficient and integrated access in the frame of IPERION HS. The single-entry contact point (userhelpdesk) follows all contacts with regards to questions of the TNA tools, experimental set-ups, and general enquires. The developed efficient communication strategies and toolkits are ensuring coordinated and consistent outreach with global impact. This WP focuses on the development of international relationships.
Heritage science is the key to innovation in cultural heritage. IPERION HS catalogue of world-class facilities, coupling advanced scientific tools with the unique expertise, will be available to researchers in academies, public institutions and industry through three centrally managed Trans-National Access platforms with the following cut-off deadlines: November 2021, April 2022, September 2022, February 2023. A special issue in Heritage Science journal has been opened and will showcase the results of the project, highlighting selected projects from the 3 platforms (ARCHLAB, FIXLAB, MOLAB) and Joint Research Activities plus DIGILAB, in the context of the impact of infrastructure for Heritage Science. Beyond the direct impacts on increased quality and efficiency of scientific production in heritage science, IPERION HS activities provide other impacts benefitting the scientific community, sector operators and the public at large. The project will organise high-level hands-on specialised training possibly on-site and another DSS in 2023. Plans are underway to build on the success of the webinar series with an “Emerging Professional” webinar series, organised by and for early-career staff to engage the next generation of heritage scientists in IPERION HS. The project will enhance the potential for exploitation of the results and expertise in the future permanent E-RIHS ERIC.
HS Academy webinars: the programme and the cover slide of the first webinar
MOLAB at the Munch Museum in Oslo (2021)
Announcement of the 1st Doctoral Summer School (July 2021)