Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


STORM Report Summary

Project ID: 700191

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - STORM (Safeguarding Cultural Heritage through Technical and Organisational Resources Management)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2017-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Europe's cultural legacy is one of the richest in the world. It is a beacon that draws millions of people every year to our archaeological sites, churches, castles, monuments, museums, etc. Therefore, the protection and conservation of European Cultural Heritage is a priority for policy makers, guardians of these treasure, plus tourist and educators at the local and national levels. Cultural heritage is a known value. Heritage has effects in other economic sectors in line with the EU policy statement 'Towards an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe's realisation of the value of the EU heritage'.
The protection and conservation of European Cultural Heritage is a therefore a priority for our society, not only to preserve the European cultural identity, but also because cultural heritage is a wealth creator that boosts economic impact and tourism-related business opportunities, on which many cities and communities depend. EU heritage assets are extremely exposed to climate change and natural hazards, which threaten their integrity and may compromise their value. The loss or deterioration of these outstanding assets would negatively affect local and national communities, as well as for their socio-economic value.
In this context, the STORM project aims at providing critical decision making tools to all European Cultural Heritage stakeholders affected by climate change and natural hazards. The goal is to provide new innovative capabilities to improve existing processes related to three identified areas: Prevention, Intervention and Policies, planning and processes.
Therefore, the main STORM objectives are:
1. Select, evolve and integrate innovative environment assessment methodologies and services to effectively and accurately process, analyse and map environmental changes and/or natural hazards.
2. Define and implement an innovative methodology and a supporting service for the mitigation of natural hazards and climate change.
3. Provide innovative, cost effective, non-invasive and non-destructive methods and processes.
4. Define and implement models and services for generating and managing a situational picture based on the data/information collected from the field by physical and human sensors and evaluators (crowdsensing).
5. Provide innovative, methodologies, practices and software tools for more reliable maintenance, quick restoration and long-term conservation of the cultural heritage assets.
6. Define a collaboration and knowledge-sharing framework for the community of stakeholders to co-create, share and maintain improved practices, knowledge and experience on the disaster risk reduction practices.
7. Propose adaptations, changes in existing policies and validation of new knowledge in government processes.
8. Cost analysis for the sites protection against natural hazards exploiting the STORM data analytics tools.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During the project a general overview on the current practices in management and conservation of cultural heritage, based on guidelines, principles and recommendations developed in the past decades along Europe was provided. Existing classification of cultural sites in terms of structures, material and artefacts was evaluated in order to define possible synergies. Methodologies for quick assessment of damage have been analysed. A research on existing and emerging methods deployed in surveying of sites and comparative analysis of existing technologies and practices emphasizing on eco-sustainability and noninvasive/destructive characteristics was done. The project released a survey of the legal context and administrative, organizational and functional structures of civil protection and cultural heritage management services in the five countries with a collection of information regarding the national legal frameworks and procedures for cultural heritage management and Civil Protection.
During the first reporting period, effort was also spent to define a methodology with various strategies to manage disaster risk ex-ante and ex-post an event, via the integration of short term and long term applications, to enable improved decision making and faster reaction to disaster prevention and recovery speed up, including a prioritization component. As a result, an hazard map for the pilot sites have been defined and reported along with a detailed specification of the Web-GIS interface. The process of determining risk mitigation strategy (including practical tables and matrixes) for each pilot site, according to the output of pilot sites risk assessment was also developed.
In the first reporting period, the STORM system Architecture and the STORM collaborative and knowledge-sharing platform services have been specified, along with the semantic specification of the main project entities (e.g., Source, Data Event, Situation, etc.) that have been included in the STORM Knowledge Models through an ontological, a logical and a machine-readable schema.
Finally, the definition of the STORM Integration Tree Strategy to combine each component within the STORM integrated system, the design of a STORM Cloud Infrastructure based on Openstack and the specification of a set of Data Analytics were completed.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

STORM offers an international and multiform support to Entities engaged in the safeguard of cultural heritage regarding the possibility to adopt a trans-local collaborative approach for advancing innovation processes affecting the resilience of natural hazards. Improvement of STORM innovation capacity could be described as: processes innovation, technology innovation and service innovation upon existing processes related to three identified areas, namely Prevention, Intervention and Policies, planning and processes, in a holistic matrix approach: 1) the first area is related to the organisational model, which is allowing the systemic interaction between the multidisciplinary actors involved in a cultural heritage site, when unpredictable events damaging the archaeological sites occur and how they can be prepared; 2) the second area is related to innovative technologies, are being developed and tested to support the collaboration among the CH professionals during the emergency process. 3) the third area of the STORM service innovation is related to the improved networking capability among sites, which allow the exchange of practices and the capitalisation of past experiences. This threefold model at the same time represents a driver for economic development and growth.
Relating the social impact, the society will benefit from the project outcomes since STORM solutions foster safety and protection of the cultural heritage, one of the most relevant patrimonies of Europe. Historical assets are the cultural identities of societies. They play important roles to transfer cultural belongings to next generations. The level of protection of such structures from natural hazards will be an indication of the socio-economic positions of societies in future as well as their economic and social recoveries in the aftermath of disaster. With this regard, the direct and indirect consequences of disasters on cultural infrastructures need to be addressed.
Furthermore, a general positive effect expected from the project results lays in the revalorization of the historic environment using eco-innovative solutions, generating a clear positive impact on the sense of place that people have, which in turn can impact on social inclusion and regeneration.

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