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Call key data

A European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage – Innovative tools for digitisation and analysis of dynamic processes, objects and complex combined data

Funding Program

Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 2: Innovative research on the European cultural heritage and the cultural and creative industries

Call number




22.01.2025 17:00

Funding rate

70% (NPO:100%)

Call budget

€ 12,000,000.00

Estimated EU contribution per project

between € 5,000,000.00 and € 6,000,000.00

Link to the call

Link to the submission

Call content

short description

This topic aims at developing and implementing a set of innovative tools and methods on the European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage (ECCCH) for digitisation and analysis of dynamic processes, objects and complex combined data. Concrete applications of these tools and methods should be provided for at least the following uses: 1) Digitising dynamic objects, processes and practices; 2) Monitoring the evolving status of cultural heritage objects over time; 3) Interacting with, cross-mixing and re-mixing different data types.

Call objectives

Digitisation of dynamic objects, processes and practices

The main focus of 3D digitisation initiatives in the realm of cultural heritage has thus far been the shape and appearance of static objects. Practical techniques and technologies that enable accurate physical simulations of digitised items are mostly unexplored. Mechanical characteristics like stiffness, flexibility, mass distribution and strength, as well as mechanisms and moving parts are still largely undocumented. However, many heritage objects, including human-made devices, machines or practices, exhibit dynamic behaviours. Making adequate and precise digital models of such items and phenomena would enable more realistic simulations of, for instance, ancient artefacts like tissues, mechanisms, tools or practices, which would facilitate more insightful analysis and understanding.

For this use, projects funded under this topic should develop new digitisation approaches enabling the correct capture of mechanical and dynamic characteristics of objects and practices.

Monitoring the evolving status of cultural heritage objects over time

Monitoring the evolution over time of a heritage object is a key task in many cultural heritage contexts. This involves monitoring very slow phenomena (e.g. changes in the reflection attributes of a painted surface) as well as very rapid ones (for example fractures introduced by an abrupt event, such as damages to a loan artwork while traveling, or to a monument due to a seismic impact). The accurate sampling and detection of such changes occurring over time requires a number of new and integrated technologies: shape & colour sampling, use of networks of sensors displaced in a space, data integration, and software technologies able to make comparisons and to assess the changes. Innovative AI-based solutions may be developed to characterise and detect the changes, subject to the validation of human experts.

For this use, projects funded under this topic should develop new digitisation approaches enabling an unprecedented capability to monitor the evolution over time of the status of heritage objects.

Interacting with, cross-mixing and re-mixing different data types

Mixing and integrating different media and media types in effective ways can expand insight capabilities, and lead to new knowledge generation. Projects funded under this topic should develop innovative tools and methods that give the ECCCH ground-breaking capabilities in this area.

For this use, projects funded under this topic should explore how different media can be combined, using both the space and time axes, and how the creative processes involved can be supported. Such new methods will require studying new interaction modes, enabling the navigation over different media types and spaces (2D, 3D, text, …), and creating a common cross-media interaction language. Users should easily be able to use multiple media in a coordinated manner, for instance for the visual presentation and analysis of heritage objects (e.g. interconnecting 3D and text to tell the story of an artwork, intermixing the navigation of a 3D space and panoramic images to present both spatial and surface colour/reflection characteristics in an accurate manner, enabling the navigation of datasets which join 3D scanned external surfaces with computer tomography scanned data of the interior, or using 3D and images in the documentation of restoration). The tools and methods developed should allow the representation of non-static heritage, such as industrial heritage with many complex machines and processes. As an alternative to producing full digital models of complex machinery, which may be excessively expensive, different media may be combined to represent the dynamic essence of such assets with less effort, for instance using 3D models for the static characteristics of a machinery and adding video and sound to enhance the dynamic experience.

The work produced may be implemented as new specific tools, and/or as extensions to the functional libraries included in the core ECCCH platform.

With a view to use resources efficiently and go beyond the state of the art, projects funded under this topic should, where appropriate, build on previous existing research, methods and solutions. Proposals should therefore ensure that existing tools and methods and their potential (re-)use are properly examined.

Ease of use for the target users is of paramount importance. Therefore, tools and methods should be developed in close collaboration with actively involved representative target users. Furthermore, tools and methods should be thoroughly tested and verified with a significant number of users before the end of the project. Financial support to third parties may be used to facilitate the engagement with users. The financial support to third parties can only be provided in the form of grants.

In order to facilitate the access for less well-equipped users, the developed software tools should to the extent possible be accessible online without requiring installation nor special or particularly powerful equipment. Also, the developed software tools should to the extent appropriate be designed to allow use and avoid loss of work in situations with unstable or limited connectivity.

Projects funded under this topic should demonstrate the potential of the developed tools and methods through representative case studies, conducted in collaboration with relevant users. These case studies should cover a significant share of the range of cultural heritage objects, materials and issues that the tools and methods intend to address. The results of these case studies should produce information that can serve as models for promoting the re-use of the tools and methods in other contexts and by other users within, and where appropriate beyond, the ECCCH.

Proposals should, furthermore, foresee appropriate resources to provide clear information and elaborate targeted training modules for users of the developed tools and methods.

The tools to be developed should be implemented using the low-level libraries established by the project funded under topic HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-ECCCH-01-01. The tools developed should be compliant with the design of the ECCCH, and should be integrated with the ECCCH before the end of the project, together with proper documentation. All software and other related deliverables should be compliant with the data model and the software development guidelines elaborated by the project funded under topic HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-ECCCH-01-01. If appropriate these tools should be developed with a view to a wider deployment, including in the Common European Data Space for Cultural Heritage, as well as, when appropriate, for reuse via the European Open Science Cloud. Furthermore, content produced by these tools for the ECCCH should, when appropriate, be interoperable for sharing via the Common European Data Space for Cultural Heritage and/or the European Open Science Cloud.

Proposals should furthermore make provisions to actively participate in the common activities of the ECCCH initiative. In particular, projects funded under this topic should coordinate technical work with projects funded under other call topics of the ECCCH initiative, and contribute to the activities and objectives of the project funded under the topic HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-ECCCH-01-01. Proposals should include a budget for the attendance to regular joint coordination meetings, and may consider covering the costs of any other joint activities without the prerequisite to detail concrete joint activities at this stage.

Projects funded under this topic should moreover set up their project websites under the common ECCCH website, managed by the project funded under topic HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-ECCCH-01-01.

Furthermore, the Commission expects projects funded under this topic to establish regular coordination mechanisms in order to ensure synchronised planning as well as synergy and/or complementarity of deliverables and outcomes.

The Commission recommends considering reporting periods of 12 months when elaborating proposals.

Please also refer to the Destination introduction text to consider some key characteristics of the vision for the ECCCH.

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Expected results

Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • The European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage (ECCCH) is widely used by European cultural heritage professionals and researchers for digitising dynamic objects, processes and practices.
  • The ECCCH is widely used by European cultural heritage professionals and researchers for monitoring the evolving status of cultural heritage objects over time.
  • The ECCCH is widely used by European cultural heritage professionals and researchers for advanced interaction with digital content, enabling new ways to interact, cross-mix and re-mix different data types, enhancing insight capabilities and representation potential.
  • European cultural heritage professionals and researchers are provided with clear information as well as targeted training modules on the innovative tools and methods developed.

Eligibility Criteria

Regions / countries for funding

EU Member States, Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT)
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Iceland (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom

eligible entities

Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)

Mandatory partnership


Project Partnership

To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:

  • the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
  • the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
  • third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries

Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.

Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.

A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
  • Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
  • Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
  • EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
  • Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
  • Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.

other eligibility criteria

If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used). 

Eligible costs will take the form of a lump sum.

Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties to cultural heritage institutions, in take-up of tools, technologies and for populating and validating the relevant use cases through experiments. A maximum of 15% of the budget may be dedicated to financial support to third parties. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 60 000. Beneficiaries will be subject to these additional requirements on outputs: All software developed should be open source, licensed under a CC0 public domain dedication or under an open-source licence as recommended by the Free Software Foundation and the Open-Source Initiative. If the use of open source software components would require disproportional efforts or significantly diminish the quality or performance of the software, proprietary components may be used provided that: an open functional replacement is available; they do not introduce proprietary data formats or Application Programming Interfaces; a full user license free of charge for an unlimited period of time is granted to the consortium responsible for the ECCCH and all its users.

Additional information


Arts & Culture, Cultural Heritage, Tourism, 
Digitalisation, Digital Society, ICT

Relevance for EU Macro-Region

EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region

UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)

Additional Information

All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.

Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
  • Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.

Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).

The limit for a full application (Part B) is 60 pages.


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