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Call key data
Re-visiting the digitisation of cultural heritage: What, how and why?
Horizon Europe - Cluster 2 - Destination 2: Innovative research on the European cultural heritage and the cultural and creative industries
Estimated EU contribution per project
between € 3,000,000.00 and € 4,000,000.00
Link to the call
Link to the submission
The cultural heritage sector, as the rest of society, finds itself in the midst of a dramatic digital transition. This transition deeply affects its activities, its organisation, and at times the purpose or existence of its institutions and subsectors.
A key component of European and national cultural heritage policy has been, and is, the digitisation and subsequent broad access to cultural heritage. Large sums have been invested by the European Union and Member States to digitise collections, monuments and buildings, and more are likely to follow.
Digitisation of cultural heritage can bring many benefits. In terms of research, preservation, accessibility and of supporting cultural and creative innovation, digitised cultural heritage can be an enormous asset. One of the reasons why these large investments are made is that such digitised objects facilitate a wider, more creative use of Europe’s world-renowned cultural heritage, and the creation of more societal value in Europe and beyond.
However, along with the benefits of digitising cultural heritage come pitfalls. One risk may be that digitised cultural heritage is used, or misused, out of its context.
Libraries, museums and archives, as well as other collections, often have long histories. Both the collections they house and the language they use(d) to describe these collections are products of that historical legacy. Taken out of its context, such items may be used to convey messages contrary to the intended, possibly in conflict with European values or the policy of the institutions housing the collections.
Other risks may emerge from the (perceived) loss of control over the uses of the digital objects, possibly prompting cultural heritage institutions to limit the access to and the use of their digital assets, thus hampering the realisation of the wider societal value digitisation is expected to bring.
The uses of digitised cultural heritage, and the strategies that might be pursued in order to reap the full benefits while avoiding the pitfalls, have not been thoroughly researched. Proposals should address these gaps in knowledge, and elaborate evidence-based recommendations on how digitisation of cultural heritage can best be managed, as well as on how digitised cultural heritage can best be used.
The European cultural heritage sector is wide and diverse, comprised of many different actors, from large public institutions to independent artists and artisans. Moreover, the context, the cultural heritage itself and the policy landscape often vary strongly between different countries and regions. This diversity should be taken into account when elaborating recommendations, so that these can realistically be applied across Europe.
To the extent possible, proposals should build on existing knowledge, activities and networks, notably the ones funded by the European Union. Furthermore, where appropriate links should be established and synergies sought with related actions, such as relevant R&I actions funded by Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020. In particular, funded proposals should liaise with the projects funded under the “European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage” calls in the frame of Horizon Europe Cluster 2, as well as, to the extent appropriate, with projects funded under the Digital Europe programme to establish a European data space for cultural heritage.
- Increased critical understanding of the potential, opportunities, barriers and risks of digitising cultural heritage.
- Research and knowledge-based recommendations and/or method(s) on how the European cultural heritage sector can better manage digitisation of their collections, including setting priorities, ensuring the correct context is reflected on the digital objects created, and guaranteeing their long term durability.
- Validated framework(s) that support the cultural heritage sector to make best use of their digital assets, in order to reap the full benefits of the digital transition and avoid the pitfalls.
- Significant contributions to help European cultural heritage institutions become more digitally adept, capable of capitalising fully on the opportunities of digital cultural heritage.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
EU Body, Education and training institution, International organization, Natural Person, 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)
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.
- 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
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)
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 45 pages.