Brussels: Europa Nostra contributes to debate on impact of heritage research projects

Europa Nostra Council member Professor Koenraad van Balen represented Europa Nostra in a round table debate on the impact of cultural heritage research projects that was organised during the “Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage Parade 2017” on 21 February 2017 in Brussels. He drew the audience’s attention in particular to the outcomes of the EU-funded ‘Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe’ project and the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards winning-projects related to research whose findings could help to shape evidence- and knowledge-based policy decisions. The debate centered around the questions of how to “measure” the impact (e.g. publications, patents and models ), how to exploit the impact (e.g. researchers, enterprises, cultural heritage managers and public institutions) and on how to respond to the societal challenge.

Photo: JPI on Cultural Heritage

Photo: JPI on Cultural Heritage

Professor van Balen shared the panel with Fabio Donato from the Economy and Management Department of Ferrara University, Isabel Rodriguez Maribona from Tecnalia, ECTP, Diego Marani from the European External Action Services (EEAS) and Erminia Sciacchitano from the European Commission. The roundtable was chaired by JPICH Coordinator and Member of the Executive Board Cristina Sabbioni, Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate (Isac-Cnr).

Professor van Balen, who is also Director of the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation, which was one of the lead partners of the “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” project, stressed that it had significantly helped to position cultural heritage in the sustainable development debate: “Fundamental research which has a long-term outcome perspective should measure its outcome in terms of how it contributes to integrating cultural heritage into sustainable development efforts. The innovative concept of the “upstream approach” developed by the project helps to visualize the strategy that contributes to mainstreaming cultural heritage.”

As Europa Nostra Council member, Professor van Balen also highly recommended to policy-makers and researchers alike to draw on the outcomes of the research-related projects that have received the EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards which would in turn help enhancing the visibility and impact of these research laureates.

During the debate and subsequent closing remarks, Erminia Sciacchitano, Policy Officer for Culture, Heritage & Economy of Culture (DG Education & Culture) and Emanuela De Menna, Policy Officer for Cultural Heritage (DG Research & Innovation) from the European Commission both stressed the importance of evidence-based and knowledge-based policy decisions in the field of cultural heritage.

The efforts of the Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage to facilitate and coordinate cultural heritage-related research across EU Member States therefore contribute to putting cultural heritage more into the spotlight of research communities all over Europe, concluded Professor van Balen, Holder of the UNESCO Chair on Preventive Conservation, monitoring and maintenance of monuments and sites. Both representatives from the European Commission and EU Member States’ research-funding organisations strongly advocated the idea of continuing to support this initiative, also by scaling up and consolidating research in this field based on the well-founded strategic research agenda of the JPI-CH.

The 2-day workshop of the ‘Joint Programming Initiative on Cultural Heritage’ (JPICH) aimed at putting into perspective and presenting the results of projects that had been funded through the two joint calls, by bringing together researchers, policy makers and stakeholders. Results of the JPICH project parade including project presentations are available on the JPI website.


Latest articles about Networking

Message by Executive President and Secretary General

Join the second European Heritage Youth Residency in Romania | Apply by 22 April 2024

Europa Nostra Board and Awards Jury have meetings and engage with the vibrant heritage scene in Potsdam

More Articles +