ILUCIDARE project on heritage-led innovation and diplomacy kicks-off in Leuven

The kick-off meeting of the ILUCIDARE project took place on 6-7 February in Leuven, Belgium. It was hosted by KU Leuven, Project Coordinator, and attended by representatives of all eight partners of the Project Consortium, including Europa Nostra, its Advisory Board and the European Commission. ILUCIDARE is a three-year project that aims to foster heritage-led innovation and diplomacy and is funded by the EU programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020.

The main goal of ILUCIDARE is to promote and leverage cultural heritage-led innovation and diplomacy through the creation and activation of an international community of cultural heritage practitioners. To achieve this ambitious objective, the project brings together the expertise, knowledge and networks of eight Consortium partners from Europe and beyond: KU Leuven (Belgium), Europa Nostra (The Netherlands), KEA European Affairs (Belgium), International Cultural Centre (Poland), World Monuments Fund (Spain), Cultural Heritage Without Borders (Kosovo), Universidad de Cuenca (Ecuador) and Imec (Belgium).

Setting a common vision

The ILUCIDARE Consortium partners kicked-off their work at a two-day meeting attended by some 30 participants. Mapping the journey of the ILUCIDARE project, reviewing the specific role and tasks to be carried by each one of the partners, as well as sharing and aligning views on cultural heritage innovation and diplomacy were the main topics discussed during the meeting.

One of the main contributions by Europa Nostra to the project will be the creation of a special ILUCIDARE Award within the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards scheme. This special Award will reward best practices of heritage-led innovation and diplomacy, and raise awareness of the key role that cultural heritage can play in these two fields. Likewise, Europa Nostra will contribute to ILUCIDARE by supporting a continuous dialogue with relevant policy-makers and increasing the visibility and impact of the project.

The Advisory Board who will accompany the project is composed of representatives of key cultural heritage institutions and organisations, namely the Council of Europe, UNESCO, the European Association of Archaeologists, the European Union National Institutes for Culture, EUROCITIES, the International Council on Monuments and Sites, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and the Joint Programming Initiative for Cultural Heritage).

Reflections and expectations

A public networking event took place on the afternoon of 6 February after a fruitful day of work. The public event was attended by over 60 participants, including high representatives of KU Leuven, European, national and local policy-makers, heritage professionals, researchers and students.

Emanuela de Menna, Project Officer in charge of ILUCIDARE within the Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME) in the European Commission addressed the audience and commended the Consortium partners for the solid work done in preparation for the project. She emphasised that ILUCIDARE will help to sustain the long-lasting legacy of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018. Indeed, ILUCIDARE is one of the actions comprised in the first-ever European Framework for Action on Cultural Heritage launched by the European Commission last December.

The public event featured a panel discussion entitled “How can cultural heritage drive innovation and sustain diplomacy?” The discussion gathered the members of the ILUCIDARE Advisory Board and was moderated by Sneška Quaedvlieg-Mihailović, Secretary-General of Europa Nostra. During the panel discussion, participants elaborated on the expectations they have for ILUCIDARE, and provided useful insights and reflections around heritage-led diplomacy and innovation. Sharing good practices, co-creating methods and tools, enabling people-to-people dialogue and fostering community-based heritage-led development were some of the key notions that emerged during this discussion.

Next steps

The ILUCIDARE adventure has just begun and all eight partners of the Consortium are looking forward to seeing it unfold. The next meeting of the ILUCIDARE Consortium will take place in June in Krakow, Poland. In the meantime, all partners will develop their respective contributions to the project and will continue providing their expertise and energy to ensure the success of this ambitious project.


Read the Press Release about the ILUCIDARE project issued by its communication partner KEA.

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