Riches: New horizons for cultural heritage

On 19 October 2015, the first Policy Seminar of RICHES entitled “New Horizons for Cultural Heritage” took place in Brussels.

Image: Cultural diffusion map from Egypt by Grafton Elliot Smith

Image: Cultural diffusion map from Egypt by Grafton Elliot Smith

A morning networking session gathered circa 30 participants and 13 presentations of various EC funded projects, including the cooperation project “Cultural Heritage Counts for Europe” – funded by the EU Culture programme – which was presented by Koen Van Balen, Director of the Raymond Lemaire International Centre for Conservation in Leuven (Belgium), member of the project consortium and Council member of Europa Nostra.

The project presentations were followed by a lively discussion on the future research agenda, current projects’ outcomes and communication structures. As regards ways to improve networking between the heritage projects financed by different EU programmes, participants mentioned the importance of developing a shared repository (in the form of a searchable database comprising live projects) as well as shared deliverables (such as policy briefs, “think papers”, etc.). During the discussion, Koen Van Baelen also underlined the importance of thinking of ways to improve the sustainability of projects beyond the formal duration of a project’s funding.

The policy seminar “New Horizons for Cultural Heritage: Recalibrating Relationships: Bringing Cultural Heritage and People Together in a Changing Europe” took place in the afternoon in the presence of 50 participants. After political updates by representatives of DG RTD (Research and Innovation) and DG Connect (Communications Networks, Content and Technology), partners in the RICHES project presented the project aims and activities and were followed by a round table discussion on New Horizons for Cultural Heritage.

Maria Da Graca Carvalho, Senior Adviser in the Cabinet of European Commissioner Carlos Moedas for Research, Science and Innovation, stressed the commitment of the Commissioner towards heritage and his efforts to implementing a truly horizontal approach to heritage across the different Commission Directorate Generals. She also informed the audience about the seven new calls related to heritage financed through the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Union, which represent a substantial source of financing for collaborative projects. She also stressed the importance of developing new mechanism to feed the results of EU-funded projects back into the policy development within the relevant Commission DGs.

The seminar was closed by Jens Nymand-Christensen, Deputy director of DG EAC (Education and Culture) on the future for heritage in the European Union (speech available here).

RICHES (Renewal, Innovation & Change: Heritage and European Society) is a cooperation research project funded by the EU’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration. This project is about change; about the decentring of culture and cultural heritage away from institutional structures towards the individual; and about the questions which the advent of digital technologies is posing in relations to how we understand, collect and make available Europe’s cultural heritage.

The second policy seminar will take place in Brussels in March 2016.
For more information on RICHES:

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