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EU plans European digital infrastructure for cultural heritage

Image: Phil Roeder [CC BY 2.0], via Flickr

Funded with €110 million from Horizon Europe, cloud infrastructure aims to foster collaborations

The European Commission wants to provide cultural-heritage scholars with a shared digital infrastructure that provides open access to Europe’s cultural collections, supported by €110 million in funding from the EU R&D programme.

Announcing plans to create a Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage along with EU member states, the Commission said on 21 June that funding calls to develop the infrastructure would be launched in 2023 and 2024 under Horizon Europe.

“This European effort will facilitate cooperation between researchers, curators and museum professionals in order to safeguard our cultural heritage, enable easy access to cultural content and allow future generations to enjoy it for years to come,” said Mariya Gabriel, the EU’s research and innovation commissioner.

The motivation behind the proposed cloud infrastructure is that only 30 to 50 per cent of cultural collections in Europe have been digitised.

The Commission said the cloud would “become a long-term infrastructure for research projects having open access to share datasets and data files with collaborative workspaces and workgroups”.

Gabriel added: “It will also offer new opportunities to smaller museums and cultural institutions to advance digitisation and work together on joint projects in secure and highly professional working space.”