EU plans to preserve its cultural heritage in new cloud initiative

22 Jun 2022

Image: © Rawf8/

The initiative aims to use cutting-edge technology to digitise artefacts, research art and document data to preserve the culture of EU countries.

The European Commission is looking to create a ‘collaborative cloud’ with EU member states to preserve and protect cultural treasures.

The initiative aims to foster large-scale collaboration between specialists such as cultural heritage scholars, curators, archivists and conservators, bringing them together through a digital infrastructure.

The European Commission said that only 30pc to 50pc of Europe’s cultural collections have been digitised, with the number being lower for 3D representations of large cultural heritage structures and landscapes.

It added that many standards to digitise cultural collections are not uniform, traceable or secure, which puts tangible and intangible cultural treasures at risk.

The Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage aims to add a new digital aspect to cultural preservation, conservation and restoration, using cutting-edge technology for digitising artefacts, researching artworks and documenting data.

“Europe’s rich cultural heritage will enter a new digital dimension,” EU commissioner Mariya Gabriel said.

“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.”

The European Commission has now launched a dialogue with member states on the joint creation of the Collaborative Cloud.  An impact assessment has already been conducted by eight independent experts, who discussed the context, possibilities specificities of the project.

The Collaborative Cloud will have an estimated budget of €110m until 2025 from Horizon Europe, the EU funding programme for research and innovation, and calls for proposals are expected to be launched in 2023 and 2024.

Horizon Europe has a cluster dealing exclusively with creativity, cultural heritage and inclusion, with an overall budget of €2.28bn between 2021 and 2027.

Under the previous EU innovation programme, Horizon 2020, more than €60m was invested to develop tools and methodologies for preserving cultural heritage.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic