At HERITΛGE we are delighted to announce the launch of a new EU-funded project AHEAD (Accessible Heritage Experience for Audiennce Development). The project, that seeks to remodel the heritage experience and provide a blueprint to help cultural organizations develop and engage new and existing audiences, held its kick-off meeting in Rome on January 24-26 2024.
AHEAD, which is funded by the European Union’s European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), brings together a dynamic consortium of partners, including Melting Pro (MEP), an Italian cultural consultancy that is responsible for managing the project; the Italian Ministry of Culture (MIC), the University De Le Iglesia De Deusto, in Bilbao, Spain, and the Brussels-based innnovation agency Impact Valley. Participants include the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica in Italy and the Altamira National Museum and Research Centre in Spain.
Challenges in Cultural Heritage Sector and the AHEAD Impact Vision
Cultural Heritage (CH) stands as a vital economic and social resource for EU countries, yet many institutions face challenges in financial sustainability and audience engagement. AHEAD tackles these issues by addressing the low levels of entrepreneurial and audience-centered skills that are often found in cultural heritage institutions, introducing participatory audience development practices, and breaking down resistance to new marketing approaches among CH professionals all the while focusing on increasing accessibility for all and engaging local communities.
AHEAD’s vision is to innovate working practices in the CH sector by applying human-centered approaches, learning by doing, and data-driven methodologies. This transformative project aims to make the cultural heritage sector more relevant to communities, financially sustainable, and a catalyst for social, cultural, and economic growth.
The AHEAD Blueprint
AHEAD comprises three key components:
The AHEAD journey began with its kick-off meeting in Rome on January 24-26. Partners collaborated on shaping the AHEAD manifesto for audience engagement, taking into account all three key components of the project. Notably, the meeting saw the participation of end-users, including representatives from the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica and the National Museum and Research Center of Altamira who contribution vital insights for the development of the project’s components.
During the project, HERITΛGE introduced partners and participants to SHIFT, a major EU-funded research project to make cultural heritage more appealing and inclusive.
Importantly, the project wrapped up with a presentation of AHEAD and a networking session with representatives of Italian cultural institutions at Rome’s Europa Experience – David Sassoli building that showcases the institutions and contributions of the European Union.
Stay tuned for updates as AHEAD unfolds, unlocking the full potential of cultural heritage for current and future generations.
Join us for a webinar to celebrate this year’s European Heritage Days organized by SHIFT, an international project funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Program to make cultural heritage more inclusive and accessible through technology.
SHIFT’s (MetamorphoSis of cultural Heritage Into augmented hypermedia assets For enhanced accessibiliTy and inclusion)online event will explore the innovative tools being developed by the SHIFT Consortium to improve the accessibility, inclusivity, and appeal of cultural heritage content. It will be held on September 18th, 11 AM CET.
SHIFT is one of a cluster of six projects funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe Program under Cluster 2 Culture, Creativity, and Inclusive Society: Preserving and enhancing cultural heritage with advanced digital technologies. SHIFT supports the adoption of digital transformation strategies and the uptake of tools within the creative and cultural industries (CCI).
The webinar is addressed to cultural heritage professionals, researchers, and the public. To attend, participants can register by filling out this form.
SHIFT PROJECT: The SHIFT Consortium’s 13 partners are leveraging advances in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to improve cultural heritage access for European citizens experiencing sensory impairment. They aim to enrich the experience of interacting with cultural assets through visual, auditory, and sensory modalities, e.g., using haptics. SHIFT is also developing tools and methodologies to enable contemporary description of cultural assets through language evolution models. HERITΛGE is proud to be a part of the SHIFT Consortium. To find out more about SHIFT, please watch this introductory video.
European Cultural Heritage Days: Every September, the signatory States to the European Cultural Convention take part in the European Heritage Days – a joint action of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. The action’s aims are, among others, to raise the awareness of European citizens to the richness and cultural diversity of Europe and invite responses to the social, political and economic challenges it faces.
More about SHIFT: https://shift-europe.eu/
Representatives from HERITΛGE and 12 consortium partners met in Budapest on March 21st-22nd for the General Assembly of the SHIFT project, an innovative effort to make cultural heritage more accessible using technology, funded by the European Union.
SHIFT stands for MetamorphoSis of cultural Heritage Into augmented hypermedia assets For enhanced accessibiliTy and inclusion. The project aims to make cultural heritage more accessible and inclusive through the creation and use of new technology including haptics
During the General Assembly, hosted by the Semmelweis Museum, Library, and Archive of the History of Medicine, the consortium partners reviewed the progress made and mapped out the steps to be taken in the next year to achieve SHIFT’s aims. They also approved SHIFT’s new logo and the creation of the project’s social media channels to introduce stakeholders and the public to the project and allow them to contribute to its development.
“The General Assembly was a great opportunity to take stock of how the project has developed so far and plan our next steps,” says Rob Davies, HERITΛGE head of European Projects.