Build our future from our past

Research and innovation for green, digital and innovative European cultural heritage

Cultural heritage and the cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are major drivers of growth and social development in Europe, while their innovation potential can increase Europe’s competitiveness.

Europe’s rich cultural heritage, with its common values, its wealth of monuments and sites and its creative diversity of traditions, crafts, arts, architecture, literature, languages, theatre, films and music, not only reflects our past but also shapes our present and builds our future.

It cultivates creativity, independent thinking and dialogue, while promoting our values across the world.

Safeguarding and valorising our cultural heritage, using new and innovative approaches in cooperation with creative stakeholders, is a key European policy priority that needs solid research to produce evidence for future policy making.

The resilience, cohesion and innovative potential of European societies are strongly linked to our cultural heritage, the arts and the cultural and creative industries.

Engagement with our cultural and artistic assets contributes to social cohesion and inclusion, by building collective representations of the past, present realities and expectations about the future.

Cultural heritage funding in Horizon Europe

Cultural heritage is an important and strategic area of European research and innovation.

Research and innovation supports European policies for cultural and creative industries that contribute decisively to Europe’s future prosperity, wellbeing, social and cultural cohesion as well as environmental sustainability.

We need to build our future from the past through a green, digital and innovative European Cultural Heritage. Have a look at the Cultural Heritage infographic!

Activities under Horizon Europe

Cultural heritage has a specific intervention area in Cluster 2 - Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society of Horizon Europe, the current research and innovation programme. This cluster has a budget of €2.28 billion.

Cluster 2 actions support green and digital European cultural heritage and foster innovation and creativity in the sector of arts, the cultural and creative industries and the new European Bauhaus initiative.

Particularly, research and innovation for a greener cultural heritage focuses on sustainable materials and methods to improve the conservation, protection and restoration of tangible heritage, including monuments and artefacts. 

At the same time, other activities will develop new or exploit further existing digital and cutting-edge technologies that will increase the online access of cultural resources and boost innovation in architecture, filmmaking, music, gaming and cultural tourism, protect cultural goods from illicit trade and preserve endangered languages.

The supported activities will provide innovative solutions for making the EU a world leader in conservation technologies, management, digitisation and curation of digital heritage assets, and innovative approaches will increase access to, understanding and engagement with cultural heritage and the arts.

Funding under Horizon 2020

Under the previous research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, more than €600 million was invested in research and innovation actions to

  • develop tools and methodologies for preserving tangible and intangible cultural heritage
  • protect endangered heritage from illicit trafficking
  • foster access to Cultural Heritage and promoting cultural tourism

Focus areas - indicative projects

Tangible cultural heritage 

New Approaches in the Conservation of Contemporary Art
Project details

European Doctorate in Archaeological and Cultural Heritage Materials science
Project details

Robust Internal Thermal Insulation of Historic Buildings
Project details

Hubs of Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the Transformation of Historic Urban Areas
Project details

Intangible cultural heritage

In/Tangible European Heritage - Visual Analysis, Curation and Communication
Project details

Cultural tourism

Social and innovative platform on cultural tourism and its potential towards deepening Europeanisation
Project details

Smart Cultural Tourism as a Driver of Sustainable Development of European Regions
Project details

Improving sustainable development policies and practices to assess, diversify and foster cultural tourism in European regions and areas
Project details

Beyond cultural tourism: human-centred innovations for sustainable and circular cultural tourism Project details

Social Innovation and technologies for sustainable growth through participative cultural tourism Project details

Cultural and creative industries

Circular economy platform for European priorities strategic agenda
Project details

Measuring the impact of digital culture
Project details,

Developing inclusive and sustainable creative economies
Project details

reCreating Europe
Rethinking digital copyright law for a culturally diverse, accessible, creative Europe
Project details

The arts

Acting on the Margins: Arts as Social Sculpture
Project details 

Mobilising the Arts for an Inclusive Digital Transformation
Project details

Art and Research on Transformations of Individuals and Societies
Project details 

Opera co-creation for a social transformation
Project details 

Transmitting contentious cultural heritages with the arts: From intervention to co-production
Project details


CORDIS pack on digital Cultural Heritage

Heritage at Risk: EU research and innovation for a more resilient cultural heritage 
CORDIS Results Pack | Report

Innovative solutions for cultural heritage

Innovation in cultural heritage research

AMASS project publication: Comparative policy analysis and evaluation of artistic projects

Project policy briefs

Social sciences and humanities research projects publish policy briefs while they are active. Briefs related to cultural heritage are below.

Advancing the European Multilingual Experience
December 2018 | October 2018 | June 2018 | March 2018

Developing inclusive and sustainable creative economies
Policy briefs

Cultural Opposition: Understanding the Cultural Heritage of Dissent in the Former Socialist Countries
January 2019

Project success stories

Articles on EU-funded projects with particularly successful results.  

More success stories in cultural heritage