Recent conclusions of the Council of the European Union recognised cultural heritage as a "resource for a sustainable Europe" and highlighted that "participatory governance of cultural heritage offers opportunities to foster democratic participation, sustainability and social cohesion and to face the social, political and demographic challenges" in Europe.[[Council of the EU (2014): Conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe and on participatory governance of cultural heritage. May and November 2014.]] The European Commission has also highlighted that the contribution of cultural heritage to economic growth and social cohesion is undervalued in spite of growing scientific evidence, and called for an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe.[[COM(2014) 477 final.]] It is recognised that cultural heritage is a shared resource for everyone and set the objective of continuing to develop more participative interpretation and governance models that are better suited to the contemporary European context, through greater involvement of the private sector and civil society. Europe's dense network of cultural institutions needs to adapt to changing societal, demographic and economic circumstances. Greater understanding is needed on how the different approaches to participatory governance work in this diverse sector including governance models, consideration of and access to different types of heritage, intergenerational equity etc. It is thus of paramount importance for urban and rural development, tourism, education, creative industries and cultural heritage professionals to understand how to integrate European tangible and intangible cultural heritage into sustainable development, hence the crucial role of social and inclusive innovation. This will also help to promote innovative ways in which to manage increasing flows of EU and non-EU tourists, which are currently largely limited to a number of urban destinations only ("theme park Europe").
a) Research and Innovation Actions
Research under this topic will critically assess the current state of cultural institutions and investigate new ways to develop the role of European culture ministries, cultural institutions and their networks as cultural service providers and hubs of social innovation. It should take into account recent international, European and national research results and best practices. It should have wide European geographic coverage and stakeholder involvement from citizens and cultural institutions that enables innovative research, case studies, pilot actions and smooth uptake of research results. The research should investigate innovative ways in which cultural institutions can engage with younger and more mature audiences, with minority, migrant or socially disadvantaged groups and include them in their governance - and how local communities organise themselves in order to co-create a better use of the local heritage. It should look into the challenges faced by cultural institutions with regard to the necessity to balance needs for managing material collections and opening culture and cultural heritage to new audiences. Research should also investigate the issue of how to combine traditional cultural services with innovative new cultural or social services like adult or lifelong learning, career support, access to and assistance to digital services and e-administrations flexible work arrangement. The gender dimension of these issues should be also considered. The role and potential of enhanced European and international cooperation and networking of culture ministries, cultural departments of local governments and cultural institutions (from traveling artefacts and exhibits to joint curatorial work and other types of sharing resources, expertise and best practices) should also be addressed. The proposed research will draw on comparative perspectives.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 2.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
b) Coordination and Support Action[[This activity is directly aimed at supporting the development and implementation of evidence base for R&I policies and supporting various groups of stakeholders. It is excluded from the delegation to Research Executive Agency and will be implemented by the Commission services.]]
A social platform will bring together relevant heritage stakeholders’ representatives from research communities, heritage practitioners from public or private cultural institutions (heritage sites, libraries, archives, museums, and other public or private collections) and organisations (NGOs, associations), as well as policy-makers at European, national, regional or local levels. For improving the excellence of European heritage management and related policy making the platform should also harness the potential of networking among the growing number of European cultural heritage and cultural studies departments at higher education and research institutions.
Based on a focussed, critical mapping of existing research and practice, the objective of the social platform is to develop an understanding of the challenges and opportunities for research and innovation in the participatory preservation, (re)use and management of cultural heritage. The platform should pay particular attention to the sustainability and employment dimensions of new approaches to cultural heritage, taking into account the issues of data collection and measurement. The platform will map and share European and extra-European best practices, identify emerging new European heritage communities, evaluate bottlenecks and opportunities in the financial and legal environment and create new European networks around the participative preservation, (re)use and management of cultural heritage.
The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the order of EUR 1.5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. This does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.
The actions will form the basis for new institutional strategies to engage new audiences and communities and to combine culture, informal culture and cultural heritage demonstration and preservation with innovative ways of cultural transmission and creative re-use. The findings will help culture ministries, cultural institutions and other relevant actors to reinvent and modernise their policies and their roles as centres of culture, cultural heritage, information, learning and gathering. Results will give guidance on how to promote European culture and further democratise access to it in a way that enables mutual and intercultural understanding. In addition to new academic results, the activities will also provide analytical tools or toolkits, description of best practices and policy recommendations that can facilitate the direct uptake of research and other insights by stakeholders.