European Competence Centre for the preservation and conservation of Monuments and Site


Specific Challenge

The increasing occurrence of disasters such as floods, earthquakes, fires, and pollution can sometimes cause irreversible damage to cultural heritage sites and historical documents, or destroy entire areas together with the documents and monuments therein. Europe's cultural heritage sites and many more historical documents, monuments and historic buildings across the Member States are in danger. Apart from losing our heritage, the culture and creative sectors, and related industries such as tourism and hospitality rely heavily on the appeal and conservation of cultural heritage sites, documents and monuments. Digital technology can help preserve the knowledge of threatened heritage artefacts, museums, monuments, documents and sites and make them accessible for citizens across Europe and for future generations. In addition, online access to high quality holistically documented digital replicas (including storytelling) of artefacts, sites, documents and monuments may increase the appeal and promotion of a place, city or Member State, thus supporting the local tourism and hospitality industries.


Proposals under this action should set up a "Competence Centre" aiming at the preservation and conservation of European Cultural Heritage using new state-of-the-art ICT technologies. The Competence Centre should map past and ongoing research, collect, analyse and promote best practices from Europe and beyond, and become a major point of European reference for transnational and interdisciplinary networking in the preservation of Cultural Heritage.

The Competence Centre should support cultural institutions to benefit from the opportunities brought by new ICT technologies by sharing best practices on technical, legal, and online publishing requirements, etc. as well as increasing cooperation in the sector, with a special attention to 3D technologies and corresponding standards.

The Competence Centre should also act as a facilitator for access to finance and mapping possibilities as well as an ambassador for massive digitisation of endangered European Cultural Heritage. The Competence Centre should also pave the way for future European research on cultural heritage that would need a holistic research agenda and an inclusive interdisciplinary approach, bringing together multidisciplinary expertise such as historians, archaeologists, architect, geographers, civil engineering, chemical engineering and conservation scientists, craftsmanship, social and human sciences.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of around 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. The duration should be around 3 years. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts. The sustainability of this competence centre should be foresee and set in place during the duration of the project.

Expected Impact

The Competence Centre should increase the quality of preservation initiatives undertaken by Cultural Heritage institutions. It should also demonstrate how it will contribute to an increase in the number of and quality of digitised monuments and documents. This would allow a better use and re-use of new digital assets. The Competence Centre should also strengthen the coordination between all players in the Cultural Heritage domain and upscale the competences of the potential users.

Delegation Exception Footnote

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

Application date
Social sciences