Digital Europe Programme explained: the data space for cultural heritage


As part of the Digital Europe Programme, the European Commission aims to set up common European Data Spaces. These data spaces will each have a specific sectoral focus. In a series of news pieces, we will showcase each of those sectoral data spaces. In this article, we dive into the data space for cultural heritage.

In general, the data spaces will connect currently fragmented and dispersed data from various ecosystems, from the private and public sectors. They will offer an interoperable, trusted IT environment for data processing, and a set of rules of legislative, administrative, and contractual nature that determine the rights of access to and processing of the data.

The data space for cultural heritage will build on and expand the current Europeana platform in terms of 3D digitisation, re-use of digitised cultural resources, and cross-sector and cross-border cooperation. 

The work will be implemented through two work strands. The first one will focus on setting up and running the data space, providing citizens and professionals with efficient, trusted, easy-to-use and attractive access to European digital cultural content. The project will link to relevant European, national and regional initiatives and platforms to provide interoperable access to cultural heritage databases all over Europe. This will:

  • improve Europeana's technical capabilities and improve the findability of multilingual and 3D content and improve the quality of services for data providers and aggregators linked to the platform (e.g. aggregation infrastructure and services, statistical dashboards, and APIs);
  • support the creation and integration of high-value datasets (HVDS) of digital cultural content;
  • grow the network of data partners (museums, galleries, libraries, archives, and other cultural institutions across Europe), accredited aggregators (participating in the Europeana Aggregator Forum), and experts working in the field of digital cultural heritage (participating in the Europeana Network Association);
  • strengthen links with potential re-users of the data such as the creative and content industries (in particular SMEs);
  • improve the quality of the curatorial thematic approach to reinforce storytelling, building narratives with a European perspective across cultural sectors, regional and national borders and thereby giving visibility to the shared history and identity of European citizens. Special attention will also be given to tourism, in the post COVID-19 crisis context, as well as to the New European Bauhaus initiative;

The second work-strand will focus on the digital capacity building in the cultural sector for its digital transformation and re-use of data at national level across Member States.

Projects will focus on either:

  • enriching the offer of services available on the data space, such as access to high-quality and high-value datasets, technological tools, technical know-how references, tools for knowledge sharing, consultancy and other services;
  • using existing Artificial Intelligence and machine-learning systems to improve user-engagement and experience, such as for the automatic translation of content or automatic metadata enrichment, improving multilingual aspects, providing adaptive filtering of cultural heritage assets or personalised recommendations;
  • fostering the potential of re-use of, in particular 3D digitised cultural heritage assets in domains such as education, social sciences and humanities, and tourism.

Curious to learn more? Access the Digital Europe Programme

Stay tuned for the next news piece on the data space for health.

Digital Europe Programme explained: the data space for cultural heritage
Image credit:
2021, Max via Unsplash

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