Cultural heritage breathes a new life with digital technologies and the internet. The citizens have now unprecedented opportunities to access cultural material, while the institutions can reach out to broader audiences, engage new users and develop creative and accessible content for leisure and education.

New technologies bring cultural heritage sites back to life. Virtual Museums offer visitors the possibility to see art works residing in different places in context and experience objects or sites inaccessible to the public.

The European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content & Technology has conducted extensive policy, coordination as well as funding actions to supplement Member States’ cultural policy in areas of digitization and online access to cultural material and digital preservation.

The role of the European Commission

Fuels the policy debate and brings stakeholders together to improve the framework conditions for digitisation and digital preservation through the Commission Recommendation on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation of 27 October 2011.

Monitors progress towards the implementation of the Commission's Recommendation and facilitates the exchange of information and good practices of MS policies and strategies through the European Commission's Expert Group on Digital Cultural Heritage and Europeana (DCHE), conceived as a continuation of the Member States' Expert Group on Digitisation and Digital Preservation (MSEG).

Works together with cultural institutions to enrich Europeana.

Has co-funded research and innovation actions that provide European added value and scope: through the Seventh Framework Programme for Research an Development (FP7) and the CIP - ICT - PSP Programme.

Current funding instruments

The funding instruments for the period 2014-2020 are Horizon2020 and the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).

Actions under Horizon2020 Societal Challenges 6 programme for 2014-2020 have supported the following topics with an EU funding of around EUR 70 million:

Open calls for proposals:

DT-TRANSFORMATIONS-12-2018-2020: Curation of digital assets and advanced digitisation (€13.5 M)

DT-TRANSFORMATIONS-20-2020: European Competence Centre for the preservation and conservation of Monuments and Sites (€3 M)

Date of publication: 05/11/2019
Date of closing: 12/03/2020