ARCHE – Alliance for Research on Cultural Heritage in Europe

The Cultural Heritage (CH) Research and Innovation (R&I) landscape has changed significantly over the past few years. New political, technological and socio-economic parameters put emphasis on improving protection, conservation and restoration efficiency of European CH with green technologies, as well as developing and further exploiting high quality digitisation, open access and curation of digital assets. The need also exists to enhance the innovation potential and competitive edge of the Cultural and Creative Sector (CCS) to drive sustainable growth and job creation against global competition.

Figure 1: CSA Objectives and Methodological steps to build ARCHE.

Responding to these challenges, the project will develop a pan European framework for a holistic approach to CH R&I, by creating the Alliance for Research on Cultural Heritage in Europe (ARCHE), a spearheading coordination network of researchers, innovators, heritage professionals, institutional bodies and citizens. The objective is to engage all CH actors in member States / Associated Countries in the co-design of R&I strategies and roadmaps that lead to R&I initiatives requiring multidisciplinary approaches and skills A detailed assessment of R&I gaps and needs for the next decade will be the basis for designing a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for joint programming aiming to increase awareness of heritage and European sense of belonging. A new purpose-built governance structure will be proposed that will effectively involve existing networks and new partners from relevant scientific disciplines and industries. It will also promote intensive and wide-ranging collaboration between cultural heritage, the arts, and the CCS. The SRIA and governance structure will be tested in a pilot operation in the third and final year.

ARCHE will be a strong basis for a European Partnership in CH, by pooling, developing and upscaling transnational collaboration on CH R&I and by involving all stakeholders and funding mechanisms related to CH R&I policy and action.

The projects goals are:

  • Draw a comprehensive picture of the EU CH R&I landscape and propose joint action responding to needs by efficient use of complementary funding sources.
  • Develop the ARCHE Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) for R&I in Europe based on a holistic approach for CH as an interdisciplinary field for its conservation, preservation and valorisation.
  • Gear the ARCHE SRIA towards innovation and concrete actions for creating and developing innovative value chains.
  • Set-up a purpose-built governance structure promoting involvement and commitment of partner institutions and ensuring efficient coordination.
  • Achieve the critical mass in terms of participating stakeholders and resources needed for the long-term sustainable operation of ARCHE.

Planned research:

  • Detailed mapping and assessment of current and planned initiatives in CH R&I at EU and MS/AC level, leading to evidence-based recommendations for efficient utilisation of funding resources (EU, national) and effective joint national action.
  • Development of the ARCHE SRIA, taking as reference the findings of mapping and assessment, the JPI CH SRIA 2020 and a foresight analysis. The final ARCHE SRIA will describe the steps to achieve stated outcomes and goals, including required financial resources.
  • Develop a robust governance structure, using lessons from other similar initiatives and specific coordination requirements of the ARCHE SRIA. Detailed organisational and staffing plans are formulated accordingly.
  • Define the form of the Alliance in the post-CSA period and then to start building ARCHE. A sustainability analysis guides further steps based on criteria and KPIs to measure success. During the subsequent pilot operation, the Alliance expands in terms of participating countries and organisations.
  • Design and implementation of an extensive dissemination and promotion campaign to inform and inspire a large variety of stakeholders on the ARCHE objectives and benefits, securing commitments at the highest political level for engagement and participation of the ARCHE community.


The project is funded through the Horizon Europe Framework Programme and involves 30 partners, among which are::

  • FSP – Foundation for Cultural Heritage Sciences, France (Alexandre Caussé)
  • MUR – Ministry of University and Research, Italy (Aldo Covello)
  • CNR – The National Research Council, Italy (Vania Virgili)
  • CHA – Cultural Heritage Agency, Netherlands (Jos Bazelmans)
  • UL – Heritage Science Laboratory Ljubljana at UL Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology (Matija Strlič)

Please contact us for further information or to establish collaboration.

Scientific achievements:

Socio-economical contributions:

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