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Renewal, Innovation and Change: Heritage and European Society (RICHES)


European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme

Total value of project


Project team

Dr Rosamaria Cisneros, Professor Sarah Whatley, Neil Forbes, Professor Moya Kneafsey, Martin Woolley, Amalia Sabiescu, Ernest Taylor, Tim Hammerton


Coventry University (lead), City of Rostock, RMV Leiden, WAAG, Exeter University, Promotor SRL, I2CAT, SDU, SPK, KYGM


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Duration of project

01/12/2013 - 31/05/2016


Project overview

RICHES brought cultural heritage and people together in a changing Europe and finding new ways of engaging with heritage in a digital world.

The project was about change. For many in 21st century Europe, Cultural Heritage (CH) is more about what it is than who we are: though enormously rich, this treasure is often locked away, or crumbling, or in a foreign language, or about a past which to many people - young, old, newcomers to Europe and settled inhabitants - seems of little relevance.

But this is changing.

As digital technologies permeate all of society, compelling us to rethink how we do everything, we ask questions:

How can CH institutions renew and remake themselves?
How should an increasingly diverse society use our CH?
How may the move from analogue to digital represent a shift from traditional hierarchies of CH to more fluid, decentred practices?
How, then, can the EU citizen, alone or as part of a community, play a vital co-creative role?
What are the limitations of new technologies in representing and promoting CH?
How can CH become closer to its audiences of innovators, skilled makers, curators, artists, economic actors?
How can CH be a force in the new EU economy?

Project objectives

  • To develop and establish the conceptual framework of the research, defining terms, setting up networks and developing new understandings of CH-related copyright and IPR in the digital age;
  • ​To investigate the context of change, to study the forces that apply to CH in this context, to design the scenarios in which CH is preserved, made and performed and to foresee the methods of digital transmission of CH across audiences and generations;
  • ​To identify the directions to be taken to maximise the impact of CH on social and community development within the identified context of changes, including IPR and economics research;
  • ​To devise instruments and to elaborate methodologies for knowledge transfer, developing innovative skills, creating new jobs and exploiting the potential of CH in order to foster the economic growth of Europe;
  • ​To tell stories related to Mediated and Unmediated CH, in which the results of the research are given practical application, illustrated and validated with end-users, through concrete case studies;
  • To produce evidence-based policy recommendations, foresight studies, toolkits for building awareness platforms, best practice guidelines for establishing cooperation initiatives.
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