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


European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme


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


Sarah Whatley, Martin Woolley, Amalia Sabiescu, Neil Forbes, Moya Kneafsey, Ernest Taylor and Tim Hammerton.

For information on those on the team from other institutions, please visit the project website.


  • 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.


Project impacts will be pursued through the dissemination of the knowledge resources produced throughout the project targeting different specialized audiences and the general public, and including  research reports, scientific articles, think papers, foresight studies, and policy briefs. RICHES impacts will be principally: social, economic, cultural, educational and technological.

  • Social impact: digital media offer the potential to challenge the ‘democratic deficit’ that exists between producers/curators and consumers/ users of CH, encouraging users to engage in their cultural heritage. RICHES outputs will provide an understanding of current processes underpinning the transition towards more fluid and decentred processes around cultural heritage management, preservation, communication, and consumption. Further, it will look into the factors and conditions that should be brought to bear to encourage more democratic processes and stronger links between CH institutions and European citizens; 
  • Economic impact: The project looks into the economic potential of CH with reference to the generation of new jobs, encouraging creativity and innovation and preparing a more skilled European workforce. A research strand will focus on understanding how old skills can be employed in new contexts to foster creativity, innovation and competitive advantage for European professionals and SMEs. Second, the project will provide an understanding and practical insights for setting up more efficient fiscal policies in the age of digitisation;
  • Cultural impact: A special focus of RICHES is on performance-based CH as a kind of heritage able to stimulate innovative interactions with cultural audiences, offering models to be adapted and re-used for other CH domains;
  • Educational impact: RICHES will influence educational processes by offering novel learning opportunities for users and, through the co-creation work undertaken by the partners, tools for the creation of user-generated learning objects, thereby providing resources for teachers and learners;
  • Technological impact: RICHES will create the conditions for a truly user-driven technological research pull, as opposed to the technology push that has so often characterised past initiatives.
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