Getting cultural heritage to work for Europe

Report of the Horizon 2020 expert group on cultural heritage.

“Cultural heritage is a significant force for 21st century Europe. Not only is it at the heart of what it means to be European, it is being discovered by both governments and citizens as a means of improving economic performance, people’s lives and living environments.” “Evidence demonstrates that relatively modest investment in cultural heritage can pay substantial dividends. These can be taken economically but also in terms of improving environmental sustainability and social cohesion.”

The above statements are part of the findings of the Expert Group on Cultural Heritage established under the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014 for the Societal Challenge ‘Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials’. The group, chaired by Dr Philippe Busquin, former Commissioner for Research, Science and Technology and former Member of the European Parliament, aimed at contributing to further investigating and providing input for fully developing the potential that cultural heritage holds for Europe. Further to the chair, the group comprised nine renowned experts from the private and public sector, including Professor Simon Thurley, CEO of English Heritage, who acted as rapporteur. This report, presenting the conclusions of the Expert Group, provides the rationale for setting a renewed European Research & Innovation policy agenda on cultural heritage. It outlines the general framework about cultural heritage in Europe and the contribution it can make towards smarter, more inclusive and more sustainable development. The report further delineates three priority objectives along the economic, social and environmental side and describes recommendable actions, drawing upon successful cases where cultural heritage has been a positive driver for sustainable development


Geoffrey Lipman, SUNx Co-founder



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