New EU Horizon 2020 Calls published for Cultural Heritage

The European Commission has just published on 14 October 2015 a new set of calls for proposals within the framework of its Horizon 2020 research programme. Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Horizon 2020 is open to everyone, with a simple structure that reduces red tape and time so participants can focus on what is really important. This approach makes sure new projects get off the ground quickly – and achieve results faster.

This new set of calls allocates a substantial budget for cultural heritage which confirms the growing European support to the sector. Most notably, the call entitled Understanding Europe – Promoting the European Public and Cultural Space (H2020-SC6-CULT-COOP-2016-2017) under ‘Societal Challenges’ targets cultural heritage. It wishes to foster a thorough and continuous reflection on Europe's cultural and social diversity and its past in order to tackle societal challenges that European societies face today and will face tomorrow.

There are especially three calls within it which are of significance for the heritage sector:


  • Participatory approaches and social innovation in culture (CULT-COOP-06-2017). The topic description starts as follows: “Recent conclusions of the Council of the European Union recognised cultural heritage as a "resource for a sustainable Europe" and highlighted that "participatory governance of cultural heritage offers opportunities to foster democratic participation, sustainability and social cohesion and to face the social, political and demographic challenges" in Europe.[[Council of the EU (2014): Conclusions on cultural heritage as a strategic resource for a sustainable Europe and on participatory governance of cultural heritage. May and November 2014.]] The European Commission has also highlighted that the contribution of cultural heritage to economic growth and social cohesion is undervalued in spite of growing scientific evidence, and called for an integrated approach to cultural heritage for Europe.[[COM(2014) 477 final.]] It is recognised that cultural heritage is a shared resource for everyone and set the objective of continuing to develop more participative interpretation and governance models that are better suited to the contemporary European context, through greater involvement of the private sector and civil society.”

Two types of actions will be funded under this call: ‘Research and Innovation Actions’ & ‘Coordination and Support Action’.

The expected impact of this call is expressed as follows: “The actions will form the basis for new institutional strategies to engage new audiences and communities and to combine culture, informal culture and cultural heritage demonstration and preservation with innovative ways of cultural transmission and creative re-use. The findings will help culture ministries, cultural institutions and other relevant actors to reinvent and modernise their policies and their roles as centres of culture, cultural heritage, information, learning and gathering.


  • European cultural heritage, access and analysis for a richer interpretation of the past (CULT-COOP-09-2017) which focuses on digitisation of European cultural heritage.


  • Cultural heritage of European coastal and maritime regions (CULT-COOP-07-2017) which specifically applies to research and sustainable management of European coastal and maritime cultural landscapes.


These three calls for proposals have just been published on the Participant Portal and will officially be open on 4 October 2016. The deadline for application being 2 February 2017. Interested parties have therefore one year from now to prepare their dossiers (topic, partners, draft plan, etc.).

The call Understanding Europe – Promoting the European Public and Cultural Space can be accessed via this link

According to the area of your project, other Horizon 2020 calls might also be applicable. See the full list on the Participant Portal