Community participation as added economic value for cultural heritage institutions across Europe


The European Union's HORIZON Europe, the key funding programme for research and innovation within the EU, has awarded the project RECHARGE €2.9 million, to reinvigorate community participation as added economic value for cultural heritage institutions across Europe. The project is led by Erasmus University Rotterdam and coordinated by dr. Trilce Navarrete Hernandez.

Starting from end 2022, The RECHARGE project will support cultural heritage institutions in diversifying their funding through a replicable and sustainable participatory business model, to reinvigorate the sector and acquire the necessary tools for its future developments, both in the digital realm and onsite.

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of social values and culture in connecting people in times of global crisis. It has also revealed the huge power cultural heritage institutions have to reach communities through new avenues of engagement. Cultural heritage institutions create social, cultural and economic value by enabling participation and co-creation. But the major challenge is in capitalising on this value by integrating it into the specific business model of each organisation.

RECHARGE builds on new and existing communities, networks and relationships related to cultural heritage institutions, to engage them in participatory management through cultural heritage Living Labs. These labs will test and devise innovative ways to harness resources, to ensure the development of sustainable future business models, focused on the creation and integration of value within each institution and in the sector at large. The project introduces a holistic approach, where participation is seen as the key element in every aspect: from financing to planning and management, from conservation to communication and public engagement.

Dr. Trilce Navarrete Hernandez

“This project will stimulate museums' market position post pandemic within their communities, developing new services that respond to local needs and that emerge from social co-creation. Results will be adaptable across cultural heritage institutions in Europe, large and small, urban and rural, holding any type of collection, and having any level of business models skills. We are thrilled to support the work of museums by providing the analysis and evidence to inform strategic decision making.”

The consortium, led by Erasmus University, consists of 10 partners from 6 European countries: Centrum Cyfrowe (PL), Universidad de Valladolid and Goteo (ES), Netherlands Institute for Sound & Vision and Erasmus University (NL), European Fashion Heritage Association and Museo Del Tessuto di Prato (IT), Creativity Lab OÜ and Sihtasutus Eesti Meremuuseum (EE) and The Hunt Museum (IE).


Download the RECHARGE press release

More information

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