ECHOES, a project for heritage preservation in the cloud

10 Jun 2024 | History

The CRUSOE Network, promoted by the Institutional Chair in Digital Cultural Heritage, collaborates in the European Commission’s ‘European Cloud for Heritage Open Science(ECHOES) project for the creation of a cloud repository for cultural heritage.

This project was born in response to the European Commission’s call to build an accessible digital workspace for European professionals and researchers.

One of the cornerstones of Europe is its cultural heritage, a catalyst for sustainable development and social well-being that contributes significantly to the territory’s economy, accounting for 40% of European tourism.

But heritage is not immune to threats. Whether due to natural disasters or human action, many monuments and buildings have been destroyed or damaged over the years. That is why one of the European Union’s priorities is to find a way to keep this cultural heritage intact for future generations.

This is where the digital revolution comes in, which has created an ideal framework for accessing, studying and safeguarding heritage in an easily accessible virtual environment.

A medium for sharing the past

The ECHOES project responds to the current challenges of today’s digital cultural heritage field, such as:

The community is made up of actors working in isolation.
A significant portion of European cultural collections is not digitised.

Thus, ECHOES aims to bridge these gaps through the creation of a collaborative European cloud for heritage. A shared platform for professionals and researchers to access data, resources and advanced tools to facilitate their work and to establish synergies between them. ECHOES will help developers and companies to rapidly develop new applications to optimise their work.

The project aims to connect the fragmented communities in this field into a new one that revolves around the common good. It will also enable the digitisation of existing knowledge of heritage objects and accelerate the current process.

This transformation is based on the principles of ‘open source’, of opening up culture and information to the citizen, without barriers of payment preventing access. It will be free and open science for all.

The ECHOES project has an investment of 25 million euros and is made up of 51 public and private institutions from all over Europe, coordinated by the French CNRS, together with the Italian CNR and the German Fraunhofer, as well as the European foundations EUROPEANA, Time Machine Organisation or Michael Culture, different national archives, universities, national heritage preservation councils and companies in the technological field linked to the digital transformation of heritage.