iHERITAGE project: experience UNESCO cultural heritage like never before
The iHERITAGE project – ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage – kicked off on the 9th of December 2020 over a virtual conference. The 2-day meeting was organized by the Sicilian Department of Tourism, the lead partners of the project, and teams from all ten partner organizations from the six participating countries of Italy, Egypt, Spain, Jordan, Lebanon and Portugal participated. The meeting started with a warm welcome from the organizers and Mr. Khaled Elsaadany, senior expert of the Joint Technical Secretariat of the ENI CBC MED Programme, a brief round of introductions from all partner organizations and teams, followed by the project launch press conference held in Palermo, Italy. The partners were briefed about the expected outcomes, activities, functions of different bodies, an outline of different project milestones and responsibilities of each organization for the implementation of the iHERITAGE project.
The main pillars of the iHERITAGE project are cross-border technological transfer, industry-academia collaboration, Living Labs and spin offs. iHERITAGE aims to improve and enrich the level of understanding of Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage by using Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR) as the latest available ICT technologies to create an innovation-driven growth process and foster the active involvement of young people, females and those not in employment, education or training (NEETs).
The general public will sense the valuable contribution of the EU funded project through visibly enhanced access to UNESCO cultural heritage on-and off-site, the establishment of the ‘Regional Centre for Safeguarding and Valorisation of Mediterranean Intangible Cultural Heritage (CRESPIEM)’, job opportunities, and cross-border ICT platforms.
iHERITAGE has a total budget of 3.9 million euros and is 90% funded through the “Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme” ENI CBC Med 2014-2020.
The project gathers the following 10 partners from 6 Mediterranean countries participating in the cross-border iHERITAGE project:
- Italy: Sicilian Region- Department of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment
- Italy: Circuit Castles and Medieval Villages
- Egypt: Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations
- Spain: Association of Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce
- Jordan: Jordanian Society for Scientific Research, Entrepreneurship and Innovation
- Jordan: Department of Antiquities
- Lebanon: Lebanese American University
- Portugal: University of Algarve
- Spain: Public Foundation of the Andalusian Legacy
- Italy: University of Palermo - Department of Architecture