Picture by FunkyFocus from Pixabay
iHERITAGE: ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage

About the project

The Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage needs new techniques to improve its level of interpretation, taking advantage of new technologies and commercialising the latest research results. In this regard, iHERITAGE will provide new solutions through an innovation-driven growth process to promote cross-border technological transfer, Living Labs, industry-academia collaboration and the creation of spin-offs and new products, using the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR).
The project will address socio-economic challenges at cross-border level through the active involvement of young people, women and NEETs who will take part in the Living Labs, training courses, and the creation of spin-offs, thus contributing to increase employment opportunities and foster innovation. The project will support collaborations among universities, SMEs, start-ups and spin-offs devoted to the creation of AR/VR/MR products. Eventually, iHERITAGE will improve access to UNESCO cultural heritage, on site and off site, and will contribute to the establishment of the Regional Centre for Safeguarding and Valorisation of Mediterranean Intangible Cultural Heritage, to be recognized under Category 2 of UNESCO.

Key information

iHERITAGE: ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage
A.2 Support to education, research, technological development and innovation
A.2.1 Technological transfer and commercialisation of research results
Italy, Egypt, Spain, Jordan, Lebanon, Portugal

Financial data

3.8 million
Total budget
3.4 million
EU contribution
Project co-financing


Project in numbers

Technical outputs

Project duration

Start date
End date





Project outputs




To support technological transfer and commercialisation of new AR/VR tools aimed at enhancing the access to Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage through augmented and immersive experiences, by creating cross-border living labs for research and innovation

What will be improved?

iHERITAGE will foster the creation of innovative AR/VR/MR contents related to some of the world’s most outstanding tangible and intangible cultural heritage, namely 9 involved UNESCO World Heritage List sites: 6 in Italy, 1 in Spain, 1 in Egypt and 1 in Jordan. It will also increase entrepreneurial capacities of young people, public institution staff and researchers through training courses. In the long term, iHERITAGE will lead to the creation of a regional centre dedicated to Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Mediterranean region and of the first ICT Cluster of Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage. The project strongly addresses cross-border issues such as the digital gap and uneven level of innovation culture across the ENI CBC Med Programme countries

Who will benefit?

  • 300 researchers and ICT specialized staff operating on the commercial development of their research ideas
  • 300 employees from public authorities who will benefit from special training courses, aimed to new hard and soft skills enabling them to work in an international environment
  • 6,000 NEETS, young people and women
  • 10 million tourists visiting UNESCO cultural sites involved in the project
  • 2 million general end users, who will be able to access UNESCO cultural heritage’s AR/VR multimedia contents online and off site
  • Managers and staff of UNESCO sites
  • Universities, researchers, SMEs and spin-offs

Expected achievements

  • 18 research agreements among universities, researchers and SMEs
  • 6 new training programs created
  • 76 new innovative products/services to boost the valorisation of the intangible cultural heritage
  • Creation of the Regional Centre for Safeguarding and Valorisation of Mediterranean Intangible Cultural Heritage (CRESPIEM)

Contribution to policy-making

iHERITAGE’s activities such as the creation of the first ICT Cluster of Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage and the “CRESPIEM” will contribute to partners’ national and regional strategies. Italy, Spain and Portugal, are among the 25 European countries that signed a declaration of cooperation on advancing the digitalisation of cultural heritage. As far as Mediterranean Partner Countries are concerned, it is in Egypt that the national strategy on culture is more developed with a Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage treating cultural heritage in a holistic approach and marking a unique experience in the application of the latest ICT innovation on heritage issues. In Jordan, the development of a national strategy has begun thanks to the Med Culture programme and to the active involvement of private and public institutions. In Lebanon “Lebanon 2020” aims to review the current state of Lebanese culture by fostering the use of ICT. On the Intangible Cultural Heritage side, partner territories have national and regional registers adopted in coherence with UNESCO 2003 Convention, but they are scarcely populated with text information and audio-visual materials on intangible assets and lack of a standard ICT system.


Projects view