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2 minutes to read Posted on Tuesday September 13, 2022

Updated on Monday November 6, 2023

portrait of Harry Verwayen

Harry Verwayen

General Director , Europeana Foundation

Europeana Initiative wins tender to deploy the common European data space for cultural heritage

We are delighted that in the coming years, the Europeana Initiative will be at the heart of the European Commission’s data space for cultural heritage, continuing our work together with 18 partners and a great network, to empower the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation. 

Close up of circuitry on a silicon chip
Silicon chip
Paul Griggs
Wellcome Collection
United Kingdom

Data spaces for Europe

Since 2015, the Europeana Initiative has been working to empower the digital transformation of the cultural heritage sector as a Digital Service Infrastructure of the European Commission. We are excited that we will be continuing our work at the heart of a data space for cultural heritage under the Digital Europe Programme, which focuses on bringing digital technology to businesses, citizens and public administrations. 

In the coming years, the programme will oversee the development of 14 data spaces in strategic sectors and key areas of public interest (health, energy, culture, and more). Data spaces seek to harness the value of data for the benefit of European society and economy by deploying data sharing tools and services, developing data governance structures and improving the availability, quality and interoperability of data. 

The European Commission’s 14 interconnected data spaces will grow at their own rates, going from zero to fully interoperable within a decade. But the data space for cultural heritage has a head start.

With the Europeana Initiative - with over a decade of experience - at its heart, we lead the way in terms of infrastructure, governance, collaboration and experience supporting a sector in its digital transformation - and will continue to do so in the coming period at the heart of the common European data space for cultural heritage. 

A consortium of committed partners 

The Europeana Foundation will steward the data space for cultural heritage, but collaboration, community and teamwork will be key to its success. We will continue to work closely with the Europeana Network Association and Europeana Aggregators’ Forum to bring - and build - the benefits of the data space to cultural heritage institutions and professionals throughout Europe. We will also work across sectors and borders with a consortium of partners who will manage the data space with enthusiasm, creativity and drive. 

These partners include:

  • AIT Angewandte Informationstechnik Forschungsgesellschaft mbH 

  • AIT Austrian Institute Of Technology GmbH

  • Archives Portal Europe Foundation

  • Capgemini Nederland BV

  • Connecting Archaeology and Architecture in Europe


  • Datoptron P.C.

  • Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum

  • European Fashion Heritage Association

  • EUN Partnership AISBLl

  • EuroClio

  • Facts & Files Digital Services GmbH

  • Inception s.r.l

  • Michael Culture

  • Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid

  • International Consortium for Photographic Heritage

  • Instytut Chemii Bioorganicznej Polskiej Akademii Nauk

  • Time Machine Organisation

An exciting outlook

Our role in the data space is a fantastic opportunity to drive our sector’s digital transformation. We’re excited to deliver higher-quality digital data that can be used and reused in everything from school projects to world-changing research. We’re looking forward to advances in 3D - for preservation and restoration and to boost opportunities in tourism and creative industries. We’re excited about what advanced technologies like augmented and virtual reality and artificial intelligence can do to get culture to more people more usefully; and we can’t wait to build digital capacity among the professionals in our sector. 

Would you like to learn more? The data space was in focus at our conference, Europeana 2022, with the first day (Wednesday 28 September) exploring perspectives on the data space for digital cultural heritage. Watch a recording of the opening of the day from Harry Verwayen