The common European data space for cultural heritage - FAQs
Discover the answers to frequently asked questions about the common European data space for cultural heritage and the Europeana Initiative.
Discover the answers to frequently asked questions about the common European data space for cultural heritage and the Europeana Initiative.
Developing the common European data spaces is a new flagship initiative of the European Commission aiming to support the growth of the digital economy in 14 strategic sectors and domains of public interest - from manufacturing and health to energy and culture.
Data spaces will ensure that Europe has a flourishing ecosystem of data sharing which offers alternatives to private and/or centralised platforms.
The common European data spaces are funded by the Digital Europe programme of the European Union and will contribute to the successful implementation of the European data strategy.
The 14 data spaces are supported by the Data Spaces Support Centre, established by the European Commission to create a network of data spaces’ stakeholders, identify common requirements and create a platform to share knowledge.
The 14 interconnected data spaces seek to harness the value of data for the benefit of European society and economy. They will boost the development of new data-driven products and services in the EU, leading to a more interconnected and competitive EU data economy. They will also offer participants a digital public space to share in; in data spaces, information is governed collaboratively and flows freely, offering possibilities for connections, innovation and discovery.
To achieve this, the data spaces must create a trusted and interoperable environment that promotes and facilitates the sharing and reuse of data, creating meaningful connections across and between data spaces.
A secure and privacy-preserving infrastructure to pool, access, share, process, and use data.
Clear and trustworthy data governance mechanisms allowing the use and reuse of data in a fair, transparent, proportionate and non-discriminatory manner.
An operating framework fully respecting European rules and values, in particular personal data protection, consumer protection legislation and competition law.
The common European data space for cultural heritage is the flagship initiative of the European Commission to accelerate the digital transformation of Europe’s cultural sector, and foster the creation and reuse of digital cultural heritage content in the cultural and creative sectors.
The deployment of the common European data space for cultural heritage is funded under the Digital Europe Programme of the European Union and is led by the Europeana Foundation.
The common European data space for cultural heritage aims to be a sovereign data ecosystem - an open and resilient commons for the users of European cultural data. ‘Sovereign’ means that data owners - as opposed to platforms- have control of data. The data space provides an ecosystem in which we nurture interconnected applications, communities and data as a federated whole. It is open and resilient in that we emphasise open models of sharing and innovation. And finally, it is a commons in that we design and manage the system around a nucleus of shared, ‘open’ values for the enjoyment and benefit of a community.
The data space will increase awareness throughout the heritage sector of the standards and frameworks required to source and make available high-value cultural heritage datasets of any kind. It will provide an innovative data platform infrastructure and capacity-building resources and programmes.The data space will create and promote the opportunities and incentives for use and reuse. It will support the implementation of national digital strategies for cultural heritage, leading to the digital transformation of the cultural sector.
The common European data space for cultural heritage also offers the opportunity to reach wider and more diverse audiences, and to create digital environments that are more inclusive, collaborative and jointly owned.
The common European data space for cultural heritage should be written in lowercase, as used on this webpage. Only the word ‘European’ is capitalised.
Following the first use of its full name (the common European data space for cultural heritage) in a text, it can be referred to as the ‘data space’. This should also be written in lowercase.
The European Commission Expert Group on the Common European Data Space for Cultural Heritage (CEDCHE) is written in uppercase, to refer to the acronym.
The Europeana Initiative is at the heart of the common European data space for cultural heritage, with work to deploy it led by the Europeana Foundation with the support of the Europeana Network Association (ENA) and the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum (EAF), in collaboration with a consortium of 18 partners from nine EU countries.
The data space does not replace the Europeana Initiative; rather, it builds on Europeana’s accomplishments - from open data and community-building to data aggregation - and challenges the Initiative to grow.
Together, the three pillars of the Europeana Initiative (Europeana Foundation, Europeana Network Association and Europeana Aggregators’ Forum) will steward the data space.
As steward of the data space, the Europeana Initiative leads its operational deployment, in close cooperation with consortium partners. We do that while upholding and nurturing the shared goals, values and principles of the community we serve.
As the data space develops, we’ll build a stronger community of knowledge and more transformative opportunities for cultural heritage institutions, and for our societies. For this, we will use our collective expertise and our trusted and well-established ecosystem.
Our collaborative approach will also foster connections with other relevant sectors and data spaces, including the creative industries, media and tourism.
The Europeana Foundation - together with 18 committed partners and in close cooperation with the Europeana Network Association and Europeana Aggregators’ Forum - has been selected by the European Commission to deploy the common European data space for cultural heritage.
Our ambitions for the data space go beyond building a technological framework. The Europeana Initiative is uniquely positioned to foster the conditions of accessibility, participation and inclusivity that will bring together actors and stakeholders around shared ideals. We are committed to ensuring that they can fully participate in the data space, so that it is representative of, and co-created by, different communities.
We can provide and develop the best practices and standards to work collaboratively and drive the success of the data space, enhancing the meaningful use of cultural heritage in society and the economy, and ensuring that the data space is easy to access, use and benefit from.
The data space provides a technological framework for action, but to be truly successful and sustainable, it must also recognise cultural heritage’s unique contribution to society and the value of a people-centric, value-driven approach to digital transformation. The role of cultural heritage in promoting our common values and shared history is recognised by the European Commission, which has also placed people and values at the centre of its ambitions for Europe’s Digital Decade.
We want to ensure that the data space is energy efficient and has a reasonable carbon footprint, but also to be an agent of change and sway the ideas of participants and other data spaces in respect to the nature, environment and climate.
Technical infrastructure from the Europeana DSI - including products and services such as Metis, Metis Sandbox, Europeana.eu.
The Europeana Initiative’s established expertise working toward the digital transformation of our sector.
The Europeana Initiative’s collaborative strength, with its trusted and well-established network, including the Europeana Aggregators’ Forum and the Europeana Network Association.
The Europeana Initiative as an agent of change, leading the development of internationally accepted frameworks and standards that support interoperability and openness - for example, on Licensing and Publishing.
Existing reuse scenarios in education, research, creative industries, personal projects.
The Europeana Strategy 2020 - 2025 was published in 2020, and sets out the vision, mission and priorities of the Europeana Initiative until 2025. While the strategy was written before the data space began to be deployed, the development of the common European data space for cultural heritage is integral to its realisation.
The data space offers an unprecedented opportunity for the Europeana Initiative to advance its vision of a sector powered by digital and the mission to empower the cultural heritage sector in its digital transformation. Through the data space, we will be able to boost, more than ever before, the reuse of cultural heritage data in domains such as education, sustainable tourism and cultural creative sectors.
The data space for cultural heritage will be interoperable with the data spaces ecosystem to facilitate cross-sector data sharing. It will explore opportunities for cooperation with other data spaces, in particular media and tourism.
The data space offers the opportunity to dramatically expand the accessibility of Europe’s cultural heritage, and with its scope, has a number of different stakeholders. These include decision makers at EU and national levels; the data spaces ecosystem; other EU heritage initiatives; the cultural heritage sector; and the general public - from culture lovers to curious minds.
Many within these groups will also be beneficiaries of and contributors to the common European data space for cultural heritage - from museums to research institutions, students to tourism stakeholders, creative industries to European organisations.
From 2015 to mid-2022, Europeana was one of the European Union’s Digital Service Infrastructures (DSI) funded under the Connecting Europe Facility. The EU deployed several DSI, including safer internet for children, electronic health services, and business management. The Europeana Digital Service Infrastructure (Europeana DSI) provided online access to Europe’s digital cultural heritage through the Europeana website and supported the digital transformation of cultural heritage institutions. The service ran for four operational cycles and was provided by a consortium coordinated by the Europeana Foundation.
The common European data space for cultural heritage builds on and expands the existing functionalities and services of the Europeana Digital Service Infrastructure. The service is provided by a consortium coordinated by the Europeana Foundation, and funded under the European Union’s Digital Europe programme.
Moving from the Europeana DSI to the data space will require both continuity and transition - we will build on what we have achieved and we will renew our work in an entirely new context.
Next generation infrastructure - we will expand Europeana’s existing infrastructure to develop innovative scenarios for renewed data sharing models and secure fair and trusted data exchange between participants.
New data and new services - we will work towards a significant and sustained increase in high-quality, usable and accessible data in the data space. We will also work to improve this data, using machine-learning and AI for enrichment and improved user experience and offer new services that are of value to the partners of the data space.
Expanded 3D - more emphasis now goes towards supporting digitisation of, access to, visualisation of and reuse of high-quality 3D datasets for different purposes, such as conducting scientific research, preservation and restoration, or reuse in innovative applications by the cultural and creative sector.
More cross-sector, cross-border cooperation - with expanded support for institutions in their digital transformation, through adoption of standards, best practice and common solutions.
More support for reuse - make high-value datasets available for reuse by different communities, from education, academia and research, social sciences and humanities, to tourism, and the wider cultural and creative sector. We’ll provide support and services for reuse in different sectors and we’ll encourage and report on reuse.
The Europeana Initiative is NOT the owner or controller of the data space. Work to deploy the common Europeana data space for cultural heritage is led by the Europeana Foundation in collaboration with a consortium of 18 partners from nine EU countries. The work of the consortium is supported by the Europeana Network Association (ENA) and Europeana Aggregators' Forum (EAF).
In this role, we are responsible and transparent, and act to uphold and nurture shared goals, values and principles of the community we serve.
We are not providing data storage or processing capabilities needed by the data space - these are developed through other initiatives outside of our remit.
We are not developing the technical baseline and data storage services to be exploited by the common EU data spaces - the European platform and services planned under Digital Europe will develop these, ensuring interoperability.
Sep 2022 - Data Spaces Support Centre active
2022-2024 - two-year transition period, updating infrastructure
2024-2026 - two-year development period, data space more fully integrates shared tech, tools and services from other projects and aligns with broader data space initiative.
The future European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage (also referred to as ‘Cultural Heritage Cloud’) is a EU initiative funded under the Horizon Europe programme. It will be a digital collaborative working space for cultural heritage professionals and researchers.
It will make it easier for museums and other cultural heritage institutions to share, connect and collaborate in their preservation, conservation and restoration work. The Cloud will support professionals in sharing research data (such as 3D models, high resolution images, measurements and information relating to the technical properties of objects), producing new data for research purposes and giving them digital tools to work cooperatively.
The common European data space for cultural heritage is the main access point to cultural heritage data for discovery and reuse purposes within and across sectors. The future Cloud will be a digital workspace for preservation, conservation and restoration work in the cultural heritage sector. Having distinct missions, the data space and the future Cloud can complement each other for mutual benefit.
For this reason, the Europeana Initiative considers it crucial to build complementarities between the data space and the Cloud from the beginning of their development. By working together, we can ensure that the two initiatives provide mutual benefits in terms of pooling of resources, wide audience reach and support for heritage professionals, particularly those working in research involving high quality digital cultural heritage objects.