Horizon 2020 funding opportunity: European Museum Collaboration and Innovation Space

© Image: Insung Yoon A girl is using a pair of VR goggles in a gallery space. The child is smiling and the goggles mirror the smile with happy eyes animation.

© Image: Insung Yoon

The European Commission has released a 1 million Euro Horizon 2020 call to support the digital innovation and development of museums. Proposals are accepted until 12 January 2021.   

The EC refers NEMO’s research on museums during Covid-19 when stating that the pandemic has speeded up the digital transformation of the museum sector. Although the museum and cultural organisations have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, it has also unlocked new possibilities. The EC wants to support this process by promoting collaboration and innovation in cultural organisations, primarily in the museum sector, at European level.  

During the first lockdowns, digital technologies become central to almost every aspect of the work of museums to meet the new realities. On the one hand, digital means can offer solutions in relation to museums’ functions, from the collection of artefacts to their conservation and study, and from the interpretation and exhibition of museum collections to marketing and to managing online and onsite visitors. On the other hand, there is a huge potential for innovation and experimentation using advanced technologies and for collaboration between the cultural, creative and technology sectors, in an inclusive way. Investing in digital technologies is essential for museums to innovate and to adapt to new circumstances. 

The call will offer the opportunity for museums, especially smaller and medium ones, to make the most of digital technologies and services to innovate their digital processes and digital presence, acquire and share know-how through collaboration, experimentation and shared practices, and potentially develop solutions contributing to their financial recovery. Participating museums are expected to develop skills and expertise through their dedicated project, while a shared collaboration and innovation space with good practices, examples of reference and common knowledge will foster capacity building and innovation in the museum sector in a wider and more inclusive way.