Publication guides museums to break the digital ceiling for long-term digital transformation

DOORS - Digital Incubator for Museums wraps up its two-year project period with a final e-publication that aims to help small museums break the digital ceiling and stay relevant in their communities. NEMO Secretary General contributed with a chapter on funding schemes.

The e-publication Breaking the Digital Ceiling - Key Insights from DOORS - Digital Incubator for Museums summaries how the project used knowledge-sharing practices and frameworks to explain the design of the incubation programme to create long-term impact. It also proposes how to facilitate knowledge-sharing within and beyond the project, aims to inspire to similar projects in the future and closes with thoughts on how to futureproof museums by encouraging incubation and funding schemes that recognise digital transformation as a process.

NEMO Secretary General Julia Pagel was invited to contribute with an expert piece relating to digital transformation for museums. In her article, she makes a case for attuning funding schemes to the realities of the sector. Pagel suggests that public and private funding schemes and investments should be re-organised to better address the varied needs of a heterogeneous museum sector in Europe, in its journey to create the maximum positive impact for its communities and the global audiences in general.

She brings together direct feedback and ideas from the museums participating in the DOORS programme and a general, sector-level perspective of a European museum network on recommendations that emerged from their engagement with funding support meant to increase their digital capacity and innovation on operational, structural and policy level. The chapter is divided into four sections that comes with its separate recommendations: Invest in upskilling staff, Establish knowledge-exchange networks, Acknowledge that implementation is the beginning, but maintenance is the real journey as well as Use museums as test beds.

The Horizon 2020 project DOORS – Digital Incubator for Museums was dedicated to digitalisation in small and medium-sized museums to help them stay relevant in uncertain times. It was initiated by partner organisations Ars Electronica, MUSEUM BOOSTER and ECSITE. Efforts primarily went into designing and running a two-stage incubation programme that helped twenty museums break the digital ceiling and contributed to their long-term digital transformations.