ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage



Thematic Objectives: A.2 – Support to education, research, technological development, and innovation (Promote economic and social development)

Priority: A.2.1 – Support technological transfer and commercialization of research results


iHERITAGE will create an innovation-driven growth process involving a wide range of stakeholders from 6 Mediterranean countries through an integrated approach which will promote cross-border technological transfer, Living Labs, industry -academia collaboration, creation of spin offs and new products using the latest ICT technologies (AR/VR/MR), for the enhancement of the level of interpretation of Mediterranean UNESCO cultural heritage and maximisation of the commercialisation of research results.

The overall project will be developed through the following five Work Packages:

WP1 – Management

WP2 – Communication

WP3 – Living Labs (LL)

WP4 – Establishing of spin-offs and newco

WP5 – Capitalization and commercialisation of new products and services.

iHERITAGE impact will generate a concrete improvement in the access to UNESCO cultural heritage, on site and off site, in addition to the creation of cross-border ICT platforms, the establishment of the Regional Centre for Safeguarding and Valorisation of Mediterranean ICH (CRESPIEM), to be recognised under Category 2 of UNESCO, and a significant rise in the employment rate in creative industry, thanks to the development of training courses and SMEs.

Target group and final beneficiaries will be:

  • 300 Researchers and ICT specialized staff (50 per country) operating on the commercial development of their research ideas;
  • 300 public authorities’ staff;
  • At least 3000 SME’s and innovative start-ups, which need specialized staff to compete in global market;
  • 6000 NEETS, young people and women;
  • 10.000.000 tourists visiting the UNESCO cultural sites involved in the project;
  • 2.000.000 general end-users, who can access UNESCO cultural heritage’s AR/VR multimedia contents online and off site, thanks to the web AR/VR platform;
  • 25.000.000 local population living on the UNESCO sites involved.


UNESCO WHL sites involved in the process of valorization envisaged by the project are:

  • 7 UNESCO WHL sites in Sicily, including Arab-Norman itinerary in Palermo and the Cathedrals of Cefalú and Monreale; Archaeological Area of Agrigento and Temple Valley; Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica;
  • Alhambra, Generalife and Albayzín, Granada (Spain)
  • Memphis and its Necropolis – the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur (Egypt)
  • Archaeological site of Petra (Jordan)


The intangible cultural Heritage valorised within the project will include in primis the Mediterranean Diet, inscribed in the Representative List of UNESCO. The Mediterranean Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage will include all the intangible assets inscribed in regional and national Registers, instituted in coherence with the UNESCO Convention of 17 October 2003.



  • 18 Research Agreements aimed at strengthening people-institutions-industry-academia collaboration
  • 30 Establishing of spin-offs and newco dedicated to co-patenting and commercialisation of innovative products
  • 76 Creation of innovative products/services – technology transfer of innovative solutions (46 new products by the project + 30 selected)
  • 46 Prototyping and testing within the Living Labs of the innovative products and services created by the project
  • 30 Events of commercialisation of new products and services based on AR/VR/MR technologies and the use of Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Autonomous Database and Big Data
  • 6 High training courses
  • 400  Beneficiaries of training courses
  • 15  Co-publications produced in the Living Labs
  • 18 Co-patents aimed at developing innovative and marketable ICT products
  • 1 ICT Mediterranean Platform for the Valorisation of cross border Cultural heritage through AR/VR/MR
  • 1 Mediterranean Register of Intangible Cultural Heritage



  • Sicilian Region – Department of Tourism (Italy) – Applicant
  • Network of Castles and Medieval Towns (Italy- PP1)
  • CEEBA: Confederation of Egyptian European Business Associations (Egypt-PP2)
  • ASCAME: Association of the Mediterranean Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Spain – PP3)
  • Jordan Society for Scientific Research, Entrepreneurship, and Creativity (Jordan – PP4)
  • General Department of Antiquities of Jordan (Jordan – PP5)
  • Lebanese American University (Lebanon – PP6)
  • University of Algarve (Portugal – PP7)
  • Andalusian Public Foundation El Legado Andalusí (Spain- PP8)
  • University of Palermo – Department of Architecture (Italy – PP9)



  • Sicilian Region – Regional Department of Productive Activities (Italy)
  • Ministry of Culture, Lebanon- Directorate General of Antiquities (Lebanon)
  • Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO (Lebanon)
  • CNR – ITABC, Institute for Technologies Applied to Cultural Heritage (Italy)
  • Municipality of Byblos-Jbeil (Lebanon)
  • Region of Algarve – Department of Tourism (Portugal)


Duration: 30 months

Total budget value: € 3.874.287,06

Co-Financing Rate: 10.0%