About the conference

Croatian EU Council presidency conference

The role of cultural heritage in socio-economic development and preservation of democratic values

Organised by University of Rijeka

In partnership with:
Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Croatia and the European Commission as part of the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the European Union


The overall mission of the HERItage conference is to strongly (re)affirm the role of SSH indeveloping a knowledge-based learning society in Europe,as well as in building regional innovation ecosystemsthat rely primarily on innovation in education and research, culture and social welfare. R&I in SSH should remain a civilian programmethat maximises the societal benefits ae well as the quality of living and the working conditions. We strongly believe that such a mission will increase the societal acceptance and relevance of the R&I activities pursued under Horizon Europe.


Promote the significance of a broad cross- multi- inter-disciplinary and collaborative approach in SSHthat contributes to the sustainable development and smart growth, facilitates civic welfare and empowerment, and protects the environment.


Create a framework for reflecting upon contemporary challenges and opportunities for SSH, with the aim of minimizing the differences across the EU and closing the R&I divide in SSHacross the member states by promoting excellence via open and aligned EU policies for higher education, research and innovation


Renew research and education in SSH using a clearly defined ‘European university’ label that would reward those institutions that actively and successfully promote open science, open innovation and openness to the world, which attract students and researchers from around the world, and which promote intercultural ways of academic life and democratic values.

The overall mission of the HERItage international conference is to explore a priority setting agenda on European research and innovation (R&I) related to cultural heritage, which will contribute to regional innovation ecosystems that rely on education, scientific and technological research, and culture. Such a mission may further help defining the overall framework and the societal acceptance of the R&I agenda pursued under Horizon Europe.

The main objective of the conference is to promote a debate with policymakers and stakeholders on the impact of cultural heritage in socio-economic development, the preservation of democratic values, sustainability and future jobs.

The conference will gather participants from all around Europe from academia, governmental organizations, industry, SMEs and users of research results. Also, policymakers, local authorities, artists and a broad range of actors revolving around the City of Rijeka‘s role as the 2020 European Capital of Culture activities are to be involved in the conference.

The aim is to present research results and develop substantial discussions on the topics of Cultural Heritage and the future of research and development in SSH in a rapidly changing world characterised by digitization, mobility, brain circulation, inequalities and technological advancement, and their repercussions.

The conference will respond to one of the global challenges for Horizon Europe programme Cluster 2 Culture, Creativity and Inclusive Society, Promoting Cultural Heritage. It will open a window to discussion on the pan-European cultural heritage initiatives and R&I partnerships in cultural heritage, relying on the synergistic and collaborative efforts of the Joint Programming Initiative Cultural Heritage and Global Change and its perspective ties to digitisation and computing facilities via the Time Machine H2020 FET flagship.

The conference will support and promote the thorough development of Open Science in European research area.

*Note: The working language of the conference is English.

The conference is based on three thematic SSH pillars and two cross-cutting comprehensive pillars that reflect the SSH policies and cooperation with governments, the civil society and business, as follows:

The role of universities in promoting and preserving cultural heritage: education, research and social responsibility

  • the role of cultural heritage in the European education systems with special emphasis on cultural diversity and problems of identities in creating cultural policies (complexities of the relationships between Europeanness and diversity, relations between local and national regarding social development, social cohesion, inclusiveness and participation);
  • universities in a dynamic construction of communicating spaces of culture, research and education with museums, archaeological sites, galleries, libraries and other institutions;
  • the role of cultural production and art in confronting the growing inequality and exclusion in the globalized world;
  • European cultural heritage networks and sectors: strategies, methodologies, use of standards and quality control in conservation, preservation and promotion of cultural heritage;
  • diverse forms of university-community partnerships and engagement;
  • challenges, institutional models and good practices of open science and open innovation;
  • non-autochthons heritage: minority enlightenment(s) and regional cosmopolitanism(s) as prospect for a non-state-bound protection of rights;
  • the novel and engaging participatory approaches to sustainability: fostering the place of heritage in the sustainable development;
  • multi- and pluri-lingual identities and the ethic of translation in Europe: minority languages as part of the European cultural heritage and identity.

The role of scientific research in strengthening the preservation of industrial heritage

  • intersectional and interdisciplinary research of industrial heritage – quests and problems;
  • constructing networks and platforms with institutions and professionals – the collaborative role of universities in interpreting and valorising industrial heritage;
  • enhancing security and quality measures in protecting industrial heritage;
  • industrial heritage as an intangible economic resource in promoting local/national development;
  • cultural and industrial heritage in stimulating sustainable tourism;
  • quality of working and living conditions from the perspective of industrial revolution 4.0;
  • social innovation in form of urban reinventions and smart cities and new roles of cities in the international political and economic landscapes.

Challenges and opportunities of digital transformations: the role of digital tools in preserving and developing cultural heritage

  • digital transformation in the study of cultural heritage: digital preservation and transmission of cultural heritage by handling large datasets on shared scientific infrastructure – challenges and opportunities for a more connected Europe;
  • digitization of cultural heritage: new methodologies, models and training in facilitating access to cultural heritage;
  • the problems of preservation of digital material;
  • legal matters – use and abuse of digital data;
  • ethical, political, and economic benefits and challenges of artificial intelligence;
  • introducing digital humanities in educational systems;
  • the problem of inequality and imbalances regarding research and usage of new technologies in studying and promoting cultural heritage;
  • cultural heritage and creative industries – new technologies for future jobs.

1) Public policies: cultural heritage and democratic values

2) Cooperation and innovation: cultural heritage and social transformation

we invite papers focused on (but not limited to) the following questions focused on cultural heritage:

  • How to improve the framework conditions for international cooperation in research and innovation (R&I) related to cultural heritage?
  • How to improve the knowledge alliances and partnerships between business and higher education?
  • How to improve research as co-creation between the researcher and the community?
  • How university rankings and the number of doctoral students can improve the innovation capabilities?
  • How to develop the policy of retaining and attracting international talents?
  • Is there room for improving the state-aid framework for R&I?
  • How to increase the financing of R&I on cultural heritage activities from private sources?
  • Is there a need to engage EU structural funds devoted to R&I?
  • How to successfully promote the design and creative industries?

Étienne Balibar

Professor Emeritus of moral and political philosophy at Université de Paris X – Nanterre and Professor Emeritus of Humanities at the University of California, Irvine; Anniversary Chair Professor at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University and a Visiting Professor at the Department of French and Romance Philology at Columbia University.

Danica Kragić Jansfelt

Professor at the School of Computer Science and Communication at the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH. She received MSc in Mechanical Engineering from the Technical University of Rijeka, Croatia in 1995 and PhD in Computer Science from KTH in 2001. She has been a visiting researcher at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University and INRIA Rennes. She is the Director of the Centre for Autonomous Systems. Danica received the 2007 IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Academic Career Award. She is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and Young Academy of Sweden.

 Carlo Blasi 

Professor Blasi is currently working for the Studio Comes that is specialized in architectural and structural planning and site management in construction’s fields, restoration and consolidation of monumental buildings. He previously worked as a professor of Architectural Restoration at the University of Parma and a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture and Engineering of Florence and the polytechnics of Parma and Bari. Some of his largest projects include the reconstruction of the Mostar Bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the restructuring of the Pantheon in Paris. He is also part of the team of experts who are working on the reconstruction of the Notre Dame church in Paris.


Opening of the web interface for paper and poster submissions


Submission deadline for papers and posters


Deadline for the registration of participants


Pre-conference PhD workshop (CANCELLED)


The HERItage conference (ZOOM)

A workshop for PhD students and young researchers „H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions workshop for young researchers in cultural heritage“ will be held before the start of the conference. You can read more about the workshop here.


Keep in mind that online registration is necessary for participation in any part of the conference programme!

The University of Rijeka is committed to preserving the environment which includes cutting down on unnecessary paper and plastics with  engaging in new technologies and re-using materials. This will ultimately lead to better understating of what a clear and green future will look like.

In accordance with that, the HERItage conference will be a nearly paper-free event with no printing of the conference booklet and book of abstracts. Both will be available online and through easily accessible QR codes. The materials that will be in printed format, such as the final conference program, will be made from recycled paper.

Moreover, no plastic bottles and plastic cups will be used during the conference . You can also do your part as we wish to recycle the conference accreditations. Please remember to leave your accreditation at the Info desk before leaving the conference. In this way, we want to show that the issue of a sustainable and environmentally friendly society is something we deeply care about. 

Data protection:
Registration for the paper, video or poster application:
Author’s personal information/personal data (name and surname, institution, CV) and a photo, will be presented in a conference booklet which will be published at the conference webpage.
Author’s personal information/personal data (name and surname, institution, email address) together with the paper/video/poster information/abstract will be presented in the conference proceedings and published online.
Aiming at public dissemination the conference will be photographed and web streamed. Some third parties, such as journalists, might transfer the information on the conference together with the photographs and/or video of the conference to public.  
Conference and Workshop participants:
Aiming at public dissemination, some conference activities will be photographed and web-streamed. Some third parties, such as journalists, might transfer the information on the conference together with the photographs and/or video of the conference to public.