On March 29th, ICCROM participated in the International Workshop Towards a European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science Florence, to inaugurate the E-RIHS project for heritage science.

The workshop was a side event to the G7 Culture meetings in Florence, held at the initiative of Italy’s Culture Minister, Dario Franceschini and organised by CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche). The following day, March 30th, ICCROM also participated in the E-RIHS PP Kick-off Meeting and the E-RIHS PP Steering Committee meeting in its capacity as a permanent observer.

The international workshop opened with speeches by high profile political and administrative figures such as Dario Nardella, mayor of Florence, and Umberto Tombari, president of the Ente Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, as well as Massimo Inguscio, president of CNR, Antonio Cesaro, Undersecretary of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Fabio Donato of the Ministry of Education, University and Research, and Antonio Di Giulio, Head of Unit Research Infrastructures, DG Research, Science & Innovation of the European Commission. At the meeting, ICCROM’s Director-General, Stefano de Caro, outlined his vision for a global Heritage Science infrastructure. Delegates from the UK, France, Germany, Portugal, Greece and Belgium in turn presented their countries’ activities and initiatives towards the establishment of national nodes for E-RIHS.

E-RIHS is a pan- European distributed research infrastructure, with laboratories and research units aggregated in national nodes and regional hubs, which offers knowledge expertise and use of state-of-the-art instrumentation, innovative investigation methodologies and access to scientific data.

The European Commission has approved the allocation of ca. 4 million Euros towards the establishment of E-RIHS. Its preparatory phase (E-RIHSPP) is funded through the program for research and innovation H2020 -INFRADEV-2016-2017 (Development and long-term sustainability of new pan-European research infrastructures). The preparatory phase of E-RIHS started in January 2017 and will last for three years, during which functional aspects will be established, such as its governance, economic and sustainability plans, policies, training programs and above all the legal and operative steps needed for the creation of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC).