European Research Network of Excellence in Open Cultural Heritage (EPOCH)

  • Arnold, David (PI)
  • Kaminski, Jaime (CoI)
  • Rodriguez Echavarria, Karina (CoI)
  • Sodagar, Babak (CoI)
  • McLoughlin, Jim (CoI)
  • Pletinckx, Daniel (CoI)
  • van Gool, Luc (CoI)
  • Niccolucci, Franco (PI)
  • Ryan, Nick (CoI)
  • Cignoni, Paolo (PI)
  • Oberländer-Tarnoveanu, Irina (CoI)
  • Caiti, Andrea (CoI)
  • Garzotto, Franca (CoI)
  • Jerem, Erzsébet (CoI)
  • Guermandi, Maria Pia (CoI)
  • Fellner, Dieter (PI)
  • Gottlieb, Halina (CoI)
  • Smith, Brian (CoI)

Project Details


The European Research Network of Excellence in Open Cultural Heritage (EPOCH) was part of a €7m European Union 6th Framework programme dedicated to improving the quality and effectiveness of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Cultural Heritage.

Operating between 2004 and 2008 and involving a network of more than 90 European cultural institutions, the overall objective of this network was to provide a clear organisational and disciplinary framework for increasing the effectiveness of work at the interface between technology and the cultural heritage of human experience represented in monuments, sites and museums.

The broad aim of the project was to have a lasting effect on the Cultural Heritage domain and to establish structures that continue the work started with EU financial support under the EPOCH project.

A key objective was to create a community of cultural heritage and information technology experts who could share knowledge, experience and best practices and focus on improving the quality of services and creating standards for the cultural heritage domain.

The consortium endeavoured to create a structure to support, encourage and train SMEs involved in the cultural heritage sector in order to improve the workings of the labour market with a view to growth, employment and the competitiveness of companies.

EPOCH Board of Directors:
David Arnold, University of Bighton
Daniel Pletinckx, Visual Dimension, Belgium
Luc van Good, KU Leuven, Belgium
Franco Niccolucci, PIN - University of Florence, Italy
Nick Ryan, University of Kent at Canterbury
Paolo Cignoni, ISTI- CNR
Irina Oberlander-Tarnoveanu, CIMEC, Romania
Andrea Caiti, ISME, Italy
Franca Garzotto, Politecnico di Milano, Italy
Erzsebet Jerem, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
Maria Pia Guermandi, Istituto Beni Culturali, Emilia Romagna, Italy
Dieter Fellner, Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research, Germany
Halina Gottlieb, Interactive Institute, Sweden
Brian Smith, European Associataion of Historic Towns and Regions, UK
Steve Stead, Paveprime Ltd., UK
Cinzia Perlingieri, University of Naples, Italy.

Key findings

One result of the project is around 30 EPOCH publications produced over the 4 years of the activity and well over 150 scientific papers. It was agreed in principle that they will be made available online through the Eurographics Digital Library ( and on the UNESCO website (, which are expected to be maintained in the long term.

Learning networks used an integrated method which combines action learning techniques with a network approach and were seen to be key to progress.

The University of Brighton's researchers in business management and informatics were integral in the design and implementation of a Network of Expertise Centres (NoECs).

For the first time, the methodology enabled a multi-national network of stakeholders to deliver expertise and knowledge, implement pilot projects and intervene in strategic decision making processes of major cultural heritage organisations.
Effective start/end date1/01/0431/12/08


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