Project facts

Duration: 2018-12-01 - 2022-04-30
Project consortium: Europa Nostra (NL), Kea European Affaires (BE), Miedzynarodowe Centrum Kultury w krakowie (PL), Fondo espanol para la Conservaciony Restauracion de Monumentos (ES), World Monuments Fund Britain Limited (GB), Fondacionit Kosovar Trashegimiakulturore PA Kufji (XK), Universidad de Cuenca (EC), Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum (BE)
Funding bodies: H2020-EU.3.5. - SOCIETAL CHALLENGES - Climate action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials MAIN PROGRAMME H2020-EU.3.5.6. - Cultural heritage SC5-19-2018 - International network to promote cultural heritage innovation and diplomacy
Subject areas: Heritage Management, Innovation, Sustainable development
Contact: Prof. Koen Van Balen - Project coordinator
Budget: € 2 869 290


European cultural heritage is a rich resource for sustainable development and contributes to improving European relations with other parts of the world. The EU-funded ILUCIDARE project classified and identified “heritage-driven innovation” but also “assimilation of cultural heritage in innovation” and “heritage as a resource for innovation”. Studying “heritage within diplomacy”, “heritage driven diplomacy” and “shared heritage” revealed how heritage acts as an ambassadors that can enhance understanding, diplomacy and international relations. ILUCIDARE co-created tools for an international community of heritage experts and local communities. It created significant impact locally while improving and validating tools to better protect and promote cultural heritage as a resource, leveraging its value as a tool for innovation and improving relations with other parts of the world.

Impacts & Results

ILUCIDARE provides interactive learning opportunities to exchange knowledge as well as networking spaces to engage with a variety of stakeholders and heritage professionals around the world.

Participatory research & co-creation

  • Focus groups

In order to cover the rich European diversity in terms of cultural heritage, languages, and experience in innovation and diplomacy, ILUCIDARE organises 2 focus groups with regional and national experts: in Poland with professionals from Central and South-East Europe and in Belgium with experts from West, North and South Europe.

  • Co-creation ateliers

Two workshops organised at the beginning of the project to generate expert and user feedback on the research progress; to foster continuous dialogue among the advisory board and local experts and to gain insight on ILUCIDARE's activities outside the EU.

  • Coaching sessions

Coaching sessions assess local needs and level of capabilities in order to best prepare capacity building modules that will take place in specific heritage locations in Europe, the Western Balkans, the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America.



  • Capacity building actions

Specifically developed and organised for each learning area on the basis of coaching sessions:
Adaptive re-use of Kullas, traditional fortified residential buildings in Kosovo, Albania and Montenegro;

Heritage space platform in Pristina (Kosovo) on job creation among young people through cultural and creative industries;

Eco-system innovations and traditional techniques and crafts in Duhok and Amedi (Iraq Kurdistan);

Developing capacity in documentation and damage assessment for post-conflict reconstruction with trainees from the city of Ta’ez (Yemen) in Kuwait City (Kuwait);

Documentation and recording techniques for risk management aimed at custodians of rock art sites in
Matobo Hills (Zimbabwe). This activity will also involve participants from  Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Malawi and Zambia.

Conservation methodologies and techniques for  rock-hewn churches in the Tigray region (Ethiopia), taking into account the diverse ethnicities of the country and the need for a new integrated cultural narrative for this specific type of heritage. The activity will include participants from Eritrea.

Cross-sectional analysis of the heritage resources in the upper and middle valleys of the Nansa basin in Santander (Spain) to improve inhabitants' quality of life.

Developing maintenance campaigns and attracting the business sector to ongoing heritage activities in San Roque, Susudel and las Herrerías (Ecuador).

  • Massive Open Online Course

The ILUCIDARE MOOC will be developed from the knowledge and expertise gathered during research and onsite activities, as well as the longstanding experience and best practice from ILUCIDARE partners.

The MOOC will be available worldwide from the KU Leuven MOOC channel on edX as from September 2020.

  • Summer schools 

ILUCIDARE will organise two week-long summer schools in Kraków (PL) and Leuven (BE).
Summer schools blend lectures, debates, site visits, group work and benefit from the support of international experts. They are dedicated to heritage managers, young professionals and researchers from all over Europe and beyond.


Networking outreach events


ILUCIDAYS are a series of engaging events organised back-to-back with capacity building actions to offer a space for networking between participants and the local community of citizens, heritage professionals, enterprises and NGOs working in the field.

  • International events

ILUCIDARE annual events stimulate cross-disciplinary innovation, they facilitate interactivity and networking among participants. Learn from the project’s and other stakeholders’ activities, exchange experiences in heritage-led innovation and diplomacy, meet partners, funders, activists, researchers in an entertaining environment!


International competitions

  • ILUCIDARE Special Prizes in European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards

The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards 2020 and 2021 will dedicate two ILUCIDARE Special Prizes acknowledging best practices in heritage-led innovation and in diplomacy. The ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will be selected from eligible applications to the four categories of the Awards:

  1. Conservation
  2. Research
  3. Dedicated service by individuals or organisations
  4. Education, training and awareness-raising

Winners of the ILUCIDARE Special Prizes will be awarded in a high-level Ceremony 2020 and 2021 and showcased in its ‘Excellence Fair’. They will also be invited to present their projects during ILUCIDARE international events.

  • ILUCIDARE Challenge

The ILUCIDARE Challenge is an international competition rewarding creative ideas and changemakers worldwide working on heritage, innovation and international cooperation. The competition focuses on interdisciplinary and international collaborations between young entrepreneurs in cultural and creative fields (visual arts, advertising, architecture, crafts, design, fashion, film and video, gastronomy), citizens, engineers, architects, archaeologists, computer scientists, SMEs, incubators.

The winning team will be invited to present its project to the ILUCIDARE final event in 2021 for networking and pitching and will benefit from media exposure through the ILUCIDARE channels.