In Cyprus, cultural heritage research is facilitated through participation in international mechanisms such as the JPI CH. Complementary funding includes programmes like Excellence Hubs and Didaktor. Cyprus actively participates in EU Work Programmes, particularly in Cluster 2 Calls under “Destination 2” (Cultural Heritage), securing funding for projects. Increased EU budget allocation for Cultural Heritage could enhance research and innovation efforts in Cyprus, focusing on areas like climate change and digital transition.

Programmes and calls for cultural heritage

Although the Research and Innovation Foundation(RIF) has no specific funding programmes dedicated to cultural heritage, it participates in the Joint Programming Initiative “Cultural Heritage and Global Change: A New Challenge for Europe” (JPI CH). In the framework of this initiative, the Foundation has participated in joint Calls for Proposals by funding the successful Cypriot organisations through the national funding programme RESTART 2016-2020 Research, Technological Development and Innovation Programmes (European Initiatives – Local Development Programme / co-funded by ERDF 2014-2020).  

Complementary forms of funding

Excellence Hubs aims to promote scientific excellence through the funding of pioneering research projects in cutting-edge fields. Additionally, the Programme aims to contribute towards creating growth prospects for the local economy and to tackle social and other contemporary challenges.” Another programme, identified as relevant, is Didaktor, with an objective to integrate postdoctoral scientists into the Cypriot RTDI System, thus addressing the “brain drain” challenge, which has increased in the last ten years. 

EU joint actions: state of the art and future opportunities

The EU Work Programmes have influenced national Cultural Heritage programmes or calls, namely through the participation in the JPI CH, which led to the announcement of relevant national calls for proposals during the 2017-2019 period.

In Cyprus, 102 participations were involved in the 2021-2022 Cluster 2 Calls under “Destination 2” (Cultural Heritage), leading to 18 participations in 11 funded projects. Destination 2 under Cluster 2 is the most popular for Cyprus applicants (almost double the applications compared to each of the other two Destinations of Cluster 2) and the most successful.

An increased budget for Destination 2 could have had an even more significant effect on R&I in Cultural Heritage for Cyprus. From Cyprus’ point of view, several cultural heritage research areas would benefit from being addressed at the EU level. Particularly underlined are climate change and the digital transition (with an accent on the European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage).