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Key concepts in the ILUCIDARE project
Below we present a set of the most important concepts of the Ilucidare project - International Network for Leveraging Successful Cultural Heritage-Led Innovations and Diplomacy Through Capacity Building and Awareness Raising 2019–2021.


Heritage innovations are based on implementing innovative ideas or methods that lead to improvements for users of a given product or service (increasing value for the user). The basis of the innovation process is new knowledge, which is often a cross between disciplines and needs. Innovation is either tested by experts or a given community, or is already being implemented on the market / in the given community.

The ILUCIDARE project considers three categories of heritage-based innovation, taking into account the various roles that heritage can play in relation to innovation, as well as its interaction with other sectors:
  • heritage-driven innovation: these are the innovations inspired by the specificity of individual cultural artifacts / heritage resources (unique values, materials, design techniques or features); example: the Adopt a Monument project (Pirkanmaa, Finland) - initiated by a local research and education actor, is that local residents can take care of a specific monument; their role is its conservation and, by fulfilling it, they learn about the history of a given place and become its ambassadors;
  • assimilation of innovation: innovations that were developed in sectors or areas other than heritage, but have been successfully applied in this field, generating new knowledge, new applications in caring for various cultural artifacts and improving ways and methods of managing them; example: the SiMAX application is a software system combining several existing ICT technologies for translating spoken and written texts into sign language using an animated avatar; SiMAX has been successfully used by many museums to reduce barriers to accessing heritage for people with special needs;
  • Heritage as resource: innovations in which individual manifestations of tangible or intangible heritage have become the basis for generating new ideas, knowledge, new cross-sectoral cooperation and market-related ventures in various areas of life; Example: The FOLKK project is an initiative of a Serbian social enterprise that combines masters of traditional handicrafts with novice fashion designers to create innovative collections of fashion clothes and accessories.

Diplomacy in the field of cultural heritage is one of the subdisciplines of public diplomacy that focuses on using the value of heritage for nations and communities to support better, mutual understanding, international cooperation, exchange, peace-building, reconciliation, social cohesion, multicultural dialogue, a positive image, as well as human and socio-economic development.

It concerns two-way and multi-directional cultural relations initiated by state and non-state entities (foundations, regional centers, etc.) in order to promote the interests of the state or broadly understood society (including local communities); covers activities as diverse as maintenance and renovation of facilities, social development, digital heritage, and the protection and restoration of heritage at risk due to disasters.

ILUCIDARE considers two main types of heritage-based diplomacy:
  • Heritage-driven diplomacy, in which heritage and its management are at the heart of diplomatic processes, usually based on international dialogue and knowledge exchange, in situations where heritage has a real diplomatic value; heritage may also start building relationships in other areas, support the development of economic strategies, influence political discourse and support the building of understanding between foreign countries; can serve as a tool to strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations, transnational cooperation and support reconciliation efforts; example: the Europeana 280 campaign created in 2016 by the Europeana Foundation presents and engages people in a common European culture and heritage by creating a digital heritage collection (over 300 digitized objects); 28 culture ministries from all over Europe donated 10 digitized works of art, representing their country's contribution to the history of art in Europe;
  • Heritage within diplomacy are all foreign policy initiatives led by the state or international political organizations which, through safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage, act as political tools to strengthen the position or image of a given country or organization on the territory foreign country; Example: European Neighborhood Policy, one of whose goals are humanitarian missions related to the protection of local heritage.
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