by Katrin Hieke
European Museum Forum collaborates with Ice Age Europe in ECultValue Project
The European Museum Forum (EMF) that works under the auspices of the Council of Europe has been collaborating successfully with many national and international museum associations. Since 2013 the organisation has a signed agreement with ICOM (International Council of Museums) and in 2014 it officially created partnership with NEMO (Network of European Museum Organisations).
The common objective is to strengthen the position of museums and cultural institutions in these turbulent times of sever budget cuts, but also to widen and exchange knowledge in cooperation programmes. This aim linked the Forum with the ICE AGE EUROPE network, first due to personal contacts and then through possibilities to collaborate in the interest of both networks.
The EMF - as a member of the consortium that won EU funding for the eCultValue project from the 7th Framework Support Action Programme - is addressing museum professionals who are interested in new technologies and their usage in museums. The project has been presented to the ICE AGE EUROPE network members by Goranka Horjan during their Annual Meeting held in Bilbao in January 2014. Until then, the European Museum Forum was already engaged in mutual on-line promotion of activities and had organised several events within the eCultValue project - from Dialogue Days to specific workshops. Each event had a focus on different aspect in the process of bringing new technologies into museums.
At the eCult Dialogue Day in Tallinn, during the European Museum of the Year Award event May 2014, Katrin Hieke from ICE AGE EUROPE presented the networks own project Hello Ice Age Neighbour. Since the project involves on-line activities and new technologies in order to attract larger audiences, it is well in line with the scope of eCultValue. The European Museum Forum and ICE AGE EUROPE, led by the Neanderthal Museum, Mettmann/ Germany, both recognised the advantages of cross-marketing and collaboration.
The eCultValue makes presentations from different events available online on the platform eCult Observatory. The examples presented come from different EU projects that were already financed by the EU and their valorisation can best be seen through implementation of the results. They include various topics like 3D storytelling and social media, digitization and cooperation between the museum and ICT sector in general.
The target participants at the specialised workshops were younger museum professionals interested in new technologies and the project gathered a significant group of experts who will act as ambassadors in cultural heritages institutions.
The on-line platform www.ecultobservatory.eu is still open for those who would like to present their museum achievements related to new technologies, join in as individual supporters or to create their museum profiles and promote success stories from their institutions. It offers different models of participation. Museums can create their profiles, specify their needs related to new technologies or showcase their success stories and promote best practice from their own institutions. Museum professionals can make their individual profiles or if they want to be more actively involved, they can become eCult ambassadors. The platform gives information and links on EU projects and offers a series of on-line and off-line initiatives that facilitate the promotion of the identified new technologies to stakeholders and foster the dialogue between technology providers and end users such as museums.