SHIFT – Cultural Heritage transformation project kicks off under Horizon Europe

Dagmar Damazyn

A major new research and Innovation Action (RIA) held its kick off meeting on 18 and 19 October.

SHIFT: MetamorphoSis of cultural Heritage Into augmented hypermedia assets For enhanced accessibiliTy and inclusion supports the adoption of digital transformation strategies and the uptake of tools within the creative and cultural industries (CCI), where progress has been lagging.

Consortium of leading global organizations

The SHIFT consortium brings together 13 world leading research, industrial and SME organisations, coordinated by SIMAVI (Romania), with the vision to strengthen the impact of cultural heritage assets. It will increase the appeal of historical artefacts, improving their accessibility and usability for everyone through better content representation, enriched user experiences, inclusive design, training and more engaging business models

Think new to be divers

The project is strategically conceived to deliver, by advancing beyond the state-of-the-art, a set of loosely coupled technological tools that offers cultural heritage institutions (CHI) the impetus to stimulate growth and communicate new experiences to all citizens (including people with disabilities) by embracing the latest technological innovations in

  • artificial intelligence
  • machine learning
  • multi-modal data processing
  • digital content transformation methodologies
  • semantic representation
  • linguistic analysis of historical records
  • the use of haptics interfaces

Among its other key results will be: tools and algorithms to revitalise historical and cultural high value content; enhanced preservation of historical archives using contemporary language models; contribution to international standards to exchange metadata models with cultural institutions and copyright protection of content ownership.

Who is SHIFT targeted at?

SHIFT outcomes will target B2B user groups including CHI (archives, libraries, museums), digital content creators, entertainment, and the haptics industry, as well as end users such as museum visitors, web communities and vulnerable groups.

AGILE project planning will adopt a cyclic approach to engage with stakeholder communities and establish a continuous evaluation methodology, while developing several use cases and demonstrations. SHIFT’s dissemination and communication strategies will promote wide-scale adoption of its results across the cultural and creative industries. Plans for future exploitation will focus on making use of contemporary business model approaches for SHIFT and its components.

The full list of partners is: 

  • Software Imagination & Vision (SIMAVI) – Romania
  • Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH) – Greece
  • Massive Dynamic -Sweden
  • audEERING – Germany
  • University of Augsburg – Germany
  • Queen Mary University of London – UK
  • Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum – Semmelweis Orvostörténeti Múzeum – Hungary
  • The National Association of Public Librarians and Libraries in Romania (ANBPR)
  • Staatliche Museen zu Berlin – Preußischer Kulturbesitz – Germany
  • The Balkan Museum Network – Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Initiative For Heritage Conservation (HERITAGE) – Greece
  • Eticas Research and Consulting – Spain
  • German Federation of the Blind and Partially Sighted – Germany

audEERING’s emotional input for SHIFT

audEERING’s with its years of experience in AI-driven affective voice analysis is now participating in the SHIFT project with the goal of synthesizing emotional speech descriptions of historical exhibits. This will change the way one experiences a historical monument, especially for visually impaired people.

The goal for an immersive virtual tour of historical sites is the acoustic reconstruction of the events that took place in that monument. audEERING’s Emotional Speech Synthesis technology will be a key element for the virtual reconstruction of historical battles and real moments of life in the past.

The emotionalization of speech synthesis is becoming more and more an important value of audEERING’s work, thanks to the research-based knowledge we have created about the emotional expression of voices. Get in touch with us to better understand the possibilities:

SHIFT is funded under work programme HORIZON-CL2-2021-HERITAGE-01-04 (RIA): Preserving and enhancing cultural heritage with advanced digital technologies.

For more information, please contact or