Digitisation turns Europe's cultural resources into an important building block for the digital economy and provides Europe's Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs), which already account for ca. 4% of EU-GDP and jobs and have great potential for stimulating innovation in other sectors, with a competitive edge. The digitisation and online accessibility of cultural resources as input for added-value products and services can fuel innovation in areas such as tourism, education, architecture, design, publishing, advertising or gaming. Moreover, it gives Europe's rich cultural heritage a clear profile on the Internet, promotes regions, protects cultural diversity and contributes to better quality of life.
Digitisation and online accessibility lend the collections of museums, libraries and archives much greater visibility. This does not only attract new visitors, tourists and researchers, but also business to regional economies. Digitisation and digital preservation further create employment opportunities in innovative areas such as 3D-capturing, 3D-processing and tools for text digitisation or preservation of audio-visual material. It is estimated that around 20% of Europe's collections have been digitised so far, (though for film heritage the share of digitised collection is only 1.5%). Making use of ESIF to co-finance digitisation activities can thus help regions play a key role in contributing to EU objectives in promoting cultural diversity as well as creative content for jobs and growth. The Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden have used the Structural Funds for digitising cultural heritage resources. However it is important that the digitisation activities are connected to the regional strategic framework, outlining how this will lead to economic growth and employment opportunities.
In this section of the website you will find useful resources for including digitisation of cultural heritage in your RIS3 or digital policy framework.
Additional thematic fiche facts
Report on Public Sector Information re-use in the cultural sector (May 2011)
Europeana: The Europeana initiative aggregate and diffuse European cultural content and support the development and implementation of new ways for people to participate in their cultural heritage