Sharing Heritage through Digitalisation at the 9th Annual Forum of the EUSBSR

01.06.2018 |

June 4th and 5th will see Tallinn hosting the 9th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR). “Sharing Heritage through Digitalisation,” a seminar co-organised by the Policy Areas of Culture and Innovation and ARS Baltica, will explore the role of Virtual Reality (VR) technologies for supporting cultural heritage strategies.

Tallinn will be host on Monday and Tuesday to ‘After 2020’, the 9th Annual Forum of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR), which will welcome participants from across Europe to examine the strategy and the opportunities for continued advancement of the region. Tallinn hosted the first ever forum in 2010 and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia is happy to once again host the forum, this year in its 9th year. The forum has grown exponentially in its almost decade-long lifespan and this year expects more than 700 participants from related regions and industries to attend.

Representatives from government bodies, NGOs, academic institutions and foreign and regional organisations will attend over the 2 days to discuss the future of the region beyond the year 2020, including the continued implementation and improvement of the EUSBSR, specifically within the context of the future EU Cohesion Policy and the essential digital changes needed to take the region into the future.

The EUSBSR takes a macro-regional approach to integration by supporting and strengthening collaborations within the Baltic Sea region. Their work addresses and develops working solutions for the shared challenges of its 8 countries and 85 million inhabitants. At the Annual Forum, the work of the EUSBSR will be presented, discussed, and developed through seminars, plenary sessions, and networking sessions, covering topics from the digital development of the BSR to the transport sector to marine environmental health in the region, and much more.

One of the driving values of the EUSBSR is ensuring cultural heritage remains relevant ‘as a perspective through the past to create a vision for the future’. As countries across the continent celebrate 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage (ECHY), the activities of the EUSBSR, along with cooperation between key players and stakeholders in the region are now more topical and important than ever before.

One of the important facilitators between making the past relevant to the future is the appropriate and innovative use of technology. This year, the Annual Forum will host the seminar "Sharing heritage through digitalisation: the added value of Virtual Reality for BSR cultural heritage," exploring the notion that VR technology can offer new approaches to how Baltic countries can preserve, document and share their cultural heritage. 

The seminar will feature the panellists Professor Thomas Bremer (Gamedesign/Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft, Berlin Baltic Gaming Project Lead), Mr Ott Roots (Motoragency, Project Manager, VR Centre Estonia), Mr Maciej Hofman (Policy Officer, Culture - Cultural and creative sectors, European Commission), and Ms Ineta Zelča Sīmansone (Director, Creative Museums, Latvia), and will be moderated by Mr Ragnar Siil (Founder & Managing Partner, Creativity Lab, Estonia). Questions to be discussed include What real chances does the technology bring in? How can we avoid technique for the sake of technique? and What are good practices to be shared? 

The possibilities of VR technology will be demonstrated through presentations from 3 projects that will set the foundations for further discussion on the topic during the seminar. 

The seminar "Sharing heritage through digitalisation: the added value of Virtual Reality for BSR cultural heritage" will take place on June 5th, from 11.00-12.30 at Cauldron Hall, and is jointly organised by Policy Areas Culture and Innovation and ARS Baltica. The EUSBSR Annual Forum will be held June 4-5th in Tallinn, Estonia at the Tallinn Creative Hub, in the city’s former power station. The Forum is supported by the Republic of Estonia, Interreg Baltic Sea Region, the Baltic Development Forum, The European Commission, the city of Tallinn and the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities. The full programme is available online and the forum will be livestreamed on the website today (4th June) at 1.30 pm. For more information about the main forum see the EUSBSR Website.

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"Culture includes not only culture and arts, but also the way of life and system of values. In this sense culture becomes the major power for intellectual renewal and human perfection." (European Council Report on European Cultural Policy)