#SocialMus Key Topics (1/3):  The European cultural industries provide their thoughts regarding CrossCult


28 July, 2017

#SocialMus Key Topics (1/3): The European cultural industries provide their thoughts regarding CrossCult

On June 12th, 2016, several European cultural institutions gathered in the National Archaeological Museum in order to share their perspectives regarding digital innovation in the museum environment. Amongst them were various national representatives, including: The Management of State Museums, the Prado Museum, the Thyssen Museum, and the Catalan Agency for Cultural Heritage. Whether you missed #Socialmus, or you just wish to remember the key points of the scientific conversation, you have arrived to the right place!

The objective of the meeting was ambitious and looked towards the future. We wished to understand the technological needs of the museums of tomorrow, in the process generating debate about what is yet to be discovered. The driver of this conversation was the European project, @CrossCult_H2020. It is an initiative involving the participation of 11 European institutions from 7 different countries, with a goal that can be summed in the following phrase: ¨Digital innovation for the reinterpretation of cultural heritage through social participation and reflection¨.

Little by little, the contributions of the participants of the round table gradually revealed the core aspects that comprised this objective. In all cases, its complexity suggests the need for a diverse group of individuals and participants: developers and designers (digital innovation), curators and historians (reinterpretation), cultural institutions (heritage), and communication professionals, from marketing and customer service departments (social participation).


What should I know about CrossCult in order to understand #SocialMus?

The CrossCult project is developing a series of innovative technological services that are capable of highlighting the relationships between the content of distinct cultural entities, diverse in topic and location, with several objectives. One of these goals, for example, is to offer to users ¨personalised narratives¨ and recommendations through an application. In turn, the users can generate content that will be of interest for historians and curators, who will have the opportunity to discover connections (hidden until now), at the root of this interaction and employ them in the design of new experiences.

The development of 4 pilot applications will study the possibility of these technological tools for the reinterpretation of heritage and reflection with regards to history and European cultures. Likewise, it will provide other institutions outside of the consortium with the possibility of employing technology based on CrossCult for their own objectives, or to make decisions as a result of its research and findings.


The reflection of Spanish cultural institutions regarding CrossCult

This post is the start of a series of articles that analyse the key factors of #SocialMus. Today, the series begins with an introduction, sharing the principal reflections of Spanish cultural institutions with regards the European CrossCult project.


Héctor del Barrio, Héctor del Barrio, the Director of Dissemination in the Management of State Museums, a part of the Ministry of Culture:

¨What we seek from projects such as CrossCult (or one in which we like) is to serve, help, and reach the citizen, the person who solicits this information, these services, and who wishes to access the museum in all of its various aspects (…) As museums, we owe it to society and must provide an answer to these needs.”




Noelia Ibañez, Director of Analysis and Statistics at the Prado:

“CrossCult is [also] related with the public profile, with the qualitative part regarding service quality, with the sociodemographic profile, etc. I would like for it to facilitate a forum for reflection prior to making certain decisions.”



Albert Sierra, Director of New Technologies and Innovative Projects in theCatalan Agency of Cultural Heritage:

“In talking about web semantics, we always find ourselves on an elevated level. However, I see in CrossCult a grounded method [to apply the tenets of web semantics] that could provide applicable results to to the projects that we develop.”



Ana Álvarez, Director of the Web and New Mediums for the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum:

“Technology can help us during the visit (…) When we provide content to the users, we search for related proposals, to allow them to discover other content and change their path, providing them with this sensation of “discovery”.”

We will talk about the ¨serendipitous discovery¨ alluded by the Thyssen Museum: of the ¨users of museums¨ that are behind the decisions made by the Prado, or museums of larger or smaller size; of the ¨semantic web¨ as a theoretical framework and practice in order to develop recommendations that go beyond the list of ¨the most popular¨¨… All within the following articles. While we prepare our reflex, you can go take a look at the two videos of the #SocialMus session, now available in our YouTube channel.