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Cultural Heritage for the Future: The role of media innovation

The EBU brought together media and archive specialists and policy makers in Brussels to discuss how to best protect, develop and open up the audio-visual memory of Europe.

"Cultural Heritage for the Future: the Role of Media Innovation" shone a spotlight on new and innovative ways to access, promote and re-use archives for cultural, educational or entertaining purposes.

EBU Members together with archive institutes and academics demonstrated fantastic examples of how to leverage digital technologies to promote and re-use valuable collections of broadcasting history.

"Audiovisual and radio archives are not only a fantastic treasure of cultural and historical heritage,  said the EBU's Head of Public Affairs Nicola Frank.

"They also represent a precious source for creating innovative programs and services."

The conference heard from, among others, EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracsics, Eric Peters, a Senior Adviser in the Cabinet of EU Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel as well as Nicola Mazzanti, Director of the Cinematek and MEP Silvia Costa.

Panellists recalled the numerous challenges that media and archive specialists are facing today regarding the preservation, storage and dissemination of audio-visual programme collections.

The event heard that whilst the quantity of European archives presents a great opportunity - it also represent a great challenge. Before using them for new projects, they need to be digitized.

On top of this, archive materials preserved by media companies and archives institutions are not used to their full potential. In order to make them more accessible and attractive to all Europeans and to leverage their true value, the right policies and financial support are needed.

Both Noel Curran, EBU Director General, and Jean-Paul Philippot, EBU President and RTBF CEO, stressed that there is now a chance at a European level to address these challenges and to turn them into opportunities.

It was agreed that Future support programmes have to be shaped in the right way. The future Creative Europe programme, the Digital Europe Programme and Horizon Europe all have the potential to play a key role.

However, these programmes should better support innovation and creativity in the European media sector and bring the current gaps between technological innovation, creative content production and R&D.

Cloud, artificial intelligence and meta data can be important tools for innovative projects and services which better serve the citizens.

In this context, the audiovisual heritage can also play an important role in digital transformation.

Panel I, moderated by Nicola Frank, EBU Head of European Affairs

  • Brid Dooley, Head of RTÉ Archives and President of FIAT/IFTA
  • Harry Verwayen, Deputy Director, Europeana
  • Brecht Declercq, Digitisation Manager, VIAA
  • Christoph  Bauer,  Multimedia  Archives, ORF and EU  Funded Project  Member 'Technical Assistance to PSM in the Western Balkans'
  • MEP Silvia Costa, Group Coordinator and Member of the Committee on Culture and Education, European Parliament

Panel II, moderated by Dixon Graham, EBU Head of Radio

  • Jake  Berger,  Executive  Product  Manager  BBC  Archive  Development,  and  Peter  Rippon, Editor BBC Online Archive, BBC
  • Johan Oomen, Manager R&D Department, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid & EUscreenXL
  • Davy Hanegreefs, Manager Digital Engagement and Innovation, Cinematek
  • Alain  Dufaux,  Operations  &  Development  Director, Ecole  Polytechnique  Fédérale  de Lausanne (EPFL)-Metamedia Center
  • Nina Fleischer, Head of Publishing, NRK Archive, Media Division, NRK


La cinémathèque royale de Belgique
Theatre room
Rue Baron Horta 9
1000 Brussels




  • The Montreux Jazz Digital project - Alain Dufaux Login Only
  • Five major challenges for Broadcasters' archives in the era of full digitisation - Brecht Declercq Login Only
  • Technical assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans - Christopher Bauer Login Only
  • I-Media-Cities - Benefits and difficulties of A.I - Davy Hanegreefs Login Only
  • Two innovative uses of BBC Archive - Jake Berger - Peter Rippon Login Only
  • Europeana - Harry Verwayen Login Only
  • Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision - Johan Oomen Login Only
  • YLE Curating the catalogue - Nina B Fleischer Login Only
  • Keynote speech - Commissioner Navracsics Login Only