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H2020-MSCA-RISE-2019: Research and Innovation Staff Exchange on the development of underwater archaeological technoloogies

Country of Origin: Italy
Reference Number: RDIT20181116001
Publication Date: 16 November 2018


An Italian university lab on cultural heritage together with other R&D centres and SMEs from Italy and Spain are preparing a proposal for the call MSCA-RISE-2019 to work on the development of technologies and easy to use solutions for underwater archaeological sites that can be derived by smart, hi-tech adaptations of subaerial solutions. Expected partners are universities, R&D centres and SMEs that are either experienced in the topic or interested in a “dual” use of existing technologies.


A research laboratory of a large southern Italian university is well equipped for safeguard, restoration and conservation of cultural heritage and, particularly, for the characterization and diagnostics of natural stone and artificial materials, to study their provenience, to support their excavation, to synthetize consolidating and protective materials in historical architecture and archeology, and finally to study and preseve artifacts in underwater environments. The laboratory has been involved in many diagnostic studies and application of conservation techniques on important monuments, in Italy and abroad.

With specific reference to the underwater archeology, the laboratory has a qualified experience in the development of specific tools, techniques and materials to make the work in underwater archaeological settings easier and more effective.
In many case, the experience started from existing solutions for subaerial environments that were successfully adapted to the submarine domain of cultural heritage. This is a niche market with large margins for further exploitation in terms of ease of use, reduced management and application costs, performance improvements.

Thus, together with a selected group of innovative startups and research centres, based in Italy and Spain , the laboratory is interested to develop a proposal for the call MSCA-RISE-2019 "Research and Innovation Staff Exchange" (deadline 02 April 2019) to further develop such a "dual" underwater use of existing technologies. The project will benefit from the extended mobility periods and exchanges of academic and SMEs personnel granted by the RISE action.

In fact, the current partnership include two Italian innovative startups that have launched a suite of handy underwater tools (drills, etc.) and an Augmented Reality viewer, derived from standard products, and an important Spanish research centre working on non-destructive diagnostics in several cultural heritage fields.

The project idea is to establish a network of academic and entrepreneurial operators mixing:
- scientific knowledge on the development of technologies and materials for underwater usage in the cultural heritage field;
- technical and market know-how about the development of underwater products and solutions;
- industrial know-how about products (e.g., coatings, mortars, tools, etc.) developed for traditional subaerial usage and/or for sectors other than the cultural heritage field.

The expected partners are Universities and research centres, innovative SMEs, and industrial companies interested - even if not strictly focused - on submarine applications, proposing new strands that require multi-sectorial competencies to develop advanced solutions for underwater archeology.

Given that the deadline for the call is 02 April 2019, the deadline for expressing the interest is 01 March 2019.

Advantages and Innovations

Strenghts and opportunities characterising the proposed approach:

- Underwater archeology solutions (for exploring, excavation, preservation, valorisation, etc.) are a niche market not yet fully explored and with a growing attention;

- Long experience and advanced equipment of current R&D partners in the field of submarine cultural heritage;

- Successful product development experience in the field of submarine cultural heritage of the SME partners

- Consolidated links with national and EU Institutions for cultural heritage

Requested partner

Partners are expected to match the characteristics outlined below.

Type of partners:
- R&D: Universities and research centres with diversified background (engineering, chemistry, IT, archeology, etc.)
- SME: Hi-tech / industrial aiming at the development of new products / solutions for underwater cultural heritage applications.

Area of activity of the partner (both for R&D and SMEs):
- Already engaged in underwater R&D / products, particularly in the field of cultural heritage;
- Interested to apply know-how and/or products from other sectors to underwater archeology.

Project coordination might be agreed upon among the partners.

Cooperation offer ist closed for requests