Cultural and creative industries for a sustainable climate transition

  • Action type: HORIZON-IA HORIZON Innovation Actions
  • Opening date: 4 October 2023
  • Closing time: 7 February 2024 17:00 (Europe/Brussels)
  • Budget per project: € 4 000 000 of total € 13 000 000
  • Estimated number of projects funded: 3
  • Official website


Projects should contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Refined and validated approach(es) for Europe’s cultural and creative industries (CCIs)[1]
  •  to become true drivers of a sustainable climate transition.
  • Significant contributions to help European CCIs become better prepared to adapt to and contribute to the climate transition in line with the 2030 goals spelled out under a European Green Deal[2].

The cultural and creative industries (CCIs) are an important source of growth and job creation in the European economy. Moreover, the CCIs play a key role in shaping culture, values and perceptions across the European Union and beyond. Thus, the role of the CCIs in achieving the European Union’s climate transition objectives is crucial.

At the same time, the CCIs are characterised by a large and diverse number of chiefly small and micro enterprises, as well as by hefty differences across geographical and sectorial divides. Large parts of the CCIs, thus, lack the capacity to take the necessary measures to adapt to and thrive under the climate transition, not to speak of driving this transition.

Specific approaches are therefore needed to enable Europe’s CCIs to develop their full potential to support a sustainable climate transition.

Such approaches need to address the adoption of new sustainable business models, including the use of new technologies, production methods and possibly the development or adaption of new technological solutions, as well as gaps in skills and capacities. They should be valid across different Member States/Associated Countries, and address the needs of small, micro as well as larger companies. Such approaches may involve the use of platforms or networks to facilitate sharing investments, facilities or competencies among several companies or across sectors.

Proposals should provide for testing and refining such model(s) through small scale pilot trials under real world conditions. These pilot trials should verify the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the action(s), as well as the efficacy.

Proposals should choose a suitable set of CCI sector(s), or/and cross-sectoral issues, to focus on, which allow significant impacts to be achieved. Results should be valid at a European level, therefore the pilot trials need to involve at least five Member States/Associated Countries, as well as CCI companies of different size and origin, according to the focus chosen by the proposal.

A wide set of stakeholders should be involved, in order to ensure that pilots are developed in an effective and realistic way, so that conclusions can readily be taken up and solutions scaled up effectively.

Proposals should build on existing knowledge, activities, networks and platforms, notably the ones funded by the European Union. Furthermore, links should be established and synergies sought with closely related actions, such as relevant R&I actions funded by Horizon Europe or Horizon 2020. In particular, proposals should establish links to, and where appropriate build on findings from, projects funded under the topic ‘Cultural and creative industries for a sustainable climate transition’ of the Horizon Europe Cluster 2 2023 calls.


This destination adopts a people-centred perspective and places cultural heritage and the cultural and creative industries at the very heart of the European economy and its sustainable development. European R&I activities under this destination will support and strengthen European cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries essentially under three areas:

Green: Europe’s cultural heritage and its cultural and creative industries need to share their responsibilities for adapting to the consequences of climate change, and mobilise their resources to support European citizens and societies for an inclusive, socially and culturally sustainable climate transition. A participatory approach to European cultural heritage and digital transformations in the preservation of tangible and intangible heritage will guide new endeavours.

R&I actions will focus on, for example, supporting the cultural and creative industries to turn the challenges of the climate transition into opportunities, and become drivers of an inclusive societal transition. R&I actions will foment the development of new environmentally friendly technologies and methods to manage, restore and preserve cultural heritage, with a view to making Europe a world leader in sustainable management of cultural heritage. R&I will also strengthen our capacity to manage anthropogenic threats. Support to the New European Bauhaus initiative is part of this area, integrating the core New European Bauhaus values of sustainability, inclusion and aesthetics.

Digital: The digital transition promises enormous opportunities for Europe’s cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries, but also serious challenges. It is important to ensure that, through the digitisation, EU citizens benefit from cultural heritage and be enabled to contribute to its enrichment. Digitisation should also provide new training opportunities on creative industries for young citizens in less populated areas.

R&I actions will focus on, for example, innovative approaches to empower the cultural and creative industries, including its many micro enterprises, to reap the benefits of using digital technologies, creating more appealing and valuable products, services and experiences for its users. R&I actions will deepen our knowledge on what, how and why digitised and digital cultural heritage may be exploited, reaping the benefits while avoiding the many pitfalls, and creating societal value. Collaborative platforms for cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries will be supported. A dedicated call, namely HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-ECCCH-01, will support the establishment of a digital European cultural heritage collaborative space, including a cloud platform for European cultural heritage institutions. Such platforms will strengthen the collaboration and co-creation among cultural heritage institutions and with other stakeholders in the cultural heritage domain, widen access for citizens and strengthen research. Please consider below some key characteristics and specific conditions of the call. Also, cooperation between different actors within the cultural and creative industries and between the CCIs and other economic sectors and industries will be strengthened, creating new market opportunities for CCI stakeholders.

Innovative: To an ever greater degree, creative and cultural aspects drive socio-ecological innovation, participatory democratic processes and economic growth. Successful new digital and physical products and services need to be appealing and attractive, adapted to cultural particularities. Similarly, societal transformations such as the green and digital transitions depend on behavioural changes, which are largely based on changes in lifestyle, culture and perceptions. In such processes, the human is at the centre, and cultural heritage, the arts and the cultural and creative industries are key.

R&I actions will cover a variety of subjects, such as strengthening the innovation capacity of the cultural and creative industries, and their capability to act as innovation engines. Actions will focus both on cultural heritage and cultural and creative industries holistically, as an innovation ecosystem, and on specific CCI sectors such as music, filmmaking and video games. Actions will also foment innovation in cultural tourism, as well as explore innovative connections between cultural expressions and democracy and politics. Actions will also support the development of new innovative technologies and methods to restore, preserve and manage cultural heritage, as well as re-inforce the role of Europe’s cultural heritage in promoting European values among EU citizens and abroad.

The innovation ecosystems created and nurtured by the Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs) of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), in particular the KIC “EIT Culture and Creativity”, may contribute to innovation actions under this destination, and should as appropriate be considered.

In line with the Commission priorities, R&I actions under this Destination will help promote the European way of life, contribute to achieving the Green Deal goals and support an economy that works for people. They will contribute to the New European Bauhaus[[ The New European Bauhaus initiative was launched by European Commission President von der Leyen in her State of the European Union speech autumn 2020. More information here:]] initiative, to reaching the UN Sustainable Development Goals and to building a stronger, more participatory and crisis-resilient society and economy. They will support the realisation of the full potential of cultural heritage, arts and cultural and creative industries as drivers of sustainable innovation and a European sense of belonging.

The topics under the call HORIZON-CL2-2023-HERITAGE-ECCCH-01 aim at supporting the establishment of a digital European cultural heritage collaborative space, including a cloud platform, and contribute to the vision and objectives of the Commission[[ Recommendation (EU) 2021/1970 of 10 Nov 2021 on a common European Data Space for Cultural Heritage.]]. For the purpose of this call, the collaborative space will be referred to as the “European Collaborative Cloud for Cultural Heritage” (ECCCH).

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