What is E-RIHS?

E-RIHS is the European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science, with the objectives of heritage interpretation, preservation, documentation, and management based on advancing sharing across disciplines


Tangible cultural and natural heritage are key components of the European identity. The study and preservation of cultural and natural heritage is a global challenge for science and the European society at large.

The European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science (E-RIHS) supports research on heritage interpretation, preservation, documentation and management. State-of-the-art tools and services will be provided by cross-disciplinary groups of researchers to cross-disciplinary users and scientific communities working to advance knowledge about heritage and to devise innovative strategies for its preservation.

E-RIHS connects researchers in the humanities and natural sciences and fosters a trans-disciplinary culture of exchange and cooperation. E-RIHS pursues the integration of European world-class facilities to create a cohesive entity playing a connecting role in the global community of heritage science.


Fragmentation, duplication of efforts, isolation of small research groups put at risk the competitive advantage of European heritage science research, spearheaded so well in the past by its unique cultural heritage.

The long‐term tradition of this field of research, the ability to combine science with innovation, and the support provided by EU‐funded projects and integrating activities such as EU‐ARTECH, CHARISMA and IPERION CH in conservation science, and ARIADNE in archaeology, represent the background of E-RIHS. E-RIHS exploits the synergy of the cooperation among the academy, research centres, museums and cultural institutions.

Both the scientific and the socio‐economic importance connected with heritage science are nowadays evident. The research community has achieved the maturity necessary to make the leap towards a permanent European research infrastructure that will impact broadly on society and economy.

E-RIHS national hubs

National hubs operate at national level in diverse legal frameworks and represent national associations of partner facilities.

Getting continuity with the experience of IPERION CH, several national research infrastructure initiatives supporting the E-RIHS core mission have started to be implemented.

National hubs reinforce the commitment of the E-RIHS community to create and enlarge a pan-European research infrastructure.

Currently, the national hubs sharing the objectives of E-RIHS are active in Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Slovenia, Sweden and United Kingdom.

At the moment, 24 national nodes including partners beyond Europe are participating in the H2020 project IPERION HS (Integrating Platform for the European Research Infrastructure on Heritage Science), funded by the European Commission under G.A. 871034.


– In order to disseminate knowledge on access to the three platforms of ARCHLAB, FIXLAB and MOLAB, and to help researchers prepare scientifically excellent proposals, the IPERION HS Academy has been organising a series of webinars aimed at the Heritage community, addressed by selected experts and past users. Four webinars have already taken place – and are available online at https://www.iperionhs.eu/webinar-series/   From October, there will be other webinars, when the Department of Conservation and Built Heritage will host a webinar addressed to the Social Sciences and Humanities community; information on this will be provided at a later stage.

– The IPERION HS Academy also organises Doctoral Schools and on site training camps to further knowledge exchange on specific themes within the wider realm of Heritage Science Research.

– In May 2021, Prof. JoAnn Cassar, Head of the Department of Conservation and Built Heritage, and Prof. Matija Strlič, Professor of Heritage Science at University College London and Professor of Analytical Chemistry at University of Ljubljana, presented a paper on “The opportunities of a global, shared research infrastructure for the conservation community” at the ICOM-CC (19th ICOM-CC Triennial Conference in Beijing, China). The video of the presentation is now available on the e-rihs website.

– CHEMCHThe 6th International Congress on Chemistry for Cultural Heritage, organized by the University of Bologna – Microchemistry and Microscopy Art Diagnostic Laboratory (M2ADL) in collaboration with the Italian Chemical Society (SCI) and its Division of Environmental and Cultural Heritage Chemistry under the auspices of IPERION HS has been postponed to July 2022.

– Workshop “Transatlantic cooperation in heritage science” – On October 6th, 2021 the IPERION HS community discussed hot topics for building transatlantic cooperation in training, networking initiatives and digital collaborative solutions for the #heritagescience community. Listen to the discussion here.

– Further information on the projects and access platforms, and copies of the paper, can be obtained from Prof. JoAnn Cassar (joann.cassar@um.edu.mt)

Watch this space for more information on the Malta National Node