Watch Mary Teehan's paper E-RIHS: DEVELOPING AN INTEGRATED RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE FOR HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL SCIENCE at EAA 2017 in Maastricht at the link below
Co-Authors: Mr Corns, Anthony - The Discovery Programme; Dr Monaghan, Evie - The Discovery Programme
The European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science (E-RIHS) is developing a research infrastructure for the support of heritage interpretation, preservation, documentation and management. Once established, it will consist of a centralised E-RIHS coordination office, National Hubs and distributed facilities comprised of fixed, mobile, archival and digital labs of excellence. It will provide trans-national access to state-of-the-art technologies, scientific archives and the methods associated with them. Ultimately, it will support cross-disciplinary research communities and advance the understanding, and preservation of, global heritage. Is this a solution to synthesising the fragmented nature of multiple research projects? EU collaborative projects and networks such as CARARE, DARIAH, ARIADNE, Europeana and IPERION CH have been addressing archaeological research in scientific and digital environments, including the development of high quality knowledge tools. Common to all of these was a finite life-cycle. Maintenance of access, updating research, ensuring methodology compatibility and building awareness of the knowledge create common challenges. Therefore, the resource and economic investment in research has often not reached its optimum value. Longevity of research outputs and prolonging knowledge work is crucial for cultural heritage disciplines. Such disciplines have benefited from recurring European funding since 1999 through various funding frameworks, most recently Horizon 2020. In recognition, E-RIHS was included in the ESFRI Roadmap in 2016 and is currently preparing towards fully sustainable infrastructural operation by 2022. It is important to map out where gaps and innovations lie and what lessons can be learned from past projects to enable E-RIHS to build a model of excellence and be applicable on a global scale. Creating, synthesising and streamlining knowledge tools for heritage science researchers and potential end users will be the measure of its success. This paper will outline progress made and highlight obstacles to heritage science collaboration faced by E-RIHS, through an Irish case study.