About E-RIHS

What is E-RIHS?

The European Research Infrastructure for Heritage Science (E-RIHS) is an international Research Infrastructure project with a vision to transform research on heritage interpretation, preservation, documentation and management. E-RIHS aims to connect researchers in the humanities and natural sciences to foster scientific excellence and innovation, build connected research capabilities, and pioneer interdisciplinarity,  co-creation and research excellence. Our vision is to ambitiously stretch the scientific and technological boundaries of cross-disciplinary heritage science with a sense of social purpose and thus respond to the key social, environmental and place-making challenges to deliver wider societal benefit.

Our Ambition

  • Catalysing new cross-disciplinary research by mobilizing expertise and researchers in the humanities and natural sciences
  • Building state-of-the-art tools and services for research communities and the heritage industry
  • Leading the way in the development of digital platforms for the improved understanding, visualisation and use of heritage
  • Integrating world-class facilities across Europe to connect the global community of heritage science
  • Driving scientific excellence and innovation through visionary research projects
  • Developing skills and capabilities to build strong cross-disciplinary science and foster collaboration


E-RIHS is a distributed infrastructure comprising facilities, resources and services from major scientific equipment (ranging from synchrotrons to portable kit), collections, archives and scientific data, as well as e-infrastructures (from archaeological fieldwork data to conservation documentation) and open science cloud.

We provide advanced services to the heritage science community and heritage industry by bringing together cutting-edge tools and expertise through four access platforms:

  1. E-RIHS FIXLAB: access to large-scale and medium-scale fixed facilities – e.g. particle accelerators and synchrotrons, neutron and laser sources and other essentially immovable research facilities including the associated unique expertise
  2. E-RIHS MOLAB: access to a comprehensive selection of mobile analytical instrumentation for non-invasive measurements on objects, buildings, and sites, allowing the implementation of complex multi-technique diagnostic projects for in situ investigations
  3. E-RIHS ARCHLAB: access to physical heritage science collections, such as technical images, samples and reference materials, analytical data and conservation documentation, as stored in museums, galleries and research institutions
  4. E-RIHS DIGILAB: online access to data concerning heritage, with the aim to make it findable, accessible, interoperable and re-usable, based on the FAIR principles. This includes and enables access to searchable registries of datasets, reference collections, thesauri, ontologies etc., and supports data interoperability through the creation of shared knowledge organization systems.


The core mission of E-RIHS is to deliver integrated access to facilities, services, expertise and training, to integrate world-leading research resources, to stimulate innovation, and to create an organisation with a clear identity and a strong cohesive role within the global heritage science community.

We are driven by excellence, transnational collaboration, innovation, communication and ethical science.  Our core values pervading through all E-RIHS activities and collectively representing the E-RIHS label, are:

  1. Competencies first – We consider skills as central to our success
  2. Cross-disciplinarity – E-RIHS fosters a culture of exchange and equitable cooperation between disciplines (experimental sciences, arts, humanities and social sciences, or digital sciences)
  3. Co-creation – Building on a paradigm that balances contributions from all participants in research, partners and stakeholders alike
  4. Engagement – We promote the public-facing nature of heritage science research
  5. Excellence – E-RIHS promotes excellence by implementing a quality management system, independent selection of outstanding projects, and data policies guided by FAIR principles
  6. Interoperability – We manage data and processes to optimize access, develop intelligent instruments and establish common procedures
  7. Innovation – E-RIHS stimulates innovation on all levels of operation: from the development of new research methodologies and tools, to improved access provision
  8. International recognition – We operate on the global level
  9. Ethics – E-RIHS promotes heritage values and encourages responsible research and innovation
  10. Quality – We strive to provide excellent user experience


E-RIHS is a distributed research infrastructure that connects partners from 16 countries as well as 2 European Research Infrastructure Consortiums (ERICS) – DARIAH and CERIC ERIC) and intergovernmental institutions representing scientific communities such as ICCROM.

Coordinating Country: Italy
EU Members: Belgium, Cyprus, Czech, Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, The Netherlands, United Kingdom.
EU Associated Country: Israel
Observers: Austria, Brazil, Denmark, ICCROM, Romania, Sweden.

E-RIHS is currently in the preparatory phase (E-RIHS PP) which is used to address legal status and governance/management organization. This will lead to the foundation of an ERIC to be launched in 2020.

Further developments are planned for connecting and including partners and facilities outside of Europe, and gradually reaching the status of a global distributed Research Infrastructure.

How to get involved?

Participation in E-RIHS UK is open to more founding members or observers throughout the next years of the preparatory phase (2017-2020). For more information, contact the UK team: cecilia.bembibre.13@ucl.ac.uk