Grants and Funded Projects
The CCHT finances its research activities on the base of competitive funding from European, national and international institutions. The Center participates in collaborative projects with private and public companies to develop technologies and push the innovation for the safeguard of cultural assets. Here a list of the funded projects:
NETwork and digital platform for Cultural Heritage Enhancing and Rebuilding (NETCHER)
The last decades have witnessed a variety of initiatives promoted by a diverse set of actors engaged in the protection of endangered Cultural Heritage (CH) and in stopping illicit trade, initiatives that have tried to bring solutions, remediation, methods and approaches to tackle looting and trafficking.
NETCHER seeks to address the complex challenge of harmonising and bringing together these worthy, but often disconnected initiatives by using a participative approach that will result in the establishment of a structured network (defined as a Social Platform) drawing together a broad range of players such as international bodies, umbrella organizations, national governments, researchers, public policy makers, NGOs, as well as public and private foundations.
One of the cores of the project is to establish an interoperability roadmap for existing and in development technologies, such as metadata analysis, satellite imagery, scraping packages, databases, digital scanning technologies and photogrammetry, neural networks.
Moreover, the project aims to foster cross-fertilization in technological innovations specifically aimed at fighting the illicit trade in CH.
In light of the significance of these uncoordinated efforts, the Platform will take charge of the systematizing and framing of all the emerging best practices in order to enhance and capitalize on the experiences of the partnership members at an international level for building a joint action plan with shared toolkits and a research and innovation roadmap.
Partners: Università Ca’ Foscari di Venezia (IIT), Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (DAI), CNRS, École Nationale Supérieure de la Police – ENSP, Capital High Tech, Interarts, Michael Culture Association (MCA)
Funding body: European Commission - H2020
Cultural Landscapes Scanner (CLS): Earth Observation and automated detection of subsoil undiscovered cultural heritage sites via AI approaches
Sub-surface, yet-undiscovered Cultural Heritage sites (CH) can be identified on Remote Sensing (RS) data from a variety of sensors (multispectral, hyperspectral and radar satellite platforms, etc.) in the form of anomalies or traces detectable on bare soils, crops or vegetation. The current extraordinary availability of free RS data through platforms like Copernicus poses severe hindrances in terms of processing and interpreting them to the point that the quantity of data is not manageable by traditional ‘human’ visual interpretation. This entails developing Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to automatically process the data in order to identify buried CH sites.
The CLS project takes charge of it by supporting the development of specific methods that look at automatically identify specific CH objects and patterns related to anthropogenic interference on landscapes in the past using latest breakthroughs in Machine Learning and Computer Vision. In particular, this project seeks to kickstart the application of cutting-edge computational methods in order to define a broad-spectrum, adaptable and robust automated recognition procedure customised for CH objects in remotely sensed data available from Copernicus platform.
Automating remote sensing analytics via Artificial Intelligence will produce large benefits in terms of archaeological object detection in satellite imagery and represents a significant breakthrough in the discipline as it will replace existing procedures based on subjective observation.
The Cultural Landscapes Scanner pilot-project is the result of a partnership between IIT’s Centre for Cultural Heritage Technology and European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the ESA co-funded research programme Discovery & Preparation.
Partners: IIT, European Space Agency (ESA)
Funding body: European Space Agency (ESA)