Beirut Chamber Hosts Successful 5th Steering Committee Meeting for EU Funded iHERITAGE Project – Pioneering AR/VR Products for Cultural Heritage Preservation in the Mediterranean

Beirut Chamber hosts the 5th Steering Committee meeting of the EU funded project iHERITAGE

Organised by the chamber of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, partner in the project, the 5th steering committee meeting of the EU funded project iHERITAGE took place in Beirut on 27 and 28 April 2023 at Gefinor Rotana Hotel.

The meetings brought together the consortium partners from Italy, Spain, Portugal, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon as well as the Joint Technical Secretariat, Lebanese representatives of the Directorate of General Antiquities, National Contact Point for ENI Program in Lebanon, academic and research centers, ICT, innovation and AR VR experts.

Mr. Rabih Sabra, Director General of Beirut Chamber welcomed the partners and shed lights on the Chamber leading role in ENI projects since decades. He emphasized on the uniqueness of the innovative IHERITAGE project which will develop and put in place for the first time in Lebanon pioneering AR VR products combining heritage and ICT features.  Speakers from the opening session Dr. Daniela Segreto, representative of lead beneficiary Sicilian Region Department of Tourism, and Dr. Khaled El Saadany, Senior Expert at JTS ENI CBC MED Program.

Moderated by Mrs. Hana Nehme, Head of Development Projects at Beirut Chamber, the steering committee sessions explored over the two days by the Lead beneficiary and partners the various working packages progress status, particularly, financial management, living labs, research agreements, innovation AR VR products, spin off subgrants scheme, along with the planning for commercialization of innovative products and final events.

Dr. Daniel Asmar, iHERITAGE consultant presented Beirut Chamber action plan to implement the research agreements and AR VR products which would be applied mainly on Byblos UNESCO cultural heritage. The meetings were followed by a group visit to Byblos site where the iART artistic and digital festival event will take place by September 2023.

The two days meetings were concluded by a dinner at the front water of Beirut Marina bay on the honor of partners and guests.

iHERITAGE ICT Mediterranean platform for UNESCO cultural heritage is a strategic project co-financed by the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme of the European Union for € 3.469.510,80. The total budget of the project is € 3.874.287,06. The project started in September 2020 and will end in October 2023. iHERITAGE involves 10 partners from 6 Mediterranean countries: Italy, Egypt, Spain, Jordan, Lebanon, Portugal and has been recognized among the most strategically important projects of all 198 proposals presented throughout the Mediterranean basin.  The project will provide new solutions through an innovation-driven growth process to promote cross-border technological transfer, Living Labs, industry-academia collaboration and the creation of spin-offs and new products, using the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR) and Mixed Reality (MR). iHERITAGE will contribute to the establishment of the Regional Centre for Safeguarding and Valorisation of Mediterranean Intangible Cultural Heritage, to be recognized under Category 2 of UNESCO.

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