Czech-Norwegian partner seminar on cultural heritage
A joint Norwegian-Czech seminar held in Prague on 9 October put the spotlight on bilateral cooperation opportunities within the cultural heritage sector ahead of the upcoming €19.4 million final call for proposals in the Czech Republic under the EEA Grants.
The seminar was organised by the Ministry of Culture in the Czech Republic, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage in Norway and the Norwegian embassy in Prague in response to the considerable interest seen in this sector in the two previous calls.
The Czech Republic will receive close to €111 million under the EEA Grants, and cultural heritage was among the most popular priority sectors in both of the previous calls for proposals. In his opening remarks, Czech Minister for Culture Václav Jehlièka underlined the positive attention that had been created around the EEA Grants in the Czech Republic and the significance of the Norwegian support for the Czech cultural sector. According to Jehlièka, the EEA Grants represented a bridge between the two countries that would facilitate a lasting cooperation also after the end of the commitment period of the EEA Grants.
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway have committed €11.4 million to 18 cultural heritage projects from the first open call. The cultural heritage projects selected nationally in the second call will soon be forwarded to the FMO for appraisal, EC screening and donor approval. Halvard Ingebrigtsen, State Secretary to Norway’s Minister of Culture and Church Affairs, referred at the seminar to the broad span of culture projects in the Czech Republic and highlighted the possibilities for closer cooperation between Norway and the Czech Republic within this field.
Among the approvals is a Czech-Norwegian cooperation project taking place in the Wallachian Open Air Museum and Václav Mikušek from the Wallachian Open Air Museum together with Eivind Falk from the Norwegian Crafts Development - Open Air Museum Maihaugen presented their joint venture at the seminar. Project facts are available by running a search for CZ34 in the EEA Grants project database.
Norwegian ambassador the Czech Republic Peter Ræder underlined the core role of the EEA Grants in the embassy’s efforts to strengthen bilateral ties between Norway and the Czech Republic. “The EEA Grants provide important opportunities to collaborate not only on a political level, but also to strengthen ties between organisations in the two countries and develop commercial ties and tourism,” the ambassador said.
The seminar gave the 70 participants from Norway and the Czech Republic a chance to discuss possibilities for cooperating on projects, and the workgroups digitisation and multimedia issues were by far the busiest. The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage had invited Norwegian organisations active in most of the areas represented by the potential applicants, resulting in a plethora of one-on-one discussions on project ideas ahead of the forthcoming call for proposals.
Contact details and information on Norwegian organisations that might engage in partnerships under the EEA Grants are available on the “Finding partners in Norway” web portal.
The Norwegian embassies in the beneficiary states are actively involved in the implementation of the EEA Grants, and their advice on partner search can be found in the “Guidelines on finding a partner”