Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) is the practice, representation, expression, knowledge/skills considered by UNESCO to be part of a place’s cultural heritage; it comprises nonphysical intellectual property, such as folklore, customs, beliefs, traditions, knowledge and language. EU official papers confirm that Intangible Cultural Heritage is crucially important for socio-economic development.
EU official papers confirm that Intangible Cultural Heritage is crucially important for socio-economic development:
ICH is more important for the EU economy than the entire automotive sector: over 300,000 people work in the EU cultural heritage sector. Almost 8 million jobs in the EU are indirectly linked to heritage (tourism, interpretation, security). For each direct job, the heritage sector produces 26.7 indirect jobs. This compares with 6.3 indirect jobs created for each direct job in the car industry.
Notwithstanding this great potential, ICH is seldom capitalised as a topic for training to empower professionals to develop ICH-related economic opportunities, as old professions are evolving and new professions are developing.
The EU identifies specific challenges and needs in its report “Skills, Training & Knowledge Transfer for Traditional and Emerging Heritage Professions” (Oct 2017):
OBJECTIVE of NICHE (Nurturing Intangible Cultural Heritage for Entrepreneurship) is to enhance entrepreneurship in the ICH sector by developing innovative training for the underserved cohort of professionals (and prospective ones) who operate in ICH to promote entrepreneurial initiatives in the sector, enhance its competitiveness and sustain its growth.
The objective is to develop professional profiles of ICH operator to leverage ICH, widen and create economic activities through increased entrepreneurship.
NICHE is fully aligned with the Priorities of Erasmus+, specifically: