Emphos - Empowering Museum Professionals & Heritage Organizations Staff By Cultural Entrepreneurship Training And Research

Scientific manager: Prof. Luca Zan







Sector: Vocational Education and Training

Unibo structure involved: Dipartimento di Scienze aziendali (DISA)
Unibo Team: Prof.ssa Sara Bonini Baraldi, Dott.ssa Ludovica Michelin, Dott.ssa Francesca Regoli, Dott.ssa Claudia Natali

Website: www.artsmanagement.net

Project Duration in months: 36
Start Date: 01/09/2015
End Date: 31/08/2018

Budget: 424.442 euro      
Unibo Budget: 90.834 euro


  • Coordinator: Amsterdam University of the Arts (Paesi Bassi)
  • Alma Mater Studiorum - Università di Bologna (Italia)
  • CIAPE Centro Italiano per l’Apprendimento Permanente (Italia)
  • Stitching Landscape Erfogoed Utrecht (Paesi Bassi)
  • Goldsmith College (Regno Unito).


In many European countries, art and culture are subsidized by the government; however, due to the crisis and budget cuts, the amount of funds for direct subsidies is decreasing; some cultural heritage organisations and museums do not have enough funds to sustain themselves. Putting entrepreneurial skills into practice- for example network building, fundraising, creating new ways to involve the public - is becoming increasingly important as a way to stay healthy. However, this cannot go against other core tasks like conservation; this should go hand in hand. Hence the concept of "cultural entrepreneurship".


There is a distinct need of obtaining more cultural entrepreneurship skills in the sector and putting them into practice. Although training courses aimed at the heritage and museum sectors exist in most EU member states, their availability, take-up and accreditation is not widely spread. This project aims at giving cultural heritage organizations and museums possibilities to acquire competences and tools in the field of cultural entrepreneurship.

The specific objectives are:

  • to define the cultural entrepreneurship concept, contributing to the mutual understanding and recognition;
  • to research the topic of cultural entrepreneurship in the member states and in the European context, and build a long-lasting strategic partnership of key education and sector organizations around a common research agenda,
  • to contribute to the 'cultural entrepreneur' curriculum by agreeing on the specific elements / skills necessary and effective ways to obtain these skills; using innovative techniques within current established fields;
  • to develop a cultural entrepreneurship VET training course pilot specifically aimed at staff of smaller museums and cultural heritage organizations, experiment with it in the field;
  • to exploit the training course and the project results, within the partner organizations, but also Europe-wide by means of the creation of a cultural entrepreneurship online platform and community that will live on after the project.


The partnership base is three higher education institutions that are experts in the field of culture, management and entrepreneurship, the Amsterdam School of the Arts, University of London and University of Bologna. These are leading in higher education on the mentioned topics and have a broad view on the uptake of cultural entrepreneurship in the culture and arts sectors.

These teaching organisations are coupled with partners that represent the target groups. This is Landschap Erfgoed Utrecht (LEU) , representing cultural heritage organisations in and around Utrecht, NL. In Italy, associate partner Museo SRL will be able to execute this role on a voluntary basis. CIAPE, the Italian institute for life-long learning, is experienced in delivering short-term professional trainings to many sectors, including cultural heritage. Associate partners (partners without budget) are Museo SRL (Italy), City of Bologna (IT) and Province of Utrecht (NL)


This project is organized around the delivery of four intellectual outputs, supported by several activities.

O1 - A cultural entrepreneurship research agenda;

O2 – The cultural entrepreneurship VET training course;

O3 – The cultural entrepreneurship teaching & accreditation recommendations;

O4 – Online and open-source learning platform as exploitation mechanism for cultural entrepreneurship VET course and project results;

University teaching and research as building blocks for effective VET training.

The innovativeness of the approach of developing a VET training is in the combination of collaborative research on cultural entrepreneurship themes, challenges and opportunities and day-to-day teaching on universities that are on the forefront of the topic. These are the building blocks on which the training course will be structured. On the same level, both activities form a strong basis for the establishment of a curriculum of Cultural Entrepreneur. The partnership is convinced that both are necessary to build a training course that is both tailor-made to the needs of museums and cultural heritage organisations and is applicable to the different socio-political context of the member states, and eventually, Europe-wide.

Exploitation and accreditation keyEMPHOS has the ambitious goal not just to develop a strategic partnership around cultural entrepreneurship, but to provide a VET training solution that will be the basis for the European Cultural Entrepreneur curriculum. Accreditation by the appropriate national and European agencies, and take-up of the course by key stakeholders (universities in other EU member states, museum and cultural heritage representing organizations) are considered vital steps in this regard. The EMPHOS online platform will accommodate the project content and related initiatives after the projects end-date, contributing to long-term curriculum development.

Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union