HELP – Heritage Education New Web Formats And Free Licenses Opportunities For Dissemination, Co-creation And Open Data

HELP – Heritage Education New Web Formats And Free Licenses Opportunities For Dissemination, Co-creation And Open Data is one of the 8 projects selected by 2021 Solidarity Projects of ICOMThe lead of the project is ICOM Italy, the other partners are ICOM Czech Republic, ICOM Portugal and the ICOM Working Group on Sustainability. The project took place between February and December 2021.


The project was presented during the ICOM General Conference, Prague 2022


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The HELP project aims at identifying an innovation path for museum education: starting by considering the huge digital experimentation carried out during the Covid-19 period and selecting ideas worth keeping for the post-pandemic. Free licencing and open data can definitely be an asset for museums’ resilience. Through the proposal of new models for museum practice, the HELP project focuses on bringing out advantages of free licensing and public domain for a better audience engagement and the opportunities of open data for museum education and communication. 

HELP encourages participation and active reuse of digital reproduction of museum’s collections and provides museums with the fundamental guidelines for a correct legal approach. Main target of the project are small museums.

Project objectives

  • Museum education innovation path 
  • Digital experimentation in the Covid period: selecting better ideas for the post-pandemic
  • Bring out advantages and opportunities of free licensing and public domain for audience engagement
  • How to encourage active participation and reuse of digital reproduction of museum’s collections by a correct legal approach 
  • Open data as an opportunity for museum education and communication 

Project phases

  • Phase 1 is dedicated to research and analysis for identifying best practices and verifying their applicability to a wide range of museums. 
  • Phase 2 provides online large-scale training (MOOC – Massive Online Open Course). 
  • Phase 3 launches a call for selecting museums and providing them with legal, technical and educational consultancy to support them in a concrete project. 
  • Phase 4 is dissemination: all final outcomes will be released in CC BY SA 4.0 available to the community.

Project logo

Two versions of the logo were created by Sara Radice and this one was selected in a partecipative way, through the users’s vote on ICOM Italy’s social media channels.



A call for small museums (from Italy, Portugal, Czech Republic) about legal, technical and educational consultancy for improving ongoing digital educational projects aimed at using the open data licenses. 

2 museums have been selected from each country for a free consultancy grant.

Consultancy grant

The grant consist in a consultancy for a value of 900,00 euro by a HELP selected expert, one for each of the 6 winner museums on the following fields:

  • Education (methodology, open data resources, …)
  • Technical aspect (…developer, scan opportunity Scan the world project)
  • Legal aspect (images, creative commons, web rules)
  • Sustanaibility /Agenda 2030

Which are the selection criteria?

An international jury selects projects regarding digital online education aimed at one or more following keywords: accessibility, inclusion, active participation/engagement, sustainability / Agenda 2030, open access policy, digital experience, social issues awareness. 

Who Can Apply?

The call was open to museums from Italy, Czech Republic and Portugal that fulfilld the definition of a small museum:

  • Operate on a limited staff with multiple responsibilities
  • Less than 25 employees

How to apply

Deadline: the online form was available until September 27th 2021.

All applicants will be notified by email.

For any further questions, please contact:

Grant Period: October-November 2021



The pandemic emergency forced museums to create innovative participatory and inclusive ways to involve visitors online? The aim of the HELP project is to guide museums through a self-assessment process and to support them in the realization of digital projects for heritage education, based on open licenses.

To support museums worldwide, several international experts have contributed to create a free online lesson plan based on 4 main topics:

  • Education on the web
  • Technical issue for Education on the web
  • Legal aspects
  • Sustainability and culture

In the era of global content sharing, museums are not sufficiently aware of the extraordinary opportunities in terms of cultural, social and economic development that derive from the adoption of open licenses.

This MOOC (massive open online course) plan will help to improve open access approach and participatory opportunities.

> Professional | museum, education and heritage community
> Student | museum and cultural, education area
> Teacher | interested in online educational tool and online teaching resources


Watch the lessons in english on ICOM Italia’s YouTube channel!

1️⃣ The course’s first topic is Education on the web!

4️⃣ The course’s fourth topic is Sustainability and culture!

13. Social Sustainability – Nicole Smith

14. Framing Sustainability: How can museums navigate the complexities of sustainable development? – Bergsveinn Thorsson


Watch now the full online lesson plan ⬇️


Novembre 22nd, 2021 | HELP Webinar




The Italian museums winners are:


H.E.L.P. PROJECT FINAL REPORT presents the data and activities of the project, deepening, thanks to contributions from experts, various aspects related to museum sustainability, reflecting on 11 aspects necessary for a greater development of digital projects for heritage.

The report is downloadable on the Open Access platform Zenodo