Culture is an expression of humanity’s creativity and is linked to meaning, knowledge, talent, and values. It is dependent on innovation, because this is what essentially drives humanity forward, both in well-being and in economic growth. For museums, innovation is the key to enable responsible change.
„Museums are art and cultural organisations that can be powerful assets for local development from both social and economic perspectives (OECD 2017)“.
Museums are characterised by a high degree of creativity in their production and distribution processes, and therefore have a high potential to function as agents of positive change in society. Being able to adapt to today’s transformative challenges museums are increasingly required to demonstrate business creativity and innovative enthusiasm.
We believe that museums are perfectly placed to grasp the opportunities for innovation, with their creativity, strong scientific knowledge along with a pool of highly educated and skilled individuals. This is why we at MuseoSpace have developed the Culture-Driven Innovation framework to encourage and enable museums to achieve more innovation. By developing an innovation strategy, and using a cross-collaboration dynamic within and beyond the cultural sector museums can embrace innovation while creating social value.
Creating valuable and
Ensure and improving
the utility and value
of your services
Apply digital transition
in different fields
Improving products and
product systems to
create more value
Alining and improving
internal resources and
3 – Good health & well-being
4 – Quality education
8 – Decent work
& economic growth
9 – Industry, innovation
10 – Reduced
11 – Sustainable cities
12 – Responsible
13 – Climate action
16 – Peace, justice &
The Culture-Driven Innovation framework enhances the development of responsible innovations across all institutional levels, and realises the potential of museums as transformative spaces, both in the technological as well as in the cultural aspects.
Culture-Driven Innovations provide new solutions – products, services, models, processes – that simultaneously meet cultural and social needs. They occur at the intersection of cultural institutions, art, expertise and industry, and lead to new or improved capabilities, collaborations and better use of assets and resources.
The framework focusses on the strategy areas – Value, Knowledge and Domain, which are guiding to set goals, identify needs, and to build and create a favourable environment for creative thought processes.
„The full potential of cultural heritage, arts and cultural and creative sectors as a driver of sustainable innovation and a European sense of belonging is realized through a continuous engagement with society, citizens and economic sectors as well as through better protection, restoration and promotion of cultural heritage.“ (HORIZON Europe Strategic Plan 2021-2024)
The role of culture in building a more sustainable world is now widely recognised as an enabler and driver for sustainable development. To underpin this development, and be able to shape responsible innovation, cultural institutions need to identify clear value drivers right from the beginning of their innovation process. Developing a sound innovation strategy requires the ability to envision the future and to design, preferably disruptive innovations that create value for cultural current and future audience. In combining museum specified value drivers with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can foster linkages between different goals and targets.
The Culture|2030 Indicators can help to identify sustainable values, and to measure and monitor the progress of culture‘s contribution to a sustainable development. The framework assesses both the role of culture as a sector of activity, as well as the transversal contribution of culture across different SDGs and policy areas. As a set of thematic indicators, it is intended to support and complement the global indicators agreed upon within the 2030 Agenda.
We at MuseoSpace have adapted the thematic indicators for museums, which can be used as a guideline to implement responsible innovation and shape a set of core values that reflect a commitment to Knowledge, Inclusion, Resilience and Environment.
„Innovation is an interactive process involving the transfer and creation of knowledge through organisational learning (Harkema 2003)“.
The concept of an innovative museum relies on each and every stakeholder working together towards change, value and impact. Collaboration is an important means of knowledge exchange and is a vital driving factor in facilitating the process of innovation in cultural and creative organisations. Typically it takes place within and between organisational structures, but the search for new knowledge requires actors to cooperate with insiders and outsiders of their sector.
The knowledge diamond consists of Museums, Artists, Experts, and Industry, and connects and integrates expertise and insights from different fields. Different collaborative arrangements have different impacts on the innovation outcomes and have an important effect on improving and to realising the full potential of museums.
These specific system-drivers are supported by partners such as public bodies, associations, higher education, R&D, SMEs, enablers, NGOs and citizens. The collaborative aspect of the innovation process supports and includes competence building and knowledge exchange of all actors.
MuseoSpace aims to support a powerful cultural innovation ecosystem, and to strengthen the cooperation among museums, R&D and experts, industry and artists. The Culture-Innovation Community will inspire museums, raise policymakers‘ awareness for culture innovation, and encourage companies to integrate culture innovation into their funding programs. Our focus lies particularly on supporting smaller and mid-sized museums by providing access to the required resources and knowledge.
„Innovation is a central to improvements in living standards an can affect individuals, institutions, entire economic sectors, and countries in multiple ways. Sound measurement of innovation and the use of innovation data in research can help policy makers to better understand economic and social changes, assess the contribution (positive or negative) of innovation to social an economic goals, and monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of their policies.“ (OSLO Manual, 2018)
Even if most innovations are small and gradual improvements on existing products, services and processes, museums need to be able to improve different areas of their organisation to solve emerging problems and to create value for their audience and communities. MuseoSpace has defined these main areas as Exhibition, Engagement, Service, and Organisation into which the different functional activities of museums fall, to provide a clear structure for goals, as well as a foundation for measurement and use of innovation data. Therefore, they are embedded in both the main innovation types (cultural and technological innovation) and the basic cultural functions (experience and production).
Technological innovation focuses on changes in function or use-value, which are typically an element in the process of production, and its products and services. According to the Oslo Manual (OECD and Eurostat), product and process innovations are considered technological innovation and are based on analytical (science) and synthetic (engineering) knowledge.
Cultural innovation is embedded in cultural products and services, and is characterised by communication value rather than functional value. Cultural innovation typically focuses on aesthetic, symbol, or meaningful products and services, and is based on symbolic knowledge which comes from the creation of meaning, desire, qualities and intangibles. Museums are mainly based on symbolic knowledge and have therefore more capacity for cultural innovation than technological innovation.
Experience and Production can be seen as two separate functions of a museum, largely contained within different functional activities in the museum’s organisation, and can place different demands on museum innovation (Li & Coll-Serrano 2019). Conservation, exhibition, research and education are functional activities relating to production and are therefore cultural products. While communication, well-being and visitor services are associated with the experience side and are therefore cultural experiences.
Digitalisation can be an enabler for the museum‘s mission. When used strategically and holistically, a successful digital transformation can be achieved in every domain. Digitalisation can help to enable all parts of the institution and create an infrastructure for better communication, and able to build efficiencies, and allowing to scale. Digital tools and processes can help to reduce cost base and connect organisational system, as well as to enhance consumer side interfaces. Furthermore it can help to discover new insights, and is able to provide a large space for experimentation.