PARTHENOS has 16 partners from 9 different countries, including two big European Research Infrastructures, CLARIN ERIC and DARIAH-EU. Every partner has its own expertise and identity. In this series of articles, each partner will introduce itself in a story about its background, expertise and role in PARTHENOS. The second episode of the series will cover the project’s coordinator, PIN Scrl.

About PIN

PIN – Educational and Scientific Services for the University of Florence is a consortium participated by the University of Florence, the Municipality of Prato, the local Chamber of Commerce, the Province of Prato, main Entrepreneurial Associations and other private and public bodies from the area. PIN’s history began in 1992 as a response to national and European policies aimed at creating sinergies and networks between universities, applied research, SMEs and entepreneurship.
Thanks to its integrated approach, PIN became a succesfull case study of knowledge transfer from university to enterprises, and an example of integration between science and society in a number of different sectors, spanning from industrial and information engineering to social sciences, economics and businesses sciences.
In the last years PIN has developed research projects with more than 300 actors. Among the most important achievements, PIN was succesfully granted for 6 European research projects on cultural heritage, archeology, ICT, social business and energy management. The activities run by PIN include educational services as well as research. The latter is performed by 26 internal laboratories, including the Heritage Lab Vast-Lab, and others involved in technology, applied economics and finance. PIN is a Training Agency and a Research Centre accredited nationally as such by the competent Ministry.

The Vast-Lab

Vast-Lab is a research and development lab involved in the definition and implementation of new technologies for Cultural Heritage. It aims to support scientific research centered on knowledge, valorization and preservation of Cultural Heritage, and to improve understanding of its value by encouraging dissemination to the general public

Vast-Lab has a long-standing expertise in EU funded research and has been involved in several EU projects thanks to the interdisciplinary competences of its staff, which is composed of archaeologists, Cultural Heritage and ICT experts. .

Vast-Lab’s research focuses mainly on the creation and dissemination of international standards for dataset digitization and accessible database design, as well as on the development of technological platforms that guarantee interoperability between different archives and the stakeholders involved in their management. Considerable attention is also paid on rationalizing knowledge through the creation and use of thesauri and shared knowledge databases, which promote the integration of data at the international level.
These activities and the research carried on by Vast-Lab are recognised internationally, and they are successfully implemented in major international projects.
More specifically, the Vast-Lab research is focused on:
– 3D documentation and scientific visualization
– Data digitisation: semantic, standards and interoperability
– Database design
– Professional training and research development
– Storytelling and communication of Culture and Cultural Heritage

The projects

PIN is the lead partner of PARTHENOS, and is or has been involved in the a number of projects, including:

  • coordinator of ARIADNE, a FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES project on the integration of archaeological research data infrastructures;
  • coordinator of CREATIVE CH, a FP7-SiS project on the development of new ways of communicating and promoting CH though ICT;
  • core partner and WP leader in 3D-COFORM, a FP7 IP project on 3D tools for archaeological collections;
    coordinator of CHIRON, a Marie Curie early stage research project on digital cultural heritage;
  • core partner of EPOCH, a FP6 NoE on IT applications to Cultural Heritage.

Besides coordination, in these projects PIN’s contribution mainly concerned the development of ICT applications for cultural heritage, the definition of cultural semantics and their application for documentation, analysis of stakeholders’ needs and definition of CH community requirements for 3D digital objects and for integrated infrastructure, organization of summer schools and individual visits to train researchers in the development and application of ICT to CH and in the development and management of digital repositories.

Through VAST-LAB, PIN has hosted international conferences on ICT applications to CH and archaeology CAA2004 and VAST 2011, and a number of international and national symposia.