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VRVis is new coordinator of EU H2020 project ARCHES

VRVis becomes coordinator of EU project ARCHES: more inclusion in art through IT

The Vienna Research Institute VRVis Center for Virtual Reality and Visualization will take over the coordinating role of the EU project ARCHES at the beginning of October. The ARCHES project, in which 13 renowned partners from all over Europe are participating, including the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, aims to use technology to better support and inspire people with visual, hearing and cognitive impairments to participate in art and culture.

Design for all

The aim of the project is to use technology and inclusive designs ("Design for all") in a museum context to offer new opportunities for people with special needs, so that visually and otherwise impaired people can also participate in art and culture. In this context, VRVis develops tactile 3D prints of works of art. These tactile reliefs complement the original artwork in its experiencability and lend a further dimension from which regular visitors can of course also benefit.
VRVis also develops a gesture-controlled multimedia guide that reacts, for example, to a fingertip. This extends the possibilities of interaction with the artwork by providing information on and around the exhibit - as an audio file, as text for reading, or in sign language videos. Animations and sound effects round off the offer and also reach to interest children.

VRVis now coordinator of the EU project

Now the VRVis takes over the coordinating role in addition to its previous tasks. "We are honoured that the EU does not only trust us with the organisational but also with the technical expertise to manage this project," explains Gerd Hesina, Managing Director of the VRVis. VRVis was supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG in taking over the project. "The advice provided by FFG is an essential success factor for the success of projects," explains Gerd Hesina, "especially when it comes to large projects with international participation. In this case, too, we were able to rely on FFG's expertise".

COMET goes Europe

"As the National Contact Point for the EU Research Framework Programme 'Horizon 2020', we support research institutions, universities and companies with a comprehensive range of information and advice - with success, as the Vienna Research Institute VRVis shows," says Henrietta Egerth and Klaus Pseiner, Managing Directors of the FFG Research Promotion Agency. "We also see the European added value of national research funding," says Egerth and Pseiner. The VRVis competence centre is funded by the FFG with funds from the BMDW and BMVIT as part of COMET (Competence Centres for Excellent Technologies), and it is also active in a FEMtech career project as part of the "Talents" funding priority of the BMVIT. "We are preparing the ground at the domestic level in order to be successful in European competition and to attract funds from the highly competitive EU Research Framework Programme".

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