Arts and Cultural Heritage: dawn of a digital renaissance


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Responds to...

  • How can digital technology create value on the way towards the innovation of cultural institutions?
  • What are the pillars of the innovation process and the role of digital technology for each one?
  • How many Italian museums have a web site and social media account?
  • What services are implemented by museums on institutional sites?
  • What technology solutions do startups use to offer services in the Art and Tourism sector?
  • What differentiates Italian startups from those financed at international level?


The Report presents the results of the Research conducted throughout the first edition. The data comes from an analysis on web sites and social networks, from a Google and TripAdvisor research on 476 Italian museums, and 10% of museums and similar institutes surveyed by Istat in 2015. Only 57% of Italian museums has its own web site and 53% its own account on at least one major social network. When existing, sites aren’t always designed in a way that helps users interact with their contents.
Considering the 476 museums examined, as many as 62% of them is present on TripAdvisor and reviews are generally very positive. If the current audience manifests its appreciation of the visit, the real challenge is therefore using digital technology to attract new audiences, making the visit journey more accessible and engaging.
Through the use of case studies, we’ve outlined a cultural institution innovation course – in which digital technology becomes a resource to learning more about themselves and understanding how to create value for stakeholders – based on four pillars ranging from defining a strategy to measuring results, with planning and implementation in between.
Finally, the Report summarizes the results of an analysis of over 500 international and Italian startups operating in Tourism and Art, focused on identifying the innovation potential they can bring to this sector.


  • Introduction
    1. Digital Innovation at the heart of the challenge to cherish and promote our cultural heritage
    2. Digital tools used in Italian museums
    3. Obstacles to the process of innovation
    4. Digital to create value in the experience of knowledge
    5. Start-ups in the cultural eco-system: great turmoil but an eye on economic sustainability
    6. Challenges for the future
  • Reports
  • Methodology notes
  • Work team