Creative cooperation – cooperate creatively
Creative cooperation basically means: forging partnerships with organizations and businesses across sectors, bringing together a team with exactly the knowledge and skills that are required for a project, and inviting citizens, students, and other stakeholders to participate. This can allow for cross-fertilization and joint development of creative ideas into something that is useful for the specific purpose – in our case, communication of cultural heritage in the benefit of a town or region.

Define the specific contribution of cultural heritage
Cultural heritage can contribute directly or indirectly to various goals of regions and towns. Therefore it is worthwhile to consider the core goals of a project and what might be additional benefits. Is the core goal, for example, development of creative skills, cultural participation of citizens, strengthening cultural identity, attracting tourists, providing content for cultural and creative industries?

Forge partnerships with relevant organizations and businesses across sectors
The case studies show that very different partnerships can be established. Also the project leads are from different sectors, a tourism association, town planning office or research institute, for instance.

Bring together a team with the required knowledge and skills
The variety of required knowledge and skills should not be underestimated. Most present in the case studies are content providers (mostly of the heritage sector) and creative producers. In many cases the knowledge of heritage subject-experts – curators, archivists, historians and others – is crucial. However project management and finances, technical, educational and other expertise will be required just as well.

Concentrate on the common goal
The primary goal of a heritage institution is not “industry” (as in cultural and creative industries), but to promote cultural learning and knowledge, enjoyment and inspiration. Other participants in a creative cooperation can have scientific, civic, economic or policy objectives. The cooperation is about letting all participants play to their strength to jointly realize a successful project. This includes also funding agencies and sponsors that play an important role in bringing about and sustaining the project outcomes.

Work with experienced creative producers
Work with creative producers who have expertise in combining content and technology to reach, engage and inspire users. Enabling unusual experiences will require imagination and creativity. Look for producers with affinity for cultural themes and previous projects in this field. Small creative businesses often specialise in certain technical applications, virtual reality or mobile applications, for instance.

Learn from other projects
Projects aimed at promoting the heritage of a town, region or a cultural route often appear as rather similar with regard to the concept, methods and other aspects. However, still a lot can be learned from other projects about what works and what does not. Learning does not mean copying, though what has proven to work might be adapted for the own specific purpose and context.