Scroll Top


Full project title
Inclusive Cultural Heritage in Europe through 3D semantic modelling
Project acronym
University of Ferrara, Department of Architecture
Country of coordinator’s
or applicant’s residence
Contact person
Federica Maietti
E-mail address
Project duration
01.06.2015 - 31.05.2019
Project weblinks
EU project showcase
Project description
Holistic fruition of Cultural Heritage (CH) based on a 3D digitization provides the grounding for enhancement, conservation and prevention of the social, cultural and economic significances, allowing also an aware and preventive maintenance and management of heritage at risk. The strategic goal of INCEPTION Project is to support the process of digitization, management, dissemination, enhancement of CH and built heritage, through BIM-based and semantic-web technologies and platforms, for a structured sharing of digital and digitized information about CH, promoting broad accessibility and social inclusion. The project, ended in 2019, has resulted in an innovative start-up company, INCEPTION Srl, accredited as a spin-off of the University of Ferrara. The company exploits the outcomes of the EU project by empowering public administrations, museums, site owners, etc. with software solutions based on the INCEPTION Core Engine and providing solutions for managing, visualizing and archiving 3D or BIM models and all the related digital documents, aggregated by semantic technologies. The INCEPTION platform consists of a framework of software tools and a set of programming interfaces (APIs) able to transform each element of an IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) BIM model into semantic RDF (Resource Description Framework) triples, store them in a dedicated semantic triple store and link them to metadata, documents and other linked data. These data are reassembled in a 3D model, navigable by means of a simple modern web browser (HTML5 + WebGL). These solutions provide a wide audience, at different levels of competence and training, with easy to use (but complex) technologies. The INCEPTION platform impacts on technical / managerial / maintenance / conservation and development aspects of CH, also exploiting Extended Reality (XR). Specifics APIs allow a link and integration between the structured data inside the INCEPTION platform and the development of XR Apps by third party companies, easing collaboration between different disciplines, technologies and research fields. Several experiments have been carried out in the field of ludic/touristic and edutainment through Virtual and Augmented Reality applications, testing the "static" and "dynamic" methods of data access to the platform. INCEPTION project’s impact on the scientific and cultural community is proving to be significant, as demonstrated by several collaborations and agreements with national and international bodies and associations, such as Europeana and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities. High quality 3D models, interoperable formats and open-access digital CH assets are essential for an effective use of digital contents, increasing digital engagement and fostering sectors such as tourism, education, creative industries.