ETWIE in English

ETWIE – Center of Expertise for Technical, Scientific and Industrial Heritage

ETWIE is one of the thematic centers of expertise in the field of cultural heritage in Flanders and Brussels (Belgium). As of September 2012, it started its activities as a network organization for technical, scientific and industrial heritage.

ETWIE focuses on the moveable and intangible aspects of this heritage, regardless of the time period. Consequently, instruments, tools, machines, technical knowledge and skills are all part of its working field.

In Flanders and Brussels, a large variety of stakeholders is concerned with this type of cultural heritage. The heritage community does not solely consist of professional organizations, but of volunteers, museums, archives, universities and individual collectors. As a network organization, ETWIE is dedicated to bringing these people and organizations together and to stimulate the sharing of knowledge and expertise.

ETWIE wants to create a dynamic network, stimulating the heritage community to address issues concerned with technical, scientific and industrial heritage. Therefore, it will create a digital platform, which will not only sustainably disclose all existing – and missing! – information about this type of (national and international) heritage, it will also enable a more efficient communication, not just between experts, but for a larger audience as well.

As a mediator, ETWIE greatly encourages stakeholders to work together in order to create opportunities, elevate results and curtail effort. ETWIE wants to raise the general public’s awareness about the importance of the technical, scientific and industrial heritage. For this purpose, ETWIE collaborates with other sectors like tourism, education, research, media and so on.

An important pillar in ETWIE’s activities deals with the ‘intangible expertise’ on the technical, scientific and industrial heritage. This intangible expertise not only concerns factual and historical knowledge about all possible techniques, but, and perhaps even more important, it also includes the skills to put these techniques into practice. These skills are usually the result of years of accumulated practical experience. With the development of an expertise database, ETWIE will first try to identify these skills and their practitioners in Flanders. In the next stage, safeguarding these, often endangered, skills for the future generations will be the main focus.

Operating in an international context, ETWIE will collaborate with other relevant organizations, in Europe and around the world. Therefore, ETWIE engages actively in international networks and it supports relevant cross-border initiatives in its area of expertise.


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