kickstarting heritage innovations

Kick-starting Heritage Innovations is an initiative involving an interdisciplinary group of researchers and practitioners based at the University of Oxford, funded primarily by the University’s Strategic Innovation Fund with additional funding from the Blenheim Estate.  Our mission is to explore and trial new ways of working to enable University researchers to co-develop innovative solutions with partners across the heritage sector. We are particularly focused on developing bespoke and collaborative programmes which link insights from the best academic research to the largest challenges facing the heritage industry. These programmes not only address the unique challenges of our partners, but are designed to facilitate the wider uptake of research evidence by the heritage sector —ultimately leading to dynamic and innovative solutions for heritage management and conservation. 

To date Kick-starting Heritage Innovations is working on co-developing innovative approaches to the following challenges for the heritage sector:

—predicting and managing risk to the fabric of built heritage (using data-informed digital twins)
—enhancing public engagement with heritage (using new ways of engaging people with under-appreciated elements of built heritage, such as lichens)
—quantifying the ecosystem services provided by built heritage
—assessing the carbon footprint of heritage sites and heritage organisations

The strength of our practice lies in its capacity to develop and deliver research with both immediate practical application and long term legacy-focused impact. In so doing, Heritage Innovations holds long-term potential to produce sustainable opportunities for researchers and practitioners at the University of Oxford while simultaneously developing novel approaches for bridging the gap between academic researchers and external partners in the heritage space.

collaborate with us

Kick-starting Heritage Innovations is always looking to develop innovative projects with heritage partners across the United Kingdom. We are not only interested in how collaboration between higher education and the heritage sector currently functions, but are currently also seeking to develop novel business models for advancing heritage research more generally. We are committed to ensuring that our projects result in practical evidence-based research across numerous applications in the heritage sector—from practitioners to decision makers.

We are also dedicated to facilitating interdiscplinary research and building new networks both within the University of Oxford and the academy more generally. 

If you have a project you would like to discuss and are interested in working with us, please contact us at:


our projects:

Jun. 22 — present

Meet our team

KHI is affiliated with the University of Oxford and the Oxford University Heritage Network