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IN2PAST was granted the statute of Associate Laboratory in February 2021 and signed the program contract with FCT in the beggining of 2022. Already operational, it started to generate intensive collaborative relations between:

1. Academic, laboratory-based,
theoretical and empirical research;

2. Public policies concerning the domains of cultural heritage, arts and civic memory;

3. An important set of Portuguese cultural institutions and facilities, namely monuments, museums, archives, archaeological sites and natural parks.

Often divided by type of facilities or disciplinary fields, the study and promotion of cultural heritage finds in IN2PAST a perfect institutional environment, by bringing together scientific areas often set apart by academic tradition.

IN2PAST has a unique multidisciplinary nature, joining chemists, art historians, musicologists, anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, architects, urban planners, archivists, museologists, geologists, and biochemists, among others.

Furthermore, it encourages the establishment of connections between tangible and intangible (including digital) cultural heritage.


IN2PAST extends its operations from laboratorial innovation in the field of heritage sciences to the design of collective memory public policies, favouring the emergence of an integrated vision with the related partners and stakeholders.

IN2PAST brings together SEVEN RESEARCH UNITS present throughout the Portuguese territory:

What is an Associate Laboratory?

An Associate Laboratory is made up of one or more R&D Units, seeking the pursuit of specific national scientific and technological policy objectives. It is up to the Portuguese public agency Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT) to propose the granting of the Associate Laboratory status. Associate Laboratories are formally consulted by the government and public administration on the definition of programs and instruments for national scientific and technological policy. One of the differentiating aspects of an Associate Lab is the ability to promote scientific or technical careers suitable for PhD holders.

How IN2PAST was born

«The idea of creating an associate laboratory with the goal of contributing to the definition of public policies in the area of Heritage and Arts arose from the contemporaneity of Avenida de Berna, materialized itself in Évora and gained a territorial dimension in Minho.»

António Candeias, IN2PAST President of the Board

«Chemists devoted to the restoration and conservation of cultural heritage, who in 2020 were already contributing to the study and protection of art works such as the ‘São Vicente Panels’, met with contemporary historians and anthropologists interested in Critical Studies on Heritage, as well as movements against state memory policies, such as Black Lives Matter!.»

José Neves, IN2PAST Vice-President