How big is the network?

By Giuseppe Pace

Since the last newsletter, underground4value welcomed other three member countries – Norway, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, a COST Near Neighbour Country Palestine, and 1 COST International Partner Country  Colombia.

Actually, the total number of countries is 35, distributed in this way: 31 member countries, 2 COST Near Neighbour Coun- tries, and 2 COST International Partner Countries.

Norway joined the Action thanks to the commitment of Rao Martand Singh, which moved from UK to the Norwegian University of Science & Technology (NTNU). Since that moment, we can welcome any Norwegian institution interest- ed in underground heritage and community led local development to join us, and individual researchers applying for STSMs and training schools. The participation of Switzerland is mainly due to the commitment of Francesco Cerea, cultural director of the most Beautiful Villages in Switzerland, an independent association with the aim of protecting, promoting and coordinating in a tourist network the Swiss municipalities. The Netherland joined us thanks to Dun- can Money, a post-doc researcher of History at the Leiden University.

Duncan’s research focuses primarily on the mining industry and, in particular, the Zambian Copperbelt. Duncan’s main interests are in labour, race and global history, specifically the ways in which the mining industry connected seemingly disparate and distant places across the globe and the consequences that emanated from this. Sam N. Husseini, with his company, the LionHeart, opened the way to add Palestine to our map. LionHeart has raw 3D point cloud data for over 45 sites in Palestine as well as millions of photos of heritage sites. They plan to share all their findings, laser scans, documentation of heritage sites with all interested from all over the world. LionHeart will bring energy and great stories. One of the things LionHeart has done recently is scanned under the Holy Sepulchre Church. Finally, Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia, has become our COST IPC, thanks to the commitment of Vasco Barbosa, associate Professor in Urban Planning (Infrastructure and Sustainability, Faculty of Engineering).

In addition, several new members of the management committee have been appointed, and new leadership roles have been defined. We are still finalising the composition of several panels, committees and boards and would be great to involve the biggest number of U4V members. The current chart includes: STSM Selection Panel; ITC Grant Conferences Panel; Case Studies Management Board; U4V Editorial Board; U4V News- letter editors; WGs’ Responsible of up- dating website contents; U4V Toolkit Board; WIKI community Board; and Training school management board.