Since 2007, heritage activity has been concentrated at a broad level (i.e. on Egyptian festivals) where technology use has been limited to the creation of databases rather than tangible tools to support underlying issues of participation. Egypt has been slow in recognizing the value of multidisciplinary and creative perspectives to computing science Higher Education, attributed to beliefs about strong disciplinary boundaries. Increased grassroots motivation is seen in the emergence of self-organised groups of cultural heritage ‘first aiders’ working in at risk areas. The Hilali Network seeks to support community driven development of digital artefacts to increase awareness and translation of the relationship between daily lived experience of intangible cultural heritage – as well as openness to synergies and initiation in intangible cultural heritage innovation nationally and regionally.
Innovation in digital technology has played a major role in supporting the documentation linked to intangible cultural heritage as web-based material. The sustainability of such approach can be harnessed to its full potential by supporting the participation of community members, developing awareness of the wider society with the value of intangible cultural heritage and building technical capacity of computing science students to preserve and present lived intangible cultural heritage. The institutional link between Kingston University and SRTA-City straddles three key challenges and invites others to join the network to address: the need to protect Egypt’s rich intangible cultural heritage alongside its prestigious material archaeological history; the need to support the modernisation of the Egyptian higher education system and the need to bring technological advancement in Egypt on a par with global digital economies.