Integration is not just a by-product of the EPOCH’s activities – it is a fundamental aspiration of the way in which plans have been formulated. The Network’s vision is of a multi-disciplinary team working with a framework which encapsulates the holistic view of the problems to be solved. In this vision the goal is that all parts of the communication pipeline, from data collection and historic discovery through to real-time visitor experiences and scholastic communication of heritage visualisations, work in balance so as to make progress towards a complete system rather than partial solution to narrow research problems.

A first step towards the definition and production of such an integrate framework is the definition of the Research Agenda in which generic research areas will be prioritized with regard to the needs
of the CH community, in order to yield more efficient spending of the available funding and result in better and more sustainable IT based solutions.
To achieve this goal, EPOCH is creating a Common Infrastructure that is a set of tools, people, institutions and procedures aimed at collaboratively producing applications involving digital versions of tangible cultural heritage. It is however expected that existing tools may not satisfy all the needs of the Cultural Heritage Domain, or evidence gaps in the pipeline. To address these issues, the creation of New Tools has been planned. These activities will be based on the definition of the Research Agenda. The corresponding projects have been named NEWTON (= NEW TOols Needed) projects, a name which also honours the great scientist and is a hope of high scientific quality. As yet, several NEWTONs have been commissioned to partners, and more are on the way. A list of the NEWTONs currently under development is available for access and download.

In conclusion, the jointly executed research within EPOCH is expected to involve a mixture of integration of existing components and sub-systems and new tools to fill gaps in the integrated pipeline or improve functionality at specific bottlenecks.