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Information & Communication Technologies

Highlights Highlights

 A Call for Tender for Language Resources has been launched.  The objective is to set up a coordination mechanism to support language resource collection for the Automated Translation building block foreseen in the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF).  Full details are available on SMART 2014/1074 - Language resource coordination


Consultation on Big Data Value for Europe

The European Technology Platform for Software and Services NESSI  , together with partners from the FP7 project Big , has drafted a Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda (SRIA) on Big Data Value for Europe. The objective of the SRIA is to describe the main research challenges and needs for advancing Big Data Value in Europe in the next 5 to 10 years. The SRIA will be an important channel for providing input to the European Big Data Value Partnership that aims to establish a Public Private Partnership on Data. The current content of the SRIA is based on contributions from NESSI and Big Project partners, input from other stakeholders as well as the outcomes of several sector workshops held early this year.
DG Connect, Unit G3-Data Value Chain invites you to download the draft SRIA and to visit the online consultation at to share your opinions on the suggested research and innovation directions for Big Data Value creation in Europe.

Contact person in DG Connect:

Wolfgang Treinen


News News

Commissioner Kroes' speech on the importance of Language Technologies given at the LT-Innovate Summit 2013 in Brussels

Good news and bad news on the European Day of Languages META-NET releases its study on "Europe's Languages in the Digital Age" in its White Paper Series

Language Technologies

brueghels tower of babel

How can we cope with all the content on the Web and make it available to interested people, regardless of the language(s) they speak and understand? The obvious answer is to teach computers how to understand and process written and spoken human language.

Human Language Technologies (HLT) cover many research groups and disciplines including natural language processing, speech technology, machine translation, information extraction, and so on. If all these strands could be brought together in a meaningful way then perhaps computers could make sense of our many languages.

The European Commission has supported HLT for some 40 years now. There was a lot of sustained effort throughout 1980-1990 which resulted in some pioneering Machine Translation and Translation Memory technologies. The EU support for HLT is now being revived due to renewed political commitment following the enlargement of the EU and new challenges emerging from globalised markets. More and more commercial transactions are being done online and there are more consumers using the Web that do not speak English than those who do. While a few years ago English may have been seen as the lingua-franca of the Web, the amount of online content in other languages has exploded, leaving English-language content covering only 29% of what is available online. Recent e-commerce statistics indicate that two out of three EU customers buy only in their own language. This suggests that language is a significant barrier to a truly Europe-wide digital single market. Of course, language barriers do not only impact on e-commerce activities, but also on access to virtually all online services.

Europe, with its people and skills, and variety of languages accounts for 50% of the worldwide language services market, and the experience and expertise is there to provide tangible results. However, there are several R&D issues which must be addressed in the immediate future in order to better meet the challenge.

This page is maintained by: Susan Fraser (email removed)