Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Linguistic diversity in the Information Society - Pre-announcement of calls

The European Commission is planning to publish the first round of calls for the Community's multiannual programme to promote the linguistic diversity of Europe in the Information Society (MLIS) by the end of March 1997.

The various calls scheduled fall under the action lines of the MLIS work programme as follows:

- Action line 1: Creation of a Framework of Services for European Language Resources:

. A call for tenders will be published which will provide for the setting up of a flexible network of national and international organizations that have demonstrated experience in the area of terminology information for the production of high-quality, easy to access information on terminology activities, making full use of new technologies (e.g. WWW).

This service should improve the ease-of-use, multilinguality, acceptance and wide spread exploitation of terminology information services, thus contributing to the creation of a terminology infrastructure that ensures continuity of information activities at the European level. To achieve this goal, the service must be cost-effective and set up as a non-profit model designed to be self-financing;

. The Commission will also publish a call for proposals for the provision of language resources (corpora, lexica, terminology databases, etc.) over electronic networks. The objective of this call is to make existing resources available to users via networks. In the longer term, the objective will be to mutually adapt resources available in the electronic market to accepted standards so that these resources will operate in a cost-effective way for operators and users alike.

- Action line 2.1: Encouraging the use of language technologies, resources and standards:

. A call for proposals aimed at promoting multilingual services in business will be published. The projects selected under this call should identify successful approaches to multilingual communication, and design, implement and demonstrate language services for specific geographic areas or business sectors. They should address business requirements in the context of a global language strategy, encompassing language consultancy and training, translation and interpretation, multilingual information and documentation, and supporting information networks.

The activities promoted under this call will increase awareness of the solutions and benefits of multilingual services and the opportunities offered in important industrial, business and administrative areas. They will produce a set of general guidelines on best practice in cross-language communication in business. These guidelines will be disseminated to professional or sectoral associations, and possibly serve as models for future language in business actions in the Community. The principal result of the action will be a verifiable impact on cross-language business practices throughout Europe;

- Action line 3: Advanced language tools in the Community and Member States' Public Sector:

. A call for expressions of interest will be published aimed at administrations in the Member States who are interested in having their name entered on a list of potential candidates for cooperative projects in the domain of multilingualism. Administrations with similar interests may group together to participate in multilateral cooperation agreements. International organizations and administrations in the wider European Economic Area (EEA) will be welcome to express their interest;

. An open call for tenders for the implementation of the cost-shared projects will be issued. Projects will have different phases from definition to final acceptance, with provisions for continuing maintenance being mandatory. During the project, time and volume limited access to the Commission multilingual tools (machine translation, terminology data banks etc.) may be provided under terms of an agreement;

- Action line 4.1: Accompanying Measures:

. A call for tenders relating to an assessment of the economic and social impact of multilingualism in the European Community will be published. The aim of this action is to provide a broad situation audit of the economic and social impact of multilingualism in Europe. The study will focus on two main areas: the translation market; and the market of multilingual tools and services in the Community.

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