Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Framework programme


Previous programme


Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 10 million

Official Journal Reference

L 358 of 1990-12-21

Legislative Reference

90/664/EEC of 1990-11-26
To create, starting from the EUROTRA prototype, the appropriate conditions for a large-scale industrial development, including the development of methods and tools for the re-usability of lexical resources in computer applications as well as the creation of standards for lexical and terminological data.


Part of the second Framework Programme of Community activities in the field of research and technological development under subactivity 8.4: "Dissemination and utilisation of results", this new phase of the EUROTRA programme is a follow-up of the 1982-1990 phase. Its specific objectives are to create the conditions for the transition to an operational EUROTRA system, to advance work on lexicography and terminology, train researchers and engineers through a grant scheme and set up cooperation schemes between research institutions and enterpises.

The results expected are:
. A set of stable, efficient and user-friendly software tools and a tested methodology for large-scale system development;
. A set of tools and methods for building large-scale dictionaries by the extensive use of existing lexical resources;
. A set of tools and methods for the incorporation of specialized terminological collections;
. For all nine Community languages well-tested implementations of analysis and synthesis models with broad grammatical and a representative lexical coverage;
. Translation from each language into all other languages (if the experimentation with relayed transfer proves to be successful), otherwise the translation between a representative number of pair languages;
. Experience of cooperation models aiming at the development of a practical multilingual translation system, and of a number of intermediate sub-, by- and spin-off products.


- System development, testing and research environment:
. Powerful and user-friendly formalism for describing linguistic facts;
. Special-purpose data management system for the creation and maintenance of large-scale dictionaries and grammars with special user services for the addition, inspection and modification of the linguistic data;
. Efficient rule interpreter capable of dealing with large dictionaries, grammars and texts;
. Set of testing tools with special attention to interactive run- time testing and correction of dictionaries and grammars;

- Language-specific research and development work:
. Review and extension of the existing implementations:
For each of the nine languages covered, the analysis modules produced will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure their generality and adjusted to the features of the revised formalism;
. Relayed transfer:
. To determine the feasibility of this approach and the optimal strategy for its implementation;

- Linguistic research of general interest:
To improve gradually the linguistic performance of the system and the quality of translation. Three main directions:
. General linguistic research to increase the interlinguality of the interface structure and to reduce overgeneration;
. Use of subject-field specific knowledge (terminologies, classification schemes, paradigmatic relations, domain models, knowledge bases, etc.);
. Use of text and discourse type-specific constraints to reduce overgeneration;

- Research into advanced system architectures:
To create a potential for innovation and keep pace with the fast advancement of hardware and software technologies, continuous research into new formalisms, software and hardware architectures is to be foreseen, which will lead in selected cases to experimentation and prototype implementation (e.g. parallel system architectures);

- Re-usability of lexical and terminological resources:
. Development of methods and tools for the conversion of the formalized parts of existing dictionaries which cover mostly orthographic, phonological, morphological and syntactic information;
. Research into the utilization of non-formalized portions of dictionaries which concern mostly subject classification, discourse types, definitions and examples or citations;

- Standards for textual, lexical and terminological data:
Activity closely related to the re-usability of linguistic resources in the future. The Commission will support and stimulate international activities in this field in close cooperation with professional associations and national and international standards organizations;

- Education and training:
Research grants will be awarded to post-graduate students to participate in the research and development work in the projects mentioned above.


The Commission, assisted by a committee of an advisory nature, composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission, is responsible for the implementation of the programme.

The participants may be universities, research organizations and industrial companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, individuals, or any combination thereof established in the Community.

The implementation of the system development, testing and research environment which will provide all participating parties with a common set of tools, will be entrusted to industrial contractors on the basis of calls for tenders. It will be financed fully from the Community budget.
The work concerning different languages will be carried out by national research teams in the Member States, and co-financed by the Community and the Member States.
The linguistic research of general interest, research and development into advanced system architectures, and re-usability of lexical and terminological resources will be carried out as cooperative ventures between industries research centres and EUROTRA teams. These shared-cost research projects should as a general rule be carried out by independent participants from at least two Member States and will be awarded following a selection procedure based on calls for proposals.
Community participation will generally be up to 50% of the total expenditure, but this percentage may be varied according to the nature and the stage of development of the research. Alternatively, universities and research institutes may, for each project they carry out under this programme, opt either for 50% funding of total expenditure or 100% funding of the additional marginal costs.
Grants will be awarded to qualified post-graduate students. The Commission will also award subsidies to professional associations and standards organizations for activities in the field of standards for textual, lexical and terminological data.

The contracts concluded by the Commission shall regulate the rights and obligations of each party including the methods of disseminating, protecting and exploiting the research results.

Where framework agreements for scientific and technical cooperation between European countries and the European Community have been concluded, organizations and enterprises established in those countries may become partners in a project undertaken within this programme.

During the first quarter of 1993, the Commission shall conduct through a panel of independent experts an evaluation of the results achieved and shall transmit the panel's report and its comments on this subject to the European Parliament and the Council.
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