Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Successor programme


Programme funding

EUR 27,5 million

Official Journal Reference

L 317 of 1982-11-13

Legislative Reference

82/752/CEE of 1982-11-04
To create a machine translation system of advanced design capable of dealing with all official languages of the Community by producing an operational system prototype in a limited field and for limited categories of text, which would provide the basis for subsequent development on an industrial scale.


The programme was divided into a preparatory phase, a basic and applied linguistic research phase and a stabilization and evaluation phase. The third of these entered into force on 1 July 1988 with a reorientation of the programme's specific objectives and priorities.


Three phases:

- Preparatory plan (1982-1984, ECU 2 million):
. Setting up of an advisory committee, definition of work methods, preparation of detailed linguistic work programme, definition of the allocation of intellectual property rights and of the arrangements for disseminating the results of work, examination of the value to the Community of participation of third countries;
. Specifications in the field of linguistic models, of basic software and of lexical database; preparation of contracts of association. These specifications should reflect the objectives of portability and compliance with international standards;

- Basic and applied linguistic research (1985-1988, ECU 13 million):
This second phase was divided into two parts:
. Basic linguistic research: the development of initial linguistic models, preparation of the lexical database, and strategies for various parts of the process;
. Construction of the basic software: this involved issuing the invitation to tender and selecting a body to construct the EUROTRA basic software. The initial version of the software was to permit the development and machine-testing of the linguistic models;

- Stabilization of the linguistic models and evaluation of results (1988-1990, ECU 12.5 million):
At the start of this third phase, the objectives and priorities were reoriented as follows:
. Implementation of an operational prototype: the basic parameters are maintained, i.e. the creation of an operational system prototype for a limited subject field and for a limited number of text types with a vocabulary of approximately 20.000 entries;
. Basic software: advanced software architecture is to be investigated;
. Linguistic specifications: special attention is to be paid to extensibility;
. Training: in order to achieve a better balance of specialist expertise in the field of machine translation and natural language processing, the training aspects are to be reinforced;
. Preparation for the industrial development of the programme.


The Commission, assisted by the Management and Advisory Committee (CGC) on Linguistic Problems, was responsible for executing the programme, in particular by means of research contracts (contracts of association).

After consulting the CGC, the Commission drew up a standard contract defining the rights and obligations of each party, including, where appropriate, the conditions and procedures for possible royalty payments and for repayment of part of the contributions made by the Community. If the results of the programme were used industrially or commercially and/or lead to intellectual property rights and the subsequent award of licences, part of the contributions made by the Community was required to be repaid.

The Commission was authorized, from the second phase onwards, after consultation with CREST and the CGC, to negotiate agreements with third countries, in particular those participating in European cooperation in scientific and technical research (COST), with a view to associating them with the programme.

The Commission reported at regular intervals to the Scientific and Technological Research Committee (CREST) and the Committee for Scientific and Technical Information and Documentation (CSTID) on the progress of the work. An annual report was submitted to the European Parliament and the Council. A final evaluation conducted by independent experts was also submitted.
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