Providing the foundations and roadmap of a scalable platform for the joint development/enhancement and hosting of (multi-)language datasets, processing tools and basic services.
MLi aims to provide the “foundations of a scalable platform for the joint development/enhancement and hosting of (multi-) language data sets, processing tools and basic services. The goal is to create over time a comprehensive online repository, underpinning research, technology transfer and industrial development efforts.”
Language Technology (LT) researchers, vendors and service providers have repeatedly stressed the strategic value of common platforms for their respective work.
Broad-based initiatives such as META-NET (mostly research and technology centres) and LT-INNOVATE (LT commercial players) have all highlighted the crucial importance of an open, extensible infrastructure to support research, facilitate sharing and reuse of research results, act as an aggregation point for commercial technology developers and solution vendors, driving down innovation costs and promoting the EU LT ecosystem to higher levels of competitiveness.
Once in operation, the tangible outputs delivered by the MLi will enable players involved in each and all the dimensions of the end-to-end LT value chains to dramatically improve their competitive position:
- research & innovation initiatives: research centres and LT vendors will be able to expand their current capabilities by exposing their innovations through a new breed of living labs and experimentation sites, empowered by powerful arrays of language tools and reference datasets;
- service providers: will be able to make their online content-rich services available in all EU languages (and the most important world languages) by making development and deployment of multi-lingual, multi-national solutions viable under much higher levels of time and cost effectiveness. This will in turn provide wider opportunities for LT technology and service providers, typically SMEs, to get involved in more ambitious efforts and to establish themselves as credible partners vis-à-vis the public and private sector;
- user industries: information-bound industries will profit from the improved deployment of multilingual information (user interface as well as software and content) and support (including documentation, customer care and the like) especially if cost and time can be cut, quality preserved, growing volumes handled… in a most efficient fashion;
- administrations: a wide range of public bodies will be able to more effectively make their online content multilingual, thereby removing language barriers hampering the exchange of administrative information and improving the interoperability of EU networking of public services, registers and other information sources.
As a Support Action operating at the end of the FP7 (research) and CIP (innovation) programmes, MLi shall contribute on the one hand to the start of the H2020 programme (2014-2020), acting as a bridge between recent and ongoing efforts in the LT field and the Data-Value Chain as a whole, which is expected to be supported under the new funding programmes. In this regard, the project´s results should be of great value as inputs for defining both scope and focus in future H2020 Workprogrammes.
Moreover, the MLi Support Action will foster the development of synergies with other initiatives related to the Europe 2020 strategy, namely the EC initiative for a Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programme, promoting the creation of a number of Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs) delivering cross-border, common-interest online services.