Berlin Launch of Strategic Research Agenda for Multilingual Europe 2020


Europe faces a severe communication crisis. META-NET's recent study "Europe's Languages in the Digital Age," published last year in 31 volumes for 31 languages, shows that most European languages are threatened with "digital extinction": they are not sufficiently supported by information technology to survive in a digital world.

In order to create a Europe without communication barriers that supports the free flow of information, ideas and trade, researchers at NaCTeM have been collaborating within META-NET, a European network of excellence consisting of 60 research centres in 34 countries, to help develop a the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) for Mutilingual Europe 2020, i.e., a roadmap for language technology research in the years leading up to 2020 that will help to ensure the digital survival of all European languages, and so safeguard the linguistic and cultural diversity of Europe.

The SRA is the result of over two years of work and consultations between hundreds of language and technology experts and stakeholders. It will be officially unveiled and presented to representatives of the European Commission, research and industry at a technology symposium on January 25, 2013, in Berlin, Germany.

Prof. Sophia Ananiadou, director of NaCTeM, which is the UK hub for META-NET, says: "Increasingly, minds meet in cyberspace, but it is only through developments in language technology that we can ensure knowledge is shared across language boundaries to the benefit of the entire community. The SRA lights the way towards an exciting future."

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