With 24 official EU and many more additional languages, multilingualism in Europe and an inclusive Digital Single Market can only be enabled through Language Technologies. European LT business is dominated by thousands of SMEs and a few large players. Many are world-class, with technologies that outperform those of the global players.
However, European LT business is also fragmented – by nation states, languages and sectors. This is why the European Language Technology landscape and community has not been able to reach its full potential yet. We will address this challenge by establishing the ELG as the primary platform for Language Technology in Europe.
The ELG will develop and deploy a scalable cloud platform, providing, in an easy-to-integrate way, access to hundreds of commercial and non-commercial Language Technologies for all European languages, including running tools and services as well as data sets and resources.
It will enable the commercial and non-commercial European LT community to deposit and upload their technologies and data sets into the platform, to deploy them through the grid, and to connect with other resources.
The European Language Grid will boost the Multilingual Digital Single Market towards a thriving European Language Technology community, creating new jobs, new markets and new opportunities.
Through open calls, up to 20 pilot projects will be financially supported to demonstrate the usefulness of the European Language Grid as a platform and also as a European project and initiative.
The project is rooted in the experience of a consortium with partners involved in all relevant initiatives. Based on these, more than 30 National Competence Centres and the European Language Technology Board will be set up for European coordination.
The European Language Grid will foster Language Technologies for Europe built in Europe, tailored to our languages and cultures and to our societal and economical demands, benefitting the European citizen, society, innovation and industry.
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Background and History
The history of the European Language Grid dates back to 2010 and the original META-NET cluster of projects (T4ME, CESAR, METANET4U, META-NORD). The first ideas and concepts in which we suggested the creation of, what we called in 2013 the “European Service Platform for Language Technologies”, were published in the META-NET Strategic Research Agenda for Multilingual Europe 2020.
Already back then we suggested to make use of powerful multilingual, cross-lingual and monolingual technologies to support the emerging Multilingual Digital Single Market. Later on, projects such as CRACKER and the Cracking the Language Barrier federation of organisations and projects joined the Multilingual Europe initiative.
Now, with the ELG project, the time has finally come to build upon all these different technology and strategy development as well as community building activities when developing the European Language Grid as the primary platform for Language Technologies in Europe.