Towards the Primary Platform for
Language Technologies in Europe

Objectives

Our main objective is to address fragmentation in the European Language Technology business and research landscape by establishing the ELG as the primary platform for Language Technology in Europe and to strengthen European LT business with regard to the competition from other continents.

The ELG will be a platform for commercial and non-commercial Language Technologies, both functional (running services and tools) and non-functional (data sets, resources, models).


Business Objectives

Objective 1: To contribute to the establishment of the Multilingual Digital Single Market by providing a large set of Language Technologies including multilingual services for many European languages.

The ELG will support the EU in establishing the Multilingual Digital Single Market as a truly connected, language-crossing Digital Single Market as well as Communication and Information Space.

Objective 2: To provide European LT companies with a reliable and scalable platform and market place through which they can promote, offer and showcase their technologies.

Through the ELG, companies interested in LT services, tools, data sets etc. can inform themselves about available offerings, test services and either easily integrate the services or discuss a collaboration with the respective provider.

The ELG will help address fragmentation and allow Europe’s SME-dominated LT provider industry to grow. The platform will enable pan- and trans-European match making as well as business connections and transactions. We will address the brain drain of highly qualified European technologists to global players residing outside the EU.


Societal Objectives

Objective 3: To provide a large and diverse set of Language Technologies to the European citizens, including public administrations and NGOs. Many of their online services are in dire need of Language Technologies, especially multilingual ones.

Objective 4: To help address the threat of digital language extinction, documented in the META-NET White Paper Series “Europe’s Languages in the Digital Age”. While only English and a few other languages are sufficiently supported through technologies, many other European languages only have fragmented, weak or no support at all.

We perceive the ELG to be an infrastructural antidote to digital language extinction. It will provide a broad coverage of offerings for all European languages, small and big, not only the ones that already enjoy good technology support.


Community and Coordination Objectives

Objective 5: To grow a vibrant and active community around the ELG project and platform. This is an initiative from members of the European Language Technology community for the whole European Language Technology community, including industry and research.

The success of the ELG depends on a large and active community that makes use of the platform. We will include all stakeholders by supporting pilot projects and relevant research actions, by establishing a network of National Competence Centres and a European LT Board.

Objective 6: To coordinate between the ELG and all other relevant European and national activities, among others, the six RIA projects supported through Horizon 2020 call ICT-29-2018.

This explicitly includes the European Commission and the European Parliament as well as initiatives such as META-NET, Cracking the Language Barrier, LT Innovate and ELRC as well as national language institutes and research infrastructures. Additionally, ELG will establish National Competence Centres as a large international network to extend its reach.


Technology and Innovation Objectives

Objective 7: To provide European Language Technology research and industry with a reliable and scalable platform and market place through which they can offer and showcase their technologies to interested stakeholders.

Often, research organisations neither have an interest nor the capabilities of hosting running services. The ELG will fill this gap, further bringing research and industry closer together and addressing the aspect of fragmentation in the European LT landscape.

It will facilitate European LT research and development, and this will, in turn, feed back into industry. With the ELG, research and industry will share the same platform. Through this tight connection we foresee, over the years, the development of powerful synergies so that the ELG will help grow highly innovative Language Technologies for Europe built in Europe, tailored to our specific languages, cultures and societal as well as economical demands, benefitting the European citizen, industry and society.

The ELG will also be a vehicle towards reproducible and replicable research, since tools and methods can be deposited and reused by other researchers, thus further promoting the principles of Open Science.

Objective 8: To design, develop and deploy a unique grid architecture based on the novel approach of encapsulating Language Technology services in atomic containers for an all-encompassing platform.

This approach solves the notorious interoperability issue, which has been keeping our field from developing such a platform in the past. Recent results in containerisation, originally made in systems research and applied for their development and operation, have finally made this approach possible.

We apply virtualisation technologies to LT, enabling commercial and non-commercial providers to deposit their running services in the ELG and to deploy them through the ELG.