The fourth edition of the LT-Innovate Summit, the yearly point of convergence of the European language technology (LT) industry, will take place in Brussels on 25-26 June 2015. This year's highlights include the launch of the LTI Cloud, a workshop on the future of conversational interaction technologies, a workshop on the improvement of the usability of language resources, the LT-Innovate Award 2015 and a panel of high level industry executives who will provide an overview of their company's current and future needs from a language technology point of view.

LT-Innovate, the European Association of the Language Technology Industry, has 180 corporate members throughout Europe. The LT-Innovate Summit is the association's main annual conference.

The launch of the LTI Cloud is a major new initiative. Jochen Hummel, the LT-Innovate Chairman said: 'The aim of the LTI Cloud is to create a SaaS (Software as a Service) wrapper around language technology components developed by LT-Innovate members. It will make it easy for entrepreneurs, start-ups, software developers, IT departments, system integrators, and many others to source and use 'plug n’ play' language technology components, allowing them to focus on their core business and competencies.'

Like every year, a line-up of industry 'challengers' will provide an overview of their company's current and future needs from a language technology point of view. This year's high level executives come from Wolters Kluwer, Airbus, Speexx and EurActiv.

The programme also includes a workshop on the future of (multilingual and multimodal) conversational interaction technologies and a workshop on language resources (LR).
The latter will aim at identifying concrete scenarios for the improvement of the usability of language resources. Panelists from industry, research and the public sector will, in particular, discuss the following questions:

  • How can LR identification become a more streamlined, accessible and easily achieved activity?
  • Where and how can LRs be found and identified to solve a specific MT problem?
  • Who would be able to do the work as a service?
  • How can terminology of a given field and text data relevant to the same field be found online in a dependable way?
  • What are the major barriers for finding and using LRs from existing repositories?
  • What would be best ways to overcome these barriers?

Parallel to the workshops and panel discussions, 16 companies are expected to compete for the LT-Innovate Award. The nominees will showcase their innovative language technology products and services to a jury.

The LT-Innovate Summit will also benefit from the presence of a number of leading policy makers, including Paul Rübig (Member of the European Parliament), Alexander De Croo (Vice Prime Minister of Belgium, Minister for the Digital Agenda) and Robert Madelin (Director General, European Commission, DG CONNECT).

The full conference programme is available online.

Language technology market
In 2013, LT-Innovate published a landmark report on the state of the European language technology industry. The report distinguishes three strategic industry segments: speech interaction, multilingual communication and translation, and intelligent content. According to this report, there are some 500 European companies actively developing or integrating language technology, most of them still small companies and all too often focus on niches in their national (language) markets.
However, the report said, the European language industry is gradually moving language technology up the value chain into mainstream applications and markets.
The gaps in language coverage for speech and content technology, and the potential to create a demand-driven dynamic hold significant potential for growth of the language technology industry across Europe, the report concluded.

To facilitate this strategic growth, it is suggested that the pace of development could be accelerated through collaborative innovation bringing together language technology companies with their peers and other corporate actors and buyers across the ICT value chain. In order to increase market awareness, suppliers, LT vendors and IT integrators should work closer and harder to identify killer business cases and deploy market strategies understanding how economic return affects clients.

Read also: “Europe’s Digital Single Market must be multilingual!”


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