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FLaReNet Launching Event

The European Language Resources and Technologies Forum:
Shaping the Future of the Multilingual Digital Europe

Vienna, Thursday 12th and Friday 13th February 2009


What is FLaReNet

The European FLaReNet – Fostering Language Resources Network is intended to promote the consolidation of a European strategy in the field of Language Resources and Language Technologies (LRs and LTs) that will enhance European competitiveness worldwide.

A major condition for the take-off of the field is the creation of a common vision of the area for the next years. One of the missions of FLaReNet is to sustain international cooperation and (re)create a wide Language community sharing this vision. FLaReNet is bringing together leading experts of research institutions, academies, companies, consortia, associations, funding agencies, public and private bodies both at European and international level.

FLaReNet aims at creating a consensus among major players in the field in order to draw recommendations for the EC, national organisations, and industry on future actions. With this goal, FLaReNet will work out a plan of action with short, medium and long-term strategic objectives.
Meetings are the FLaReNet engine: the Network plans to achieve its objectives through the organisation of workshops and discussions also by means of a collaborative wiki platform.

FLaReNet shares objectives and views with various international initiatives, such as the US initiative towards sustainable interoperability for Language Technologies (INTEROP/SILT). The result is a world-wide effort to build consensus about sharing of data and technologies for Language Resources and applications.


Objectives of the Event

In its first meeting, the Network will combine the FLaReNet objectives with the i2010 objectives to address (some of the) technological, market and policy challenges to be faced in a multilingual digital Europe. The actual/potential impact of Language Resources and Technology will be addressed and the ground for defining future directions in this area at the level of the EC, national governmental agencies and industry will be set.

Participants to the FLaReNet event will have the possibility to contribute and follow on-going debate about priorities for fostering the field of Language Resources and Language Technology, to play a role in the definition and the preparation of recommendations for future actions and to be able to shape the field of Language Resources and Technology of the next years with respect to the new challenges.



Vienna, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften (Austrian Academy of Science).

For further details on the venue see the Venue section.



Thursday 12th and Friday 13th February 2009.



The topics chosen for this first Forum correspond to hot topics of today and tomorrow in the field of Language Resources and Technology. The intention is to approach each of them trying to identify controversial aspects, risks, what is missing, gaps to be filled, what can/cannot be achieved.

    • S1 - Broadening the Coverage; Addressing the Gaps.
    • S2 - Automatic and Innovative Means of Acquisition, Annotation, Indexing.
    • S3 - Evaluation and Validation.
    • S4 - Interoperability and Standards.
    • S5 - Translation, Localization, Multilingualism.
    • S6 - Enhancing Market Places/Models for LRs; New Challenges, New Services.

Multilingual, multimodal, multimedia issues should be considered as different points of view to be taken into account for each of the sessions.

Some general/cross-session questions that we expect will be addressed are:

    • From the current state-of-play, how to progress? What are the promising diagnostics to determine advancements on our field? What are the obstacles that prevent it from full deployment?
    • What is the (big) change that could determine a major turning point in our field? / What kind of change could determine/trigger a major turning point in our field?

For a thorough description of each topic see the Sessions section.



For the detailed program of the event see the Program section.


Structure of the Event

The chosen formula is a collaborative workshop composed of a series of working sessions on specific topics. The meeting is aimed at raising discussions in a very interactive and creative way, thus creating a breeding ground for open questions, new ideas, and visions for the field towards a multilingual digital Europe.

The event is shaped as a two-day workshop with plenary and break-out sessions. Invited speakers (both from within the FLaReNet consortium and from outside) are expected to give short provoking presentations. For each session, a Rapporteur will present summaries and conclusions from the FLaReNet perspective in the plenary session at the end. This should lead to overall conclusions workshop chair and a final discussion.


Structure of the Sessions

The spirit of the topical sessions is that of working meetings with specific focus(es) and extensive discussions, according to the philosophy “everybody is a player”. For each session, a short document illustrating the context with open questions will be found on the Web site and will be sent to the invited participants to solicit active involvement.

Invited speakers will be asked to circulate in advance a short (1 page) position statement/working paper and a few slides, possibly answering to specific questions: this will ensure that discussion is focused, thus facilitating the organisation of the sessions and the ordering of the presentations. Each session will be briefly introduced by the Chair, followed by presentations by invited speakers, who are expected to give short presentations on their views. Other participants are encouraged to actively contribute to the sessions with their views, reflections, and support material.

The final plenary session will give the Rapporteurs the opportunity to present summaries, to feedback the outcomes of their sessions to the whole assembly and to raise additional discussion and debate.

The meeting will thus provide a unique opportunity to establish a common forum among the various actors and a lively intellectual framework for starting specific theoretical and practical work in the longer term. Topics that will emerge from the presentations and discussion in the sessions, could be the object of specific meetings to be organised in the next future. The results of the discussion will also serve as an input to start a new Roadmap for LRs/LTs and will be integrated in the recommendations issued by FLaReNet to the EC, national organizations, and industry.


Best Contribution Contest

A contest for best contributions to the themes dealt with in the various sessions will be set. Interested participants are asked to contribute one position abstract (1, max. 2 pages), either tackling a relevant open issue or expressing new visions for the future (for further instructions on the contributions submission see the Contest section). Authors of best contribution(s) will be awarded with reimbursement of their travel expenses and will be invited to give a short presentation to one of the relevant sessions.


Participation Policy

Participation to the workshop is open, but subject to online registration due to limited number of admissible participants: anyone interested should register in advance through the appropriate form available in the Registration section.

Minimal fees for participation to the workshop may be required.

Before registering to the Event, please join the Network: you are invited to access the Join FLaReNet section and express your interest in joining FLaReNet by completing the form available there.


Workshop Proceedings

Position papers contributed by invited speakers, abstracts by the winner(s) of the contest, wrap-ups by Rapporteurs and final outcomes will be collected in a post-workshop volume.