The Institute for Language and Speech Processing

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The Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP) is the largest R&D organisation in the area of Language Technologies (LT) in Greece, and a centre of excellence for basic and applied research in the field. It was founded in Athens, Greece in 1991 under the auspices of the General Secretariat for Research and Technology of the Ministry of Development. In 2003, ILSP joined the Integrated Research Centre for the Information Society (“Athena” Research Centre).

Mission and goals

Language Technologies is a multifaceted and strongly interdisciplinary field. The goal of ILSP is to support the growth of language technologies in Greece; a fact that shaped its profile and defined its character ever since its establishment nearly 20 years ago. To this end, ILSP has brought together experts in related disciplines and has set up the necessary technical infrastructure. The Institute draws on various traditions, namely, linguistics, signal processing, information technologies, statistics, and cognitive science. Its activities cover a wide range from computational linguistics to machine learning, signal processing, computer science, statistics, psycholinguistics and cognitive science. Interdisciplinary research and application development hold the largest share, supported by on-going work in the individual disciplines.

Research objectives

ILSP conducts interdisciplinary research in all aspects of the Language Technologies spectrum. It encourages collaboration among researchers of different subject areas, targeting fundamental theoretical and applied research problems, developing technology, innovative solutions and integrating prototypes that address industry challenges. ILSP’s main research areas are:

  • speech and music technology
  • multilingual computing
  • multimedia processing
  • multimodal communication
  • natural language processing
  • sign language technology
  • language development
  • technology-enhanced learning
  • digital libraries and archives

ILSP’s research activities are organised in six scientific departments. ILSP has a strong presence in the R&D scene. It has successfully participated in more than 150 national, regional and European R&D projects. In this context it has closely collaborated with numerous prestigious academic institutions, research centres, organizations, and large scale companies, coping with and delving into the idiosyncrasies of the large-scale challenges faced by the industry, government and society.

Research and academic performance

ILSP continuously seeks to ensure a strong, internationally competitive research base by successfully combining basic and applied perspectives while maintaining a societal and industrial relevance. ILSP’s strong research performance is demonstrated by:

  • an active scientific publication record: 271 publications in scientific journals and international conferences in the last 5 years.
  • a significant scientific impact (938 citation by third parties as measured in 2009)
  • a track of scientific prizes (3 prizes in international scientific contests received in 2007-2010)
  • active participation to teaching and academic activities (5 PhDs theses and several Master’s theses which were hosted at ILSP and supervised or co-supervised by ILSP researchers were completed in 2009)

Development and innovation performance

In parallel, it has demonstrated significant development performance as evidenced by:

  • a rich palette of Greek language resources and tools
  • over 35 globally marketed end-user products
  • a number of language technology innovations in Greece
  • the foundation of spin-offs exploiting technological outcomes with a strong potential in dynamic market areas (voice enhanced services and appliances, e-learning, e-publishing, media monitoring).

As evidenced by the findings of its latest international evaluation in 2005, ILSP is considered to have a prominent position in language technology in Europe with a significant contribution at national and European level and a track-record of innovation in Greece and beyond.

Delivering value to the industry and the society

As a unique research institute in Greece focusing on speech and language technologies, ILSP has become a pole of attraction for the lively Greek and European industry of language and information technologies. Ever since its establishment, delivering value to the Greek society and industry by diffusing research results in language technology has been a central part of ILSP’s mission and agenda.

ILSP’s research capacity has had a direct effect at a larger scale, benefiting a wide range of stakeholders. This is manifested by the various and numerous links that ILSP has established with ICT stakeholders in Greece, including research bodies and RTD groups, higher education, end-user communities, the private sector and public bodies. Currently, ILSP’s technologies are powering numerous public and private products and services, spanning from government portals to accessible mobile devices offered by large Greek telecoms, to language-technology-enabled applications offered by companies and so forth while more than 15 end-user products are currently available to the Greek market. These bonds are a valuable asset for ILSP which allow it to play a policy support role at local and national level.

This way, ILSP has been consistently serving its mission: to support the growth of language technology in Greece by performing high-quality research and producing research outcomes that create value and societal impact at a local, national and regional level.