The Institute for Language and Speech Processing (ILSP) of the “Athena” Research Center 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. Ever since its establishment, twenty years ago, ILSP has been closely following and contributing to the evolution of language technologies; a fact that shaped its profile and defined its character. The Institute’s agenda cover a range of scientific areas from linguistic studies to information technology and signal processing.
Language technology is now adopting a broader view on what language comprises, placing language in a richer communication context and examining it in relation to other humans and their environment. This has fertilized the research in LT with approaches stemming from the areas of interaction, cognition and multimodality. In view of this, ILSP has identified a set of priority research axes in which it shall seek to further strengthen its know-how and foster its existing research assets. These are: multimodal communication, multimedia processing, language learning & learning disabilities, and text mining.
The LangTERRA project represents ILSP’s strong commitment to continuously reinforcing its excellence and strengthening its capacities, and involved a considerable mobilization of ILSP‘s resources. It involved networking with a large number of world-class research entities from different countries throughout Europe which have expressed their interest in actively participating to the LangTERRA activities. Furthermore, it involved the recruitment of experienced researchers in the priority research areas and the acquisition of state-of-the-art research equipment that will place ILSP at the fore-front of the European research. LangTERRA catalysed ILSP’s performance on the selected priority research areas and drastically increased ILSP’s overall capacity and potential to excel at a European level in the domain of language processing and in closely related fields.
In addition, LangTERRA had significant impact to the wider socio-economic environment through the active involvement of important actors and stakeholders from the public and private sector. Moreover, through the active participation of researchers from the Balkan countries, the project seeked for further synergies and expanded its impact to the wider Balkan area, thus providing additional opportunities for their integration and networking into the European research.