Skip to main content

4. Settling a network of International Contact Points

In order to get reliable information regarding the national or regional initiatives on Language Resources, it was decided to settle a Network of FLaReNet International Contact Points all over the world, including but not limited to Europe and the European Union.

The role of the Contact Points is the following:
  - to provide reliable information on national/regional programs on Language Resources,
  - to provide information and establish links with research laboratories,
  - to provide information and establish links with industries (large groups / SMEs),
  - to provide information and establish links with administrations (various appropriate ministries and agencies).

The criteria for choosing those Contact Points were the following:
  - they should have good relationship with the research laboratories, industries and administrations in their country/region,
  - they should be well known on the national and international scene,
  - they should have interest for EU activities in Language Technology,
  - they should not have major conflicts with other key figures in their country,
  - they should not have conflict of interest with other possible commitments,
  - they should be able to react quickly and devote enough work for providing reliable information.

For some countries, it was necessary to have several Contact Points, in order to cover both written and spoken language, or in order to cover several regions or several languages in that country (such as in Spain).

A list of 93 countries or regions, including the 27 EU members countries, 7 regions within those members countries, 7 non-EU European countries and 52 non-European countries was first established, including 113 possible Contact Points. A list of 104 possible Contact Points covering 78 of those countries/regions was then finalized in July 2010. Several transnational initiatives, within and outside the European Union, were also identified.

The initiative was very successful and we immediately received many positive feedbacks during the Summer of 2010. Most of the contacted people accepted the invitation. Some proposed someone else from their institute or country that we accepted in most cases. As of August 2010, 102 people responded positively and 100 provided the information on national/regional initiatives in Language Resources. 76 countries or regions had a Contact Person and the information was available for 74 of them. We missed very few responses (2) and information about very few countries (3) in due time (see Annex 1). This shows that the choice of the Contact Points was correct and that they felt committed.