European Interoperability Assets Infrastructure
Semantic Interoperability is a prerequisite for cross-border eGov. It is achieved by deploying multilingual meaning and knowledge assets. This involves the construction of a shared information infrastructure for all government organizations and businesses. This infrastructure enables meanings to be carried across language boundaries via sector specific data structures and data elements.
eGov plays a key role for the free movement of goods, labor, and information. It is thus one of three pillars of the Digital Single Market Strategy. It is planned to make the European Interoperability Framework (EIF) mandatory for all public IT projects. The Semantic Layer of the EIF is the most important to achieve successful interoperability. This requires that the precise meaning of exchanged information is understood by all stakeholders and preserved throughout exchanges. Today’s eGov projects include almost always both companies and citizens as stakeholders. Therefore the EIF requires that at back-office level, the underlying information architectures should be linguistically neutral to avoid multilingualism being a blocking issue. Regrettably, everyone is having a hard time finding a meaningful linguistically neutral knowledge.
The solution to this is to deploy multilingual meaning and knowledge assets. This involves the construction of a shared information infrastructure for all government organizations and businesses. This infrastructure will enable meaning to be carried across language boundaries via data structures and data elements.
The creation of Semantic Interoperability Assets needs to be made mandatory for all cross-border initiatives. Terminological resources are mined to build a basic infrastructure vocabulary for a specific domain. The terms with similar meanings are grouped into concepts. The concepts are connected by is-a-narrower-concept-of relations. This results in a taxonomy, a classification system capturing the knowledge of a domain or organization. In the final step it is made sure that every concept links to the related terms in all languages. All this can be procured and existing industrial solutions for this purpose can be leveraged.
ISA (Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations) can provide the standards and processing know-how. It can aggregate all Semantic Interoperability Assets and make them discoverable in a central network of assets and promotes their usage. ISA can manage and support the fill-up of missing languages. It would define and host the access layer so that larger IT companies, SMEs, and start-ups will be able to build on these assets and flourish by combining them with other types of data to build and market new applications.