On 6 December 2012, top executives of European Language Technology companies, who have joined forces in LT-Innovate, launched an Industry Vision Statement Establishing Europe's Global Market Position & Securing the Digital Single Market, calling for a major effort to deploy language technologies as a key building block of the Digital Single Market and enabler of a language-neutral eContent economy. 

The Vision Statement underlines that “mastering human language is the next big opportunity in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and Language Technology (LT) is a key technology of the future. Europe (a multilingual continent with more than 63 languages) should step up its investment in LT as strategic key enabling technologies that will determine the continent's economic competitiveness as well as its cultural integrity.

In one of its main proposals, the Vision Statement calls for a “European Language Cloud” (ELC) which would considerably bring down the costs of cross-border products and services and allow all Europeans to seamlessly interact with the 1 billion+ market of speakers of European languages. The ELC would constitute a major opportunity and boost for the European economy and society, creating many new jobs. Such a platform should also support the languages of Europe’s major trading partners, making European companies and citizens fittest for the global markets.

Jochen Hummel, LT-Innovate Chairman, comments: “There is no lack of innovation in Europe. The main stumbling block is that Europe’s SMEs do not grow beyond their national or regional linguistic islands to address European and global markets. European SMEs must get access to a market of continent-wide dimensions, through European-scale projects backed by European-scale funding. The European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Programme offers a major opportunity to boost innovation and regain competitiveness; but European Programmes need to become results-driven and should put innovators and job creators, in other words SMEs, into the driving seat!” [see press release].

Digital Agenda, Digital Single Market, EU, EU funding, Industry, language, LT, LT-Innovate, LTi, market, policy, strategy, technology, vision statement