Siera (Integrating Sina Institute into the European Research Area)
03 / 2012 - 06 / 2014
SIERA aims to reinforce closer and sustainable scientific cooperation between Palestinian and EU scientists in the field of multilingual and multicultural knowledge sharing technologies. This objective is attained through integrating BZU Sina Institute, which is the largest ICT research centre in Palestine and among a few in the Arab world in this field, into the European Research Area. Two EU multilingual knowledge sharing portals (which were developed in previous FP7 and eTen projects) have been selected as a concrete testbed for establishing scientific collaboration and integration. The first, MICHAEL, is a cultural heritage portal which provides a multilingual service to explore digital collections from museums, archives, libraries and other cultural institutions from across Europe. The second, KYOTO (with Vossen as project coordinator), is a wiki-portal about environment and ecology. The key idea is to use them to investigate how to enable large-scale knowledge sharing portals with Arabic language and content. Both portals already support multilingual knowledge sharing. Extending such portals to support Arabic content and semantic search is a challenging task due to the complexity of the language and as the Arabic content needs to be semantically interlinked with EU content. MICHAEL and KYOTO portals were selected carefully not only because their application domains are important areas of interest for EU and Arab societies and markets, but because extending them with Arabic is a good case, from a scientific viewpoint to set up a joint research and cooperation, exchange knowledge, and tune in-house methodologies and tools concretely.