European Commission launches…

European Commission launches SEMIC.EU, the Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe

New eGovernment service started at expert conference in Brussels

At the conference "Interconnecting Europe" in Brussels on 17th June 2008, the European Commission, Directorate General for Informatics, opened the virtual doors of the Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe at www.semic.eu. The event was attended by representatives of leading European eGovernment projects and national administrations.

As a horizontal measure of the

IDABC programme ("Interoperable Delivery of European Services to public Administrations, Businesses and Citizens"), SEMIC.EU tackles the major challenge of semantic interoperability, the ability to exchange data and communicate across national, sectoral and lingual boundaries while preserving the meaning of the exchanged data. It was implemented by the German eGovernment specialist ]init[ AG.

The Commission initiated SEMIC.EU to create a single point of reference for semantic interoperability in Europe. It provides a valuable range of services, collaboration and a platform for pan-European eGovernment projects. Here users can manage and share interoperability assets, such as data models and taxonomies. They are encouraged to participate in communities to develop interoperability solutions or request help, coaching services and information. IDABC and the SEMIC.EU staff give users a hand in developing and enhancing their solutions.

"SEMIC.EU is key in achieving the first steps towards Semantic Interoperability, as it facilitates the process by which the actual meaning of content can be exchanged, understood and finally be re-used. I think this is a major challenge in Semantic Interoperability and it is what the Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe will address", said Aldo Laudi, SEMIC.EU Project Officer with the IDABC programme.

At the heart of the new portal is an open repository for the up- and download as well as the enhancement of "interoperability assets". The term describes data models, taxonomies, mapping tables, documentations and other items which enable meaningful data exchange between independent systems. As instruments for useful professional communication, many of them have already been developed within their respective domains. SEMIC.EU will now make them available to an open public, thereby complementing national efforts and reducing costs in national, European and international eGovernment projects. It follows the principle of using existing resources where these would otherwise have remained unnoticed.
With the SEMIC.EU launch conference, the European Commission has given new impetus to better citizen services and eGovernment in Europe by providing an initial technical solution to the major challenge of semantic interoperability.

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