What is the Semantic Interoperability Community (SEMIC) about?
The Semantic Interoperability Community develops solutions to help European public administrations perform seamless and meaningful cross-border and cross-domain data exchanges.
The provision of digital cross-border public services requires the exchange of data between public administrations of different EU countries.
Semantic interoperability is a fundamental enabler of such exchanges. It is crucial to agree on the use of common semantic standards, promote transparent and well-documented metadata policies and increase the visibility and reuse of existing semantic interoperability solutions.
Since its inception, SEMIC has contributed to the simplification of the environment in which EU countries exchange data for the delivery of electronic public services, addressing the issues and barriers related to semantic interoperability in the EU.
The Semantic Interoperability Community is supported by the Action on Promoting semantic interoperability amongst the European Union Member States of the former Interoperability Solutions for European Public Administrations (ISA²) Programme, which is now called Interoperable Europe. The SEMIC team facilitates the SEMIC community and coordinates the design and development of technical solutions enabling semantic interoperability.
What are the objectives of the Semantic Interoperability Community?
The Semantic Interoperability Community provides a forum enabling semantic interoperability practitionners and experts to:
- Align and agree on common definitions and specifications at the semantic layer for public administrations in the Member States and the EU institutions.
- Promote the use of ISA² specifications, such as e-Government Core Vocabularies, Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS) and DCAT Application Profile for Data Portals in Europe (DCAT-AP) at the European, national and local level and, thereby, increase the visibility of existing data standards.
- Capture and identify needs for developing new common data models.
- Explore, deploy and implement semantic specifications by participating in the execution of pilots.
- Share best practices, experiences and lessons learnt in the area of semantic interoperability.
- Raise awareness on the importance of semantic interoperability and appropriate metadata management policies.
- Discuss latest technological and policy trends and exchange views and insights at events organised by the community.
What are the benefits of the Semantic Interoperability Community and its solutions?
- A community of practitioners that supports the adoption of semantic interoperability standards through collaborative efforts and the sharing of knowledge and good practices.
- Free access to an European repository of reusable semantic interoperability assets, including technical specifications and knowledge on the domain of semantic interoperability.
- A central point of reference for collecting, organising, storing and making available semantic interoperability assets created by various EU entities.
- Practical support and expert advice to the implementation of semantic interoperability solutions through the execution of pilots that implement ISA² specifications.
What are the main activities of the Semantic Interoperability Community?
Development and promotion of data specifications
The Semantic Interoperability Community develops and maintains the following semantic solutions:
- e-Government Core Vocabularies
- DCAT Application Profile for Data Portals in Europe (DCAT-AP)
- Asset Description Metadata Schema (ADMS)
More information is available under Our solutions.
The community has established Working Groups for the development and maintenance of data specifications, e.g. e-Government Core Vocabularies or DCAT-AP. These Working Groups are open to the participation of everyone interested in semantic solution working for public administrations in the Member States or in EU institutions. The Working Groups are consulted during the public review of ISA² specifications. By sharing their comments, they actively contribute to improving the quality and usefulness of the data specifications.
Want to join our Working Groups on e-Governement Core Vocabularies, DCAT-AP or ADMS? Contact us by e-mail!
The set up of pilots using ISA² specifications provide a good opportunity for connecting semantic interoperability practitionners from public administrations in Member States or EU institutions. Pilots usually involve participants from more than one Member State co-creating solutions for the implementation of ISA² specifications.
Discover examples of SEMIC pilots in Our pilots section.
Knowledge creation and sharing on semantic interoperability topics
The Semantic Interoperability Community provides a forum for creating and sharing knowledge in different formats:
The SEMIC action with the participation of the community develops methodologies and guidelines to guide and facilitate the development and use of data specifications by public administrations. One example is the Handbook for Core Vocabularies. Moreover, studies are published , too, that cover a variety of topics and can be more or less technical, such as on GDPR or the benefits and use cases for ISA² specifications.Interested in more? View our various publications under Our resources.
Webinars, workshops and trainings
Finally, there are webinars and workshops to discuss the latest technological trends, present expert views on semantic interoperability topics or share the experience, good practices and insights from public administrations in Member States.
For example, the webinar on artificial intelligence and public administrations explored the potential of artificial intelligence for public services, with a particular focus on a ‘semantics’ perspective.
Want to participate in one of our webinars or workshops? Check out our events in the Overview section.
Want to learn more about semantic interoperability? Check out our training materials under Our resources.
Point of views
Our point of views illustrate the use of SEMIC solutions, share a reflection on a semantic interoperability topic and open the dialogue with other practitionners. In the SEMIC point of views, you can discover, for example, the link between Core Vocabularies and the new GDPR rules or how artificial intelligence can help public administrations make sense out of their data.
Partners and members of the SEMIC community are invited to bring their perspective on semantic interoperability topics, such as on linked data (Danish Digitisation Agency) or DCAT-AP and the EU Open Data Portal (Publications Office of the EU).
Want to stay informed about latest trends in the SEMIC community? Visit the Overview section!
Connecting with the Semantic Interoperability Community
The SEMIC community’s key event is the SEMIC conference organised under the ISA² programme by the European Commission. Since its first edition in 2011, this annual international event brings together around 200 experts and decision makers from European public administrations, EU institutions and agencies and the private sector with a common interest in topics related to semantic interoperability for public administrations.
Read more about the SEMIC conference and previous editions.
Stay connected with the community!