The European Language Resources Association (ELRA) and the Vigdís International Centre of Multilingualism and Intercultural Understanding (VIC) have signed a Partnership Memorandum of Understanding. This was done on 20 April, when Veröld – Vigdís' house was opened, by Khalid Choukri, Secretary General of ELRA, Dr. Joseph Mariani, Research Director Emeritus at CNRS and Honorary President of ELRA, and Auður Hauksdóttir, Chair of the Vigdís International Centre, Sebastian Drude, Director of the Vigdís International Centre, and Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, former President of Iceland.
ELRA and VIC have entered into an agreement to address the technological changes that must be embraced for all languages to thrive in the digital age. The activities will cover:
the identification of Linguistic Data, or Language Resources, needed for Language Technology development, including translation, and research on education and social sciences,
the identification of gaps for the less-resourced languages and drafting of roadmaps,
the joint-organization of awareness and technical events on these issues,
the promotion (and use) of Data Management Plans with best practices to streamline the Language Resources lifecycle and to boost and improve their sustainability.
ELRA and the Vigdís International Centre will work on common dissemination documents and common publications and presentations at the major conferences of both organisations' interest. They have also agreed to meet regularly to share views and plans, on various domains including Language Resources and Language Technology. At least one event will be organised each year, alternatively in Reykjavík and Paris.
ELRA was founded in 1995 with the mission to set up a centralised not-for-profit organisation for the collection, distribution, and validation of speech, text, terminology resources and tools for research institutions and companies. Since then the mission has been extended to address all issues related to language resources as well as evaluation for the Human Language Technology sector. ELRA's operational body is called ELDA, Evaluations & Language resources Distribution Agency, and is responsible for the development and execution of ELRA's strategies and plans, and handles issues related to the distribution of language resources.