Developing an agenda and a roadmap
for achieving full digital language
equality in Europe by 2030

Towards Digital Language Equality: META-FORUM 2022 presents project results and newest release of European Language Grid

Three years after the last in-person meeting, the annual European conference on Language Technology returns to Brussels: META-FORUM 2022 takes place as a hybrid event on 8 and 9 June and focuses on “Joining the European Language Grid – Together Towards Digital Language Equality”. The conference presents the results of the European Language Grid and European Language Equality projects, but also includes highlights such as an LT industry session and insights into the needs and future demands of the European Language Technology community. Registration for online and on-site participation is open and, as usual, free of charge.

The 11th META-FORUM will be a very special edition of the international conference series on powerful and innovative language technologies for the information society: With both projects, European Language Grid and European Language Equality, coming to an end in June, the two-day event will be divided into presentations of the final results of the two initiatives, their continuation and the next steps. META-FORUM 2022: Joining the European Language Grid – Together Towards European Language Equality takes place on 8 and 9 June 2022 in Brussels as well as online and is as usual free of charge.

The first conference day will be devoted to the European Language Grid as well as the European Language Technology (LT) industry, with highlights such as a demonstration of the newest ELG platform and its features and use cases, a panel discussion on language-centric Artificial Intelligence (AI), an LT industry session, an outlook on the future of ELG and more. On the second day, the focus lies on the results and continuation of the European Language Equality project. The project team will present the measurement and monitoring of Digital Language Equality over the next years, in order to achieve the goal of full Digital Language Equality in Europe by 2030. A strategic research agenda according to this goal will be presented at META-FORUM 2022 and illustrated with numerous project results, such as the state of national LT and AI strategies in Europe and a demonstration of the Digital Language Equality Metric and Dashboard.

Georg Rehm, coordinator of ELG and co-coordinator of ELE: “We are extremely happy to return to Brussels for META-FORUM 2022 to celebrate the successful end of our two projects. For both of them, this year’s conference is more of a milestone than a curtain call. With the newest release of the ELG platform, a wide array of findings on the state of Digital Language Equality in Europe and a range of speakers from industry and research, the 11th META-FORUM will be more insightful and – thanks to its hybrid form – more accessible to the European LT community than ever. For both projects, we will also present our plans for the next steps and continuation of the initiatives.”

The registration is, as usual, free of charge. For further information, the full programme and the opportunity to register, please visit Current updates about the conference and the named initiatives are shared through the European Language Technology social media channels on Twitter and LinkedIn and featured in the ELT Newsletter.

Joining the European Language Grid – Towards Digital Language Equality
Hybrid conference
BluePoint Brussels (Boulevard Auguste Reyers 80, 1030 Brussels) and online
8-9 June 2022
Free of charge
Programme, info and registration:

Prof. Dr. Georg Rehm
Coordinator European Language Grid, Co-Coordinator European Language Equality
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI)
Speech and Language Technology (SLT)
+49 30 23895 1833

Spanish government invests 1.1 billion Euros into “New Language Economy”, including co-official languages

On 1 March 2022, the Spanish government announced that the Council of Ministers, the main decision-making body of the country, has approved a new “Strategic Project for the Recuperation and Economic Transformation (PERTE)”, an instrument for public collaboration with the private sector that was put into action in December 2020 to support the economy during and after the Covid pandemic. The project titled “New Language Economy” (“Nueva Economía de la Lengua”) aims to mobilise public and private investments in order to maximise the value of Spanish and the co-official languages of the country during the process of digital transformation towards a global level.

A total of 1.1 billion Euros of investments are meant to provide an impulse to the entire value chain of the language, AI and knowledge economy in Spain, which represents central aspects of digitalisation. This strategic initiative is supposed to combine a push of the key sectors as well as emerging markets with the transition towards a digital economy. According to the notice of the Council of Ministers, the primary aim of the project is to guarantee that AI “thinks” in Spanish and that Spanish-speaking businesses and citizens play a leading role in the emergence and creation of quality employment.

At least 30 million Euros of the investment are meant to be directed at co-official languages, which are spoken by around 30% of the Spanish population. A total of 14 projects, coordinated by public administration, universities, research centres, businesses and the industry, will receive funding, following five topical “axes”: The creation of a knowledge base in Spanish and in the co-official languages, Artificial Intelligence, science, the teaching and learning of Spanish as well as Spanish in the world and in cultural industries.

One central aspect of the “New Economy of Language” programme will be the creation of a corpus of Spanish and the co-official languages, for which 97 million Euros are earmarked. 330 million Euros will support AI projects, while 70 million Euros are directed towards the cultural and creative sector.

For the European Language Technology community and the goal of Digital Language Equality, these are exciting news. German Rigau, Professor at the Basque Center for Language Technology of the University of the Basque Country, one of the Spanish partners in the European Language Equality project, was involved in the preparation and planning of the “Impulse of Language Technology Plan (Plan TL), which is continued and extended by the new PETRE project. Regarding the recent approval, German Rigau states:

“The approval of the investments into a new language economy represents great news for our work at the University of the Basque Country, for Spain and all its languages and for Europe in general. We have helped developing the predecessing “Plan TL” since 2014 and are happy that the recent approval recognizes the importance of language in the digital world, in AI, in culture, but also in terms of creating equality. Hopefully, other countries will follow in this recognition.”