Telecom Italia and the Autonomous Province of Trento: announcing SKIL, the new technology innovation Lab

04/08/2011 - 03:00 PM

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The Semantics & Knowledge Innovation Lab set up as part of the research hub designated as Italy’s ICT research centre of excellence by the European Commission.
Venture promotes advanced research and post-university education in semantic technologies applied to digital content.  

Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabè and the President of the Autonomous Province of Trento Lorenzo Dellai today officially opened the Telecom Italia Semantics & Knowledge Innovation Lab (SKIL) in Trento.  The new facility has been created to pursue advanced research and post-university education in semantic technologies that can be used to interpret and leverage data on the web or from other sources, such as data from a local area or environmental sensors.

Telecom Italia’s new lab will bolster the research hub in the Autonomous Province of Trento, Italy’s only ICT Knowledge Information Community (KIC) promoted by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT). Developed under the auspices of the European Commission, the project is built around a number of “communities of excellence” that are formed from a select number of university facilities which are true European beacons for post-university education, advanced research and industrial innovation in Information Communication Technology. The project goal is to closely integrate the worlds of research and industry and heighten Europe’s capacity to innovate. The Trento hub will be focusing on ICT research and experimentation into the EIT-designated areas of healthcare and quality-of-life, web 3.0, smart cities, intelligent power usage and transport, and smart spaces.   

The lab will leverage Telecom Italia’s expertise and know-how to develop a knowledge model based on semantic analysis mechanisms for interpreting and enriching text and audiovisual content, making it possible to establish relations between items in order to enhance access and the potential for end use.

The people of Trento and its surrounding area will be the first to benefit from this research, thanks to the area’s status as a major focal point for trials of ground-breaking service and technology. Initial applications will be for disadvantaged groups of people. Welfare and social services are set to use remote intelligent monitoring systems to analyse and interpret data gathered as part of the research project, with a view to providing care and assistance to the elderly without requiring them to leave their own homes.

Telecom Italia CEO Franco Bernabè said: “Trento has long been involved in forward-looking, technology-driven local digital development, which is why we chose it to set up this new semantic analysis lab. Telecommunications carriers must be capable of ‘listening’ to the network, of examining and understanding complex, multi-form phenomena. Above all, telecom companies need to extrapolate precious pointers from the network regarding the potential directions in which the business is likely to evolve. Innovative Information and Communication Technology projects are the order of the day in Trento, which shines as an example of how serious ICT research can be undertaken in Italy.”

Chairman of the Autonomous Province of Trento Lorenzo Dellai said: “Telecom Italia established its new lab in Trento as the culmination of a policy approach that has invested human resources and finance into research over many years. The European Institute of Innovation and Technology’s call for tenders, in which Trento competed to become one of six reference centres across the continent, was the first stage in a process that today sees us teaming up in Trentino with a major Italian industrial group. The next stage is to turn our attention to an ICT Village, a modern, innovative centre dedicated to fostering the finest minds and experiences in information and telecommunications technology.”

SKIL is located on the Trento RISE (Research, Innovation, and Education System) campus. The RISE consortium is Trentino’s ICT research, innovation and top-tier education system, and is now a partner of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT).

Telecom Italia is further fostering its commitment to scientific development by establishing five doctorate scholarships for researchers to join the Semantics & Knowledge Innovation Lab team.

 

Trento, 8 April 2011