Vicomtech is an applied research centre whose main lines of research fall within the areas of graphic computation, interaction and multimedia. It was set up as a not-for-profit association in 2001 by the INI-GraphicsNet Foundation of Fraunhofer-IGD and the Basque radio and TV broadcasting corporation EiTB, and currently comprises 16 members. The technologies developed by Vicomtech are applied in five main industrial sectors:

  • Digital Television and Multimedia Services
  • eHealth and Biomedical Applications
  • eTourism and Cultural Heritage
  • 3D Animation and Interactive Virtual Environments
  • Industrial Applications

Vicomtech is working on about 60 applied research projects a year with industries and administrations on a regional, Spanish State and European level; it has about 85 researchers and an annual turnover of 5.4 million euros. Initially, it was part of Saretek, the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network, which in July 2007 became Innobasque, the Basque Agency for Innovation, and the instrument that coordinates and drives forward Innovation in the Basque Autonomous Community. Likewise, the technological recognition achieved by Vicomtech over the years has enabled it to join the IK4 alliance and obtain the category of Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science.

The Vicomtech groups responsible for Speech and Human Language Technologies, 3D Animation, and Audiovisual Content Analysis are the ones participating in the BerbaTek project. The Speech and Human Language Technologies group applies and develops Automatic Speech Recognition Technologies, Spoken Dialogue Systems, Natural Language Processing and Machine Translation to process multilingual multimedia information and interact naturally with virtual personalities. The 3D Animation group develops virtual personalities or avatars that facilitate person-device communication that is closer to that which takes place among people through body language. The Audiovisual Content Analysis group works on analysis, classification, segmentation and annotation technologies based on the automatic analysis and use of ontologies that allow faster and more effective classification, management and retrieval of content.

Within the BerbaTek project, Vicomtech will be devoting itself to researching Automatic Speech Recognition, Spoken Dialogue Systems with avatars, Natural Language Processing, Machine Translation, techniques for the analysis, classification, segmentation and automatic annotation of images.

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