Funding the Semantic Web: A cross-continental assessment and outlook

Posted in Science on August 21, 2008

Funding the Semantic Web: A cross-continental assessment and outlook

In the recent years semantic technologies have demonstrated their usefulness and applicability in a variety of domains, the Semantic Web being the most prominent one. The Semantic Web has started to move from academic research to deployed business-critical and scientific applications, with support from recommendations (standards) developed under W3C governance and a growing list of commercial technologies and products is being developed. These developments seem to be early but firm steps in establishing semantics as a core column of computer science and application development. The outreach of this development can only be assessed to limited degree at the moment, but most likely will affect key aspects of society and the way we communicate.

This high potential was recognized early by funding agencies all over the world. However, after the first strong funding in US by DARPA, subsequent research funding seems to be limited. Europe seems to have seem more substantial and sustained funding, at least during last few years. Now may be a good time to assess what has been achieved so far and how funding agencies see future research directions, funding opportunities and funding environments, i.e., what are the planned strategies and instruments of funding agencies to maximize the impact of future research in semantics. We consider it specifically interesting to the research community to hear the opinions and plans of the major funding bodies around the world and to learn about their view on future issues/requirements/applications/challenges related to semantics and Semantic Web-- and by extension their opinion on the needs of industry, government and education for research in the Semantic Web and related areas.

Coauthor: Frank Olken, National Science Foundation Coauthor: Isidro Laso Ballesteros, European Commission Coauthor: Mark Greaves, Vulcan Inc. Coauthor: Todd Hughes, Darpa Coauthor: James Milligan, Air Force Research Laboratory, Usa Coauthor: Amit Sheth, University Of Georgia

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