NESSI and SIRMA
3rd Balkan Conference in Informatics (BCI’2007)
27-29 September 2007, Sofia, Bulgaria
Vladimir Alexiev, PhD
CTO Sirma Solutions
Who is Sirma Group
• The largest Bulgarian-owned
• Established in 1992,
15 years of successful growth
• 250 staff, huge technology pool
• Own new office (built 2002)
• 15 Business units, including
product companies, banking software, international
IT consulting, system integration and outsourcing units
Who is Ontotext
Ontotext is a research lab of Sirma Group and worldwide-leading developer of core semantic
technology. Research areas: Ontology Management; Information Extraction and Retrieval
(IE, IR); Semantic Web Services. Application domains: Web Mining, EAI, KM, BI, and
Ontotext is active in leading-edge semantic research, but unlike a typical research
organization, it also embodies research results in production-quality software products.
Ontotext is the developer of several outstanding products and major contributor to open-
• KIM Platform: semantic search engine, using text analysis to provide hybrid queries
involving structured data and inference.
• WSMO Studio: semantic web services (SWS) modeling environment.
• OWLIM: industrial-scale semantic database, using Semantic Web standards for
inference and integration/consolidation of heterogeneous data.
• Wsmo4j:API and a reference implementation for building SWS.
• PROTON: light-weight general-purpose upper-level ontology defining about 300 classes
and 100 properties.
• ORDI: Ontology Representation and Data Integration middleware, integrated with
Ontotext and EU IST
Bulgaria’s most successful participant in EU IST projects under the EU Framework Programs.
Projects completed under FP5:
• On-To-Knowledge, inventor of OIL, www.ontoknowledge.org
Ontology Middleware Module and DAML+OIL reasoner
• VISION, Towards Next Generation Knowledge Management, km.aifb.uni-
• OntoWeb, Ontology-based information exchange, www.ontoweb.org.
Applications to (knowledge management and electronic commerce),
• SWWS, Semantic Web enabled Web Services, swws.semanticweb.org.
Comprehensive Web Service description framework; Web Service discovery;
scalable Web Services mediation platform
Other completed projects:
• COG, Corporate Ontology Grid, www.cogproject.org.
Commercial applications of grid technology via ontological modeling to
integrate corporate information.
• GATE, General Architecture for Text Engineering, www.gate.ac.uk
• SWAN, Semantic Web Annotator, deri.ie/projects/swan.
Large Scale Annotation of human language for the Semantic Web
Ontotext and EU IST
Projects completed under FP6:
• SEKT, Semantic Knowledge Technologies, sekt.semanticweb.org.
Targeting a synergy of Ontology and Metadata Technology, Knowledge
Discovery and Human Language Technology.
• DIP, Data, Information, and Process Integration with Semantic Web Services,
• InfraWebs, www.infrawebs.org, Intelligent Framework for Networked
Businesses and Governments Using Semantic Web Services (SWS) and Multi-
Ontotext and EU IST
Ongoing FP6 projects:
• PrestoSpace, Preservation towards storage and access. www.prestospace.org.
• IST World, Knowledge Base for RTD competencies in IST, ist-world.dfki.de
• SUPER, Semantics Utilised for Process management within and between
• RASCALLI, Responsive Artificial Situated Cognitive Agents Living and
Learning on the Internet, www.ofai.at/rascalli.
• SemanticGov, Providing Integrated Public Services to Citizens at the National
and Pan-European level with the use of Emerging Semantic Web Technologies.
• TAO, Transitioning Applications to Ontologies. How can existing 'legacy'
applications migrate to open, semantic-based SOA.
• TripCom, Triple Space Communication.
• MediaCampaign, Discovering, inter-relating and navigating cross-media
The total budget of these projects exceeds 90M EUR. Ontotext has won several FP7
projects as well
Sirma and NESSI
Sirma joined NESSI in 2006.
• The initiative came from Sirma Solutions:
a unit that works on large projects for
eGovernment, private companies, outsourcing.
• The idea was to intensify EU-funded research in more practically-oriented areas, such as
efficient implementation of large e-Government systems, improving software engineering
Sirma is a member of the following working groups:
• Software Engineering
• Project Management, Requirements Engineering, Quality Assurance subgroup
• Semantic Technologies
• Business Process Management
• Small and Medium Enterprises
Ontotext has already collaborated on EU FP projects with leading software vendors that
participate in these working groups, such as IBM, SAP, Atos Origin, IDS Scheer. We’ve had
very close collaborations with the leading members of the Semantic work-group.
Impact of NESSI
Unfortunately, so far NESSI has had no impact on Sirma’s work and EU projects.
• All of our collaborations were established before or independently of NESSI.
• We have not participated in FP7 proposals initiated by NESSI.
In our view:
• NESSI pursues a worthwhile research and application-oriented agenda (NESSI
SRA and NEXOF).
• A number of work-groups are established, but the level of activity is low.
• The potential for collaboration is huge but not realized yet.
• Some very capable SMEs are NESSI members, but their capacities are under-