The first prize of the 2015 Semantic Web Challenge was awarded on October 15th to the EIT Digital innovation activity 3cixty, which is part of the Urban Life and Mobility action line.
The Semantic Web Challenge is a prestigious international competition that attracts submissions from around the world, as well as considerable interest from industry. It has been awarded annually since 2003 in the context of the International Semantic Web Conference, the premier international forum for Intelligent Processing of Data on the Web. This year, the conference took place in the USA in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. It was sponsored by numerous companies such as Elsevier (which also specifically sponsored the Challenge), Oracle, Google, Yahoo! Labs, and IBM Research.
Competitors were expected to “apply Semantic Web and Linked Data techniques in building online end-user applications that integrate, combine and deduce information needed to assist users in performing tasks”. Entries to the challenge were also expected to at least “demonstrate a clear commercial potential, a large existing user base, or functionality that is useful and of societal value”.
The first prize was awarded for the multi-device application ExplorMI 360, which makes use of a large heterogeneous knowledge base about the city of Milan and Expo 2015, created with semantic web technologies, to enable visitors to explore the city and the Expo in novel ways.
Raphaël Troncy, whose team at EURECOM led the effort to win the Semantic Web Challenge at the conference, explains this success by the unique support provided by EIT Digital: “The 3cixty partners entered the innovation activity in 2014 with lots of powerful technology. It was the highly collaborative and entrepreneurially oriented environment created by EIT Digital that enabled us not only to put it together and extend it in a coherent way, but also to test and adapt it in the demanding environment created by Expo 2015 and Milan, making use of extensive feedback from both business stakeholders and end users.”
There can be little doubt that this award will attract even more business attention to the 3cixty platform and applications before their commercialization in early 2016.