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Semantic AudiovisuaL Entertainment
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Partner Information

JOANNEUM RESEARCH (JRS, AT) – a non-profit technology centre, concentrating on applied R&D with a highly qualified staff of more than 380 people. They implement their know-how in all sectors of technology transfer and innovation. Their service includes specifically geared development tasks for small- and medium-sized companies, complex interdisciplinary national and international research assignments as well as tailored techno-economic consulting. They have provided the necessary know-how and manpower for setting up and running national competence centres as well as large international projects.

The Institute of Information Systems & Information Management focuses on web based information systems and digital media. Since Framework IV, the Institute has participated in more than 40 EC funded projects. Early projects in the area of digital media concentrated on developing algorithms and systems for digital film restoration. This has resulted in one of the worldwide leading film restoration applications being commercially available – DIAMANT. Due to this leading position JOANNEUM RESEARCH is core member of the PrestoSpace Integrated Project funded under the strategic action “Access to Cultural Heritage” in FP6. In this project JRS is responsible for the coordination of the restoration work area. Current research is targeted towards context based indexing and retrieval in conjunction with MPEG-7 based metadata repositories.

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Activa Multimedia (AM, ES) - founded in 1997 and it is a subsidiary of the Corporació Catalana de Ràdio i Televisió (CCRTV or Catalan Broadcasting Corporation), whose corporate aims are to develop activities covering the introduction of digital technology and new communication media. The Catalan Broadcasting Corporation is a public company from the Catalan Government, owns Catalonia's public radio and television networks and a number of communication and service companies.

Activa Multimedia produce analogical and digital TV channels and is specialized in cross media, multimodal automatic content distribution in the fields of digital TV interactive applications (DVB-MHP), broadcast TV, web and mobile.

Activa Multimedia has a wide experience of European and national projects, like; GEMINI, eTITLE , Content4All, Impulse, Marquis and Arena.

The company has also a new research and business unit, related to virtual characters. It has developed, jointly with the UPF and the URL, a system that allows the cross platform generation of videos with virtual characters. With this system, Activa Multimedia has developed a virtual weather anchor which makes an automatic weather forecast for different European cities, across different platforms (TV, Internet, wireless).

In SALERO our virtual character will grow up from the knowledge acquired in the project. The implementation of intelligent virtual characters in different cross-media platforms will be very common in the future to make interaction with electronic and consumer applications more friendlily for users.

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Blitz Games Ltd (BLITZ, UK) - established by Philip & Andrew Oliver, who started writing games in 1981, with their first published titles appearing in 1984. By 1986 their distinctive brand of playable, imaginative, quality games led to incredible success with an estimated 7% of all UK game sales attributed to the Oliver twins. With games such as the Dizzy series, the Simulator series and Ghostbusters 2 this resulted in over 10 UK number one best sellers and over 3 million sales. In 1990 the company, then called Interactive Studios, was formed. Since then, Blitz Games Limited has developed 46 games, which have sold an aggregate of over 10 million units. Over the years, Blitz has won many awards including Midlands Business of the Year, British Screen Media Festival - Application of Technology Award, Best British Developer, Sunday Times ‘FastTrack’ and ‘TechTrack’ 100 and Deloitte & Touche European Technology Fast 500. Blitz currently employs 120 people.

Blitz provides a one-stop total solution to its clients, which include all the major publishers and the main platform owners. With its comprehensive in-house support services, it makes sure that all projects are completed on schedule and to a high level of quality. Its teams include R&D, Concept Design, Audio, QA, Market Assessment, PR & Marketing, Legal and Localisation. Blitz is well known for its technology prowess and owns one of the few comprehensive multi-platform, fully integrated games programming engines in the industry.

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Pepper’s Ghost Productions Ltd (PGP, UK) - a UK based animation and Media Properties company, focusing on childrens televison and interactive developments. Winner of prestigious BAFTA awards in 2001 and 2002, Pepper's Ghost provides commercial, creative and technical solutions for properties in cross-media developments. Tiny Planets, entirely owned and produced by Pepper's Ghost, is on air in over 100 countries around the world and has significant internet and publishing / merchandising activities attached to it. Pepper's Ghost has also worked with government backed projects in research and development into improving production tools and methodologies for animation and cross-media implementation.

PGP is a character based creative properties company established to take advantage of the shift in technologies to deliver properties across a wide range of established media. Peppers Ghost Productions actively seeks and develops international animation properties with partners - both PGP’s own and other people’s animation properties.
The Company’s first cross media property, Tiny Planets has been co-produced with the American organisation, Sesame Street. This property has been exploited on Television (including showing in over 90 countries), Video, DVD, On-Line, e-books, and console games. PGP is dedicated to delivering quality 3D Computer Generated Animation across all genres including action, adventure, situation comedy, and drama. Strong Management expertise combined with experience in delivering episodic and cross media productions enable PGP to develop, control, and deliver animation properties. PGP has participated in a number of UK National and EUREKA Technology projects, including 3-D Toolbox.

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Fundació Barcelona Media Universitat Pompeu Fabra (FBM-UPF, ES) - a non-profit organisation set up by Universitat Pompeu Fabra at the beginning of 2002 to promote innovation projects and technology transfer of the communication areas of Universitat Pompeu Fabra. Acknowledging its success, it has recently become a Technology Centre supported by the Catalan government to drive the competitiveness of the media industry by further promoting innovation initiatives and projects.

The Interactive Technology Research Group belongs to both the Departament de Tecnologia and the Institut Universitari de l’Audiovisual of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra. It focuses on human aspects and technology, especially related to interactive multimedia and networks, and current work includes advanced computer graphics (especially in games and real-time interactive visualisation with very large molecular structures), cooperative environments, intelligent web portals, educational telematics, geographical information systems, and computational toys for children. Recent European research projects include IST SPEED-FX, about very high resolution real-time image and graphic interaction for the media industries, project coordinated by UPF, one of whose products won an IST prize in 2004; IST Link3D, aimed at developing a collaborative real-time interactive environment for professionals in the field of molecular discovery; eContent SCOPE, Structuring Content for Online Publishing Environments, also coordinated by UPF. A byproduct of Link3D is OpenMOIV, an open source package currently being used by several drug discovery software companies.

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Universitat Ramon Llull (URL, ES) - a private, non profit-making university located in Barcelona (http://www.salero.info/spacer.gif). The success of the URL, which is formed by 10 federated institutions of great prestige and with a long tradition in higher education in Catalonia, lies in the quality of teaching -based in the strengthening of the aptitudes of the person, the reduced working groups and the close relationship between the students and the teaching staff.

The research group involved in SALERO belongs to La Salle School of Engineering, one of the 10 federal centres that founded URL in 1990. La Salle offers undergraduate, graduate, PhD and Master Studies on architecture and engineering including computer science, electronics, telecommunications and multimedia. The Digital Signal Processing (http://www.salero.info/spacer.gif) research group has research competences in signal processing, speech processing, and computer vision topics. The DSP research group started the research on Text-to-Speech (http://www.salero.info/spacer.gif) converters in 1980, and it was one of the pioneering groups to obtain a TTS system in Spain. The group widened its work to include Artificial Vision in the middle 90’s. It has also a wide experience in signal processing techniques, such as array processing for object detection and spread spectrum applications.

Since 1999, the DSP research group has merged the knowledge on these topics in order to focus on multimodal signal processing. It has also incorporated active research in source detection and source separation techniques for speech applications, with the aim of improving multimodal human-computer natural interaction.

The DSP research group has sound contributions to object tracking, image understanding, three-dimensional interpretation, emotional TTS, audiovisual expressive speech synthesis and fusion of vision, sound and speech. It has also contributed to automatic conversion of speech parameters to gesture face parameters, in order to create a human-like virtual speaker driven either by text or by voice.

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Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT, IE) - Ireland’s largest Higher Education Institute with a history of more than 100 years. It was re-established in its present, integrated structure in 1992. There are 21,000 registered students and approximately 2000 staff in DIT. The Institute offers more than 100 programmes at various levels from apprenticeship to PhDs. 80% of the provision in DIT is unique in Ireland, making DIT a skill-critical institute in Ireland in terms of both the Lisbon Agenda and the Barcelona target of raising R&D spend to 3% of GDP. Research in DIT is based across its 6 Faculties (Applied Arts, Business, Built Environment, Engineering, Science and Technology, Tourism and Food) and attracts funding from national, regional, public, private and commercial sources including major research investments from the Irish Government’s Programme for Research in Third Level Institutes and Science Foundation Ireland.

The Digital Media Centre is a multi disciplinary research group within the Faculty of Applied Arts and has been building its project portfolio area for over 10 years. The projects are focused around clearly defined research domains, one of particular relevance being technology and language learning, which has a number of nationally funded projects in this domain. The centre has a portfolio of eight national and EU projects and has participated in projects funded under Frameworks 4, 5 and 6.

In association with the Faculty of Applied Arts, the Digital Media Centre is a dynamic structure for the development of new media, creating links between academia, industry and the public sector: cross-fertilising education and industry; supporting industry with academic skills and knowledge; supporting education with industry market intelligence and resources; and influencing public policy.

The mission of the Research Unit of the Digital Media Centre is to investigate and explore current and emerging developments in interactive media, and information & communications technologies in innovative ways; and to apply these to the benefit of education and industry.

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Taideteollinen Korkeakoulu (TAIK, FI) - better known as the University of Art and Design Helsinki, Finland, gives education and pursues research in the fields of design, audio-visual communication, interactive media design and production, art education and the arts. TaiK is the largest art and design school in Scandinavia. Relevant for this project is the TaiK’s experience in developing education in the area of New Media as well as in many research and development projects carried out in the Media Lab faculty and the Media Centre LUME including considerable efforts in many IST projects in recent years.

Crucible Studio is University Art And Design Media Lab's and Media Centre LUME's joint research group. It studies and develops storytelling of digital, non-linear and interactive media. The Studio's goal is to achieve deeper emotional experiences in interactive media and to create production methods to develop content and technology simultaneously in the multi-talented teams involving artists, designers, scientists and technology experts.

In SALERO Crucible will research on how flexible media assets can and should be automatically processed, when reused from genre to another in various media. Through experimental productions and demonstrations Crucible will provide knowledge of usage of media objects both in genres and media.

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Glasgow University (UG, UK) - established in 1451 and is one of the oldest universities in Scotland. For the last 15-20 years, the research group at the University of Glasgow has been in the forefront of the information retrieval research internationally. It has set trends in many aspects of IR research (e.g., theoretical models to IR, high performance retrieval, evaluation schemes in IR). Its research covers the spectrum from theoretical modelling, experimentation and applications. In addition, their research covers wider applications stretching from textual (both mono-lingual to multilingual), to multimedia retrieval. Recently, the group along with other colleagues in the wider field argued the need for incorporating context in information retrieval. The UG research team will investigate the development of retrieval techniques based on contextual factors. The media production applications considered in the SALERO project will allow them to investigate fundamental issues related to context based information retrieval.

The Information Retrieval Group at the Department of Computing Science involved in the development of context sensitive multimedia retrieval techniques. The IR group has a vigorous programme of research, based on both theory and experiment, aimed at giving end-users novel, effective, and efficient access to the world of multi-media information. Glasgow University is also leading WP05 on Context sensitive retrieval.

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Leopold-Franzens Universität Innsbruck (LFUI, AT) - one of the major research institutions in the area of Semantic Web and Semantic Web services technology worldwide especially with the work done in its research cluster “Reasonable Semantic Web Services (RSWS)” lead by Dr. Axel Polleres, who is one of the leading experts in this field and has a record in successfully undertaking IST projects.

DERI INNSBRUCK, the Digital Enterprise Research Institute of the University of Innsbruck, led by Prof. Dr. Dieter Fensel, is one of the key research institutions in areas of Semantic Web and Semantic Web Services with a highly international scope. The mission of DERI is to expose technologies for the Semantic Web and for Semantic Web Services, thus making a significant contribution in the development of the next generation of the Internet.
DERI’s interest in SALERO is to extend existing work in ontology languages and ontology infrastructure by applying it to the problem of mechanizing the lifecycle of media objects. DERI especially wants to lift existing work in less expressive ontology languages to a level of maturity that makes them usable in a wide area of application domains.

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Grass Valley Germany GmbH (GVG, DE) - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Thomson group, which provides technology, systems & equipment and services for the professional Media industries.

If you watch television or go to the movies, you've seen Grass Valley™ brand products at work. We're the world's video and film experts—especially as broadcast, television, and film production go digital. And we've got the Emmy® award-winning technologies and the top-flight customers to prove it.
With specialists for every area of the broadcast industry, our Turnkey Systems group integrates a wide range of technologies and products into cost-effective and reliable systems.
We continually reinvest a significant portion of our revenue into research and development at engineering centers worldwide. Grass Valley™ brand products are part of the Digital Media Solutions strategic business unit of Thomson. Headquartered in Paris, more information is available about Thomson at www.thomson.net.

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DTS, Inc. (Nasdaq: DTSI) (DTS, UK) - a digital technology company dedicated to delivering the ultimate entertainment experience.
DTS decoders are in virtually every major brand of 5.1-channel surround processors, and there are hundreds of millions of DTS-licensed consumer electronics products available worldwide. A pioneer in multi-channel audio, DTS technology is in home theatre, car audio, PC and game console products, as well as DVD-Video, Surround Music and DVD-ROM software. DTS audio products are featured on more than 27,000 motion picture screens worldwide. Additionally, DTS provides imaging technology and services for the motion picture industry; DTS Digital Images, formerly Lowry Digital Images, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DTS and an industry leader in image restoration and enhancement. Founded in 1993, DTS is headquartered in Agoura Hills, California and has offices in the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan and China. For further information, please visit www.dts.com.

DTS is a registered trademark of DTS, Inc.

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Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Music Technology Group (MTG, ES) - created in 1994 and part of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies of the Pompeu Fabra University of Barcelona, specializes in audio processing technologies and their musical and multimedia applications. With more than 45 researchers coming from various disciplines, the MTG carries out research and development projects in areas such as audio processing and synthesis; audio identification; audio content analysis, description, and transformation; singing voice synthesis and transformation; interactive systems; and software tools. The MTG is currently working in many public funded projects, both at the EU and national levels, and private funded projects with companies like Yamaha, Telefónica I+D, Microsoft, Pinnacle. In terms of FP6-EU projects, the MTG is currently involved in the following projects: PHAROS (audio-visual search across online spaces), SALERO (intelligent content for media production), SIMAC (semantic interaction with music audio contents), Semantic HIFI for future HIFI systems, HARMOS and its follow-up VARIAZIONI (exploiting multi media content in music heritage) as well as S2S^2. Within ITEA, the MTG is involved in the CANTATA project (content and network-aware tailored assistance). Other relevant public funded projects are AUDIOCLAS (sound effects classification and retrieval, Eureka E! 2668), PROMUSIC and TABASCO (content-based audio transformation).

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