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Karel Van Isacker presented AEGIS at the DRT4ALL conference on 27/06/2011 in Madrid, Spain.

Press Information

September 7, 2011

OASIS (, a research project partially funded by the European Commission under FP7, promises to revolutionize the interoperability, quality, breadth and usability of services addressed to older persons through ontologies and semantic web services.

First results will be presented at the 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2011) in Bonn, Germany (October 23 – 27, 2011).

How to support holistically the independent living and mobility of the older citizens across Europe? How to connect services for the elderly in an one-stop-shop fashion and interrelate and integrate those services?

OASIS (Open architecture for Accessible Services Integration and Standardisation), a research project partially funded by the European Commission (FP7-ICT, GA# 215754), has developed an open and innovative reference architecture, based upon ontologies and semantic web services. This architecture enables plug & play and cost effective interoperability, seamless connectivity and sharing of content between existing and newly developed services in all domains required for the independent living of older people and for the enhancement of their Quality of Life.

The project addresses the issue of direct re-usability of information across heterogeneous services and devices through the common understanding and sharing of contextual information.

The OASIS platform allows aggregation of different services which offers the unique benefit of enhancing each of the services through a synergic exchange of information. In consequence, each application can adapt to the specific needs of the user

By fostering interoperability, standardization and organizational / business arrangements based on cooperative and aggregating models, OASIS addresses some of the main weaknesses in this area. These include fragmentation and duplication, poor cooperation among the key players of the value chain and lack of sustainable business models. “By these means, OASIS aims to contribute to the sustainability and efficiency of social and health care systems” says Project Coordinator Silvio Bonfiglio.

OASIS will moreover boost and improve the competitiveness of the markets for innovative products and services, responding to the ageing challenge at both EU and global level, thus creating new opportunities for businesses.

The research work carried out by the OASIS Project in the field of ontologies and semantic web services will be discussed during the half-day OASIS Symposium (October 25, 2011:14:00-18:00), co-located with the 10th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2011) in Bonn, Germany ( October 23 – 27, 2011).

Press is invited to attend the Symposium.

Contact: Dagmar Roeller – Email:


OASIS Symposium at the ISWC 2011: Hyper-Ontologies and Modularity for Semantic Interoperability

The aim of the OASIS Symposium is to serve as a forum to exchange ideas with regard to the realization of a semantic interoperability of services.

The common vision of the Semantic Web is the achievement of seamless and transparent interoperability of services across diverse providers by making the meaningful content of those services openly accessible. For content to become ‘meaningful’ it must be related to more general information schemes for which some semantics has already been provided. Such information schemes range from tag collections, which impose an indirect semantics by means of induced similarity across tagged entities to formal ontologies, which explicity represent class-subclass relationships, the attributes of such classes as well as additional information that may be known about combinations of such classes and their instances. Whereas the semantic information that is explicitly maintained in ontologies might appear ideal for realizing the Semantic Web vision, substantial problems still render this goal difficult in practice. The symposium will address these problem areas.

More specifically OASIS addresses:

(i) the inherent complexity of constructing the high quality formal specifications necessary for trustworthy reasoning and (ii) the tendency for many formal specifications to emerge with little overlap in their coverage, modeling styles and intended semantics.

The solutions being explored involve: the replacement of large-scale ontologies by small-scale, application-specific ontologies maintained by those who know their data best, the system developers; automatic and semi-automatic support tools for allowing system developers to flexibly relate their data with re-usable ontologies in their domains of application; and the automatic generation of code supporting seamless data transfer across and within applications. The resulting framework relies on the well supported inter-linking of heterogeneous ‘ontological modules’, which we term a hyper-ontology.

The symposium will present results achieved to date and – through the contribution of highly qualified speakers, external to the OASIS Consortium – will raise issues in the formal foundations and guidelines for future hyper-ontology work and discuss opportunities for new standardization initiatives in the area of hyperontology-driven interoperability.

Specific attention will be devoted to interoperability spanning complex services in the areas of Independent Living, Autonomous and Smart Homes and Workplaces and to the provision of cross-domain networked ontologies, a goal which is itself a substantial research challenge.

Relevant topics that will be raised during the OASIS Symposium presented by renowned experts both internal and external to the OASIS Consortium, include:

  • Modular Ontology Design
  • Reasoning over content from multiple sources
  • Query processing over multiple linked datasets
  • Creating applications drawing on multiple data sources
  • Open Ontology Repositories
  • Information and design quality of ontologies
  • Semantic Web Services and support tools

The program is completed by a Round Table discussion titled “Interoperability, Applications and Hyper-ontologies: the way forward”.

You can sign up for the OASIS Symposium when registering for the ISWC.

For further information about the OASIS Symposium, please contact or :

John Bateman – Chair of the Symposium Organizing Committee


Silvio Bonfiglio – OASIS Project Coordinator


Evangelos Bekiaris – OASIS Project Technical Manager


For further information about the OASIS Project, please visit the web site

On 28 September 2011, the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability workshops at the Internet Governance Forum will take place in Kenya.
The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established a Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability. The Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability will facilitate interaction between relevant bodies, and ensure that ICT accessibility is included in the key debates around Internet Governance in order to build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to the Information Society. It organises two workshops at the Internet Governance Forum: “Mainstreaming the disability perspective for an inclusive society” and “Implementing good practices in accessibility for an inclusive society”.
More information.

on 25 November 2011, the ITU Workshop on “Telecommunications Relay Services for Persons with Disabilities” will be organised in Geneva, Switzerland.
One very important mechanism to provide equal access for persons with hearing disabilities are relay services, where an intermediary typically provides a conversion typically between voice and text or sign language. An increasing number of countries are adopting the UNCRPD and will need advice on the provision of relay services. Also, it is expected that more relay services will be deployed in Europe with the passing of new versions of the Telecommunications Framework Directives; similar regulatory activity and increase in relay service offerings are also expected in other parts of the world. In developing countries, where higher percentages of the population face disabilities, the need for relay services is greater. At the same time, it should be noted that, as the Internet infrastructure develops, it may be used to provide high-quality relay services without the need to build services using older technologies. Finally, relay services today entail operation costs higher than those of normal telephone calls; technical and regulatory solutions are needed to reduce those costs towards the equal basis access to telecommunication services prescribed by the UNCRPD. ITU-T Question 26/16 is currently studying relay services with an aim to advise in those areas through ITU-T Technical Papers and Recommendations. In this context, the workshop is intended as a forum where ideas, problems and good practices can be shared. Existing and future relay service suppliers will be able to share experiences with governments, regulators, standards makers, user groups and users; the outcomes will be fed into the Q26/16 studies.
More information.

The main objective of the Focus Group on Audiovisual Media Accessibility (FG AVA) is to address the need to make audiovisual media accessible for persons with disabilities. The Focus Group encourages participation of all standards development organizations (SDOs) working in this area. The FG AVA is open to ITU Member States, Sector Members, Associates and Academia. It is also open to any individual from a country which is a member of ITU and who is willing to contribute to the work. This includes individuals who are also members or representatives of SDOs as well as other interested stakeholders. The third meeting will be held on 17 November 2011 in Barcelona.
More information.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) established a Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability.
Users of telecommunications and information technology have a varied capability of handling information and the controls of their presentation. The source of this variation lies in cultural and educational backgrounds, as well as on age-related functional limitations, in disabilities, and in other natural causes.
The Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability will facilitate interaction between relevant bodies, and ensure that ICT accessibility is included in the key debates around Internet Governance in order to build a future where all sectors of the global community have equal access to the Information Society. We are convinced that the entire community can benefit from an “accessible ICT world,” as people can be permanently or temporarily disabled due to personal, environmental (e.g., a phone call in a noisy environment) or cultural (e.g., spoken language diversity) conditions. Moreover, we will all grow old and lose abilities that we take for granted now, thus enlarging the part of the population that would benefit from accessible communication. We cannot allow isolation of a part of the population due to lack of appropriate functionality that prevents the use of ICT resources by everybody to the fullest possible degree.
The coalition is open to any organization entity or individual working on the field, including Standard Developing Organizations (SDOs), and i coordinated by Andrea Saks (TDI Telecommunications for the Deaf Inc.)

Official Web site: Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability