Vita, an Event to Launch Library Technologies Ecosystem in NLAI

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In summer 2019, the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI), in collaboration with a startup accelerator, Novin Tech, launched an entrepreneurship event called VITA.
In this one-month event sponsored by the Vice-Presidency for Science and Technology of Iran, Information Technology Organization and Innovation Center of the University of Tehran, the NLAI’s data, considering privacy policy, provided for data specialists and startup groups on artificial intelligence.
So, these resources could be used for developing new businesses as well as new technologies.
The event was primarily aimed on solving National Librarie’s challenges.
Also, due to the huge amount of historical and official data stored in the NLAI, there were opportunities for new businesses.
On the other hand, since one of the main challenges of developing artificial intelligence and data mining businesses is the lack of appropriate format and volume of Persian data, NLAI provided developers a good opportunity for using huge data records.
The event took place in two steps from 5th July to 5th August. First, the resume of the registrants was reviewed and about 300 participants were selected for the opening session to learn about the details and challenges of the event in different panels. Then, participants submitted their proposals for the event in a week. 92 proposals received and 42 of them selected for the next process.
In the next two weeks, the workplace and needed infrastructures were provided for the startup groups.
Also there were workshops in the areas of artificial intelligence, business development and NLAI value chain. Mentors supported the groups during the event. At last, 12 startup groups presented their projects at the closing ceremony.
The most notable ideas include projects on natural language processing for Persian resources, machine learning, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for Persian texts, recognition of ancient texts and handwritten documents, metadata extraction, object detection in image processing, retrieval algorithms, recommendation systems, publishing platforms, and specialists social networks systems.
The outputs of the event for startup groups were different depending on their field of activity; some of them collaborated with the NLAI’s projects.
In other cases the final product purchased by NLAI and the others supported by Novin Tech start up accelerator for fundraising.

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