When Science and Business meet – Industry award for research software tool


Appen Corporation recognizes the development of the “WebAnno” annotation tool

The “Ubiquitous Knowledge Processing Lab” and the “Language Technology group” at TU Darmstadt receive an award of 5.000 € in total for providing the free and open-source software “WebAnno”.

WebAnno, developed in the computer science department of TU Darmstadt, allows the annotation of texts on many levels and by multiple users. The tool offers advantages to both academic research and commercial industry. Appen, a US-based provider of speech and search technology services, aims to reward and encourage the successful collaboration between both communities with this award.

Linguistic Annotation is an essential step in the process of training and evaluating machine-learning algorithms, which are at the core of modern natural language processing. Because WebAnno is offered as open source software under the liberal Apache Software License, it can be freely used by researchers and businesses alike.

Employees from Appen started using WebAnno about a year ago, participating in the user forum with valuable feedback and suggestions for improvements. The award will allow the WebAnno developer team at TU Darmstadt to make the tool more attractive to the user community at large.