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European Strategic Program on Research in Information Technology

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The European Strategic Program on Research in Information Technology (ESPRIT) was a series of integrated programmes of information technology research and development projects and industrial technology transfer measures. It was a European Union initiative managed by the Directorate General for Industry (DG III) of the European Commission. Five ESPRIT programmes (ESPRIT 0 to ESPRIT 4) ran consecutively from 1983 to 1998. ESPRIT 4 was succeeded by the Information Society Technologies (IST) programme in 1999.

Some of the projects and products supported by ESPRIT are:

  • CGAL, the Computational Geometry Algorithms Library (CGAL) is a software library that aims to provide easy access to efficient and reliable algorithms in computational geometry. While primarily written in C++, Python bindings are also available. The original funding for the project came from the ESPRIT project.
  • Paradise: A sub-project of the ESPRIT I project, COSINE, which established a pan-European computer-based network infrastructure that enabled research workers to communicate with each other using OSI. Paradise implemented a distributed X.500 directory across the academic community.
  • Password: Part of the ESPRIT III VALUE project, developed secure applications based on the X.509 standard for use in the academic community.
  • RAISE, Rigorous Approach to Industrial Software Engineering, was developed as part of the European ESPRIT II LaCoS project in the 1990s.
  • SAMPA: The Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (SAMPA) is a computer-readable phonetic script originally developed in the late 1980s.

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