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Baidu-I2R Research Centre opens in Singapore

T.C. Seow | July 26, 2012
Chinese language Internet search provider Baidu officially opens its first overseas joint laboratory with I2R to develop language processing technologies.

I2R-Baidu BIRC
From left: Lim Chuan Poh (chairman, A*STAR), Wang Mengqiu (vice president, Baidu), Philip Lim (CEO, ETPL), and Dr Raj Thampuran (director, SERC).

Baidu-I2R Research Centre (BIRC), a joint laboratory established by the Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), a research institute of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and Baidu, Inc., the leading Chinese language Internet search provider, has officially opened.

At the BIRC opening ceremony, A*STAR's technology transfer arm, Exploit Technologies and Baidu signed a licensing agreement for Baidu to officially adopt I2R's Vietnamese and Thai Language technology and speaker verification technology. The licensing agreement further aligns BIRC's R&D directions with Baidu's global strategy and internationalisation efforts.

BIRC operates as an R&D unit on I2R's premises at Fusionopolis in Singapore. Equipped with computing facilities, BIRC has a team of researchers and engineers working on speech and human language technology.

In February this year, a joint-laboratory agreement was signed by Wang Mengqiu, vice president of Baidu, and Dr. Tan Geok Leng, acting executive director of I2R.

BIRC aims to be the centre for Southeast Asian language resources, natural language processing, information retrieval and extraction, and speech information processing. The centre has undertaken a research project on Vietnamese and Thai language resources and processing.

These language technologies will extend Baidu's Web services to the Southeast Asian market, and further strengthen Baidu's leading position in Box Computing technology, enabling efficient internet searches.

I2R's speaker verification technology was further enhanced by the BIRC team for Baidu's integrated platform for mobile devices. Mobile phone owners using the Baidu Cloud mobile platform can now enjoy secure and personalised mobile services with I2R's speaker verification technology.

"We're delighted to be formally opening the joint facility. We can now further accelerate cooperative efforts already underway. The synergies between Baidu and I2R are clear from the fruits already borne out by our cooperation," said Wang Mengqiu, Baidu's vice president.

"I2R is an excellent partner that can help fulfil our mission of providing the best and most equitable way for people to find what they are looking for online," she said.


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