Karlsruhe, 02 July 2021

alfatraining sharply criticises sell-out of EU know-how to US providers by KIT spin-off

During the ongoing EU project, a KIT spin-off company providing the basic software for the EU project ELITR is bought by the US company Zoom, which is not subject to the high data protection rules of the GDPR. Instead of promoting Europe as an IT location, software developed in Germany is once again being sold on to the USA.

alfaview-Videokonferenz mit 12 Personen und Live-Transkrition
Selling off EU know-how to US providers by KIT spin-off
As part of the EU project ELITR (European Live Translator), the Charles University in Prague, the University of Edinburgh, the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Italian company PerVoice and the German educational company alfatraining Bildungszentrum GmbH are developing a European, GDPR-compliant live translation and live transcription for conferences and videoconferences. With its own GDPR-compliant video conferencing software alfaview®, alfatraining provides the video conferencing platform and together with the project partners is researching various forms of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and automated, multilingual transcription.

Talks with KIT had already come to nothing in recent months about implementing the research results (live transcription and live translation) in the GDPR-compliant German alfaview® video conferencing solution. Now, Professor Alexander Waibel and Dr Sebastian Stüker, who have been leading the ELITR team for KIT on the project so far, have sold their own company kites gmbh to the US provider Zoom, which is not subject to the European GDPR. This deprives the still ongoing EU project ELITR of the basis for cooperation, which is, however, elementary for the success of the project. The fact that a joint development and implementation of a GDPR-compliant software product has failed despite several offers from alfatraining and alfaview® is a disappointment for all companies that aim to promote Europe as an IT location.

As a research partner, the German educational company alfatraining is very surprised about this move and will immediately stop communication with KIT regarding ELITR and continue the project with the remaining research partners, the Charles University in Prague as well as the University of Edinburgh. "In order to continue the project in the spirit of the EU-funded research project and to bring it to a positive result, we will bring in a GDPR-compliant software for live transcription and live translation and integrate it into alfaview®," says Niko Fostiropoulos, CEO of alfatraining and alfaview®.

The ELITR project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No 825460.

For more information on ELITR, please visit https://www.alfatraining.de/eu-projekte/.
For more information on the German GDPR-compliant video conferencing software, please visit http://www.alfaview.com/en


Press release: alfatraining sharply criticises sell-out of EU know-how to US providers by KIT spin-off
02 July 2021
PDF, 311 KB
Image: Selling off EU know-how to US providers by KIT spin-off
Source: alfaview gmbh