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About Sina Institute
“Sina Institute for Knowledge Engineering and Arabic Technologies”, in short “Sina Institute”, is a newly established research institute at Birzeit University, Palestine. It aims not only to advance the Palestinian society with innovative solutions, but also to contribute to the world knowledge with state-of-art research. The institute’s long term strategy is to be a world-class center of excellence in Arabic Knowledge Engineering. The institute consists currently of two research groups: OnToGroup, and ALTIR Group. The OnToGroup (lead by Mustafa Jarrar, Associate Professor) focuses on Arabic Lexical Semantics, Ontology Engineering, Knowledge Management, Database and Semantic Web. The ALTIR group (lead by Adnan Yahya, Full professor) focuses on Arabic Language Processing, Information Retrieval, and localized IT solutions for people with disabilities.
Although the institute is newly established, it is the largest research center in ICT in Palestine and among a few centers in the region specialized in Arabic Technologies. The institute has been awarded a grant from Google Int. for its research excellency in Arabic search engines and tools. It is also the coordinator and grant holder of the EU TEMPUS grant, (PalGov Project) to establish the Palestinian e-Government Academy (www.egovacademy.ps). It has recently been awarded an FP7 grant (SIERA project) as a coordinator and grant holder, in the area of multilingual and multicultural knowledge sharing. See several other ongoing projects
Mission and Goals
1) Scientific objectives:
- Advance human knowledge with innovative idea and applications; with attention to the needs of the Palestinian and Arab societies.
- Publish scientific output in the most reputable specific journals and conferences.
- Establish close corporate with national, regional, and international research centers.
2) Pedagogical objectives:
(Sina Institute is committed to gender balance, and a special attention will be given to people with special needs)
- Co-supervise Palestinian PhD students, whether they live outside or inside Palestine. A special arrangement will be done to give opportunities to such students to earn a PhD degree in topics related and invested toward the institute’s research topics.
- Establish future Master and PhD programs
- Provide research environment for the faculty members and students in Bachelor/Master programs, and guide them to produce high quality research articles.
- Develop new courses in advance and modern topics and deliver these courses not other faculties and universities
3) Outreaching-to-society objectives:
- (inside the University) Cooperate with and support other institutes and units in the university and enrich empower them with advanced IT solutions.
- (in Palestine) Cooperation and provide the consultancy needed to governmental and non-governmental organizations, as well as the private sector, and enrich them with smart and specialized professional knowledge and tools, which will in turn enrich the Palestinian economy and society at large.
- (in Palestine) Organize workshops and seminars for the public and professional communities to transfer knowledge and enrich the Palestinian technological dialogue.
- (regional and international) Provide the support and cooperation needed with different Arabic and global specialized institutes and organizations to develop unique and professional solutions and applications.
- Participate and represent the University in the international committees and standardization bodies (e.g., W3C, IEEE, ACM, IFIP) though the participation its members.