BioASQ, a project aiming to get closer to the vision of machines that can answer our questions, was

BioASQ, a project aiming to get closer to the vision of machines that can answer our questions, was initiated by a consortium of five leading institutions and one company: Université Joseph Fourier and Université Pierre et Marie Curie, both France; Athens University of Economics and Business Research Centre, and National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, both Greece; University of Leipzig and Transinsight GmbH, both Germany. The project aims to bring together the best of the best in automated semantic indexing and question answering in the biomedical domain. It started during October 2012 and is funded by the European Commission in a support action (FP7/2007-2013: Intelligent Information Management, Targeted Competition Framework; grant agreement n° 318652). BioASQ’s major goal is to foster the development and application of computer-based semantic intelligence technologies to help individuals and medical doctors get answers to medical questions faster and more precisely.

To find the best in the field, BioASQ runs a challenge where participants can compete against each other. The competition started 22 of April 2013 and contained two different tasks: (Task 1A) Large-scale online biomedical semantic indexing, and (Task 1B) Introductory biomedical semantic QA. In total 117 users and 73 systems registered to the automated evaluation system in order to participate in the challenge; 46 of them finally submitted their suggested solutions and answers. The final results were released at a BioASQ workshop at the Cross Language Evaluation Forum (CLEF), which took place between September 23 and 26 in Valencia, Spain.

The Award for Semantic Intelligence, sponsored by Transinsight, was given to the participant who took part in all tasks and achieved the best overall results. The winner is Yifeng Liu, Wishart Research Group from the University of Alberta in Canada. “We are very pleased to hand over the first Award for Semantic Intelligence to Yifeng Liu since he is one of the high potentials in the area of Semantic Indexing and Question Answering. Demonstrating the overall best performance shows the strong ability of this technology, which is applicable to a wide field of applications. Our warmest congratulations!” said Michael R. Alvers, CEO of Transinsight.

The 2014 challenge will start in March 2014. The second Transinsight Award for Semantic Intelligence will be awarded again to the best overall winner at next year's CLEF, which will be held in Sheffield, U.K.


Transinsight develops knowledge-based solutions. Their semantic software platform Enterprise Semantic Intelligence ® powers the knowledge-based search systems and, semantic search engines for the next generation. In acknowledgement of the technologies developed by the company, Transinsight has repeatedly been honored with international awards amongst others the reddot design award – communication design – best of the best 2009, the German Industry Prize 2010, the German Innovation Prize IT 2011 and the Detecon ICT Award 2012. The firm works in close collaboration with the Dresden University of Technology. Selected customers are: Unilever, BASF, BfR, Statoil, RWE, Abcam und EMBL. Internet:

source: press release of Transinsight from 10/09/13