SignON Wins Most Innovative Transformation Award at Digital Transformation Awards 2024

05 July 2024

SignON, led by Principal Investigator and ADAPT Centre co-founder Prof. Andy Way, has won the Most Innovative Transformation award at the Digital Transformation Awards 2024, announced last night. The Digital Transformation Awards celebrate the most innovative individuals, projects and companies advancing excellence in Ireland’s digital transformation landscape, and ADAPT are delighted to see SignOn recognised for its many successes.

The SignON project, backed by €5.6M in EU funding from the Horizon 2020 Call, was created to bridge the communication gap between spoken language users and deaf and hard of hearing sign language users. Over a successful three-year period, SignON has achieved remarkable progress in this area.

SignON developed a communication service utilising machine translation to convert between sign and spoken languages, significantly enhancing information exchange among deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing individuals. The project’s success is attributed to its user-centric and community-driven approach, involving close collaboration with European deaf and hard of hearing communities to define use cases, co-design and co-develop the service and application, and assess and validate their quality and acceptance.

Prof. Way said “I am thrilled that this hugely innovative project has been recognised by so many people as impactful for the users we set out to provide a service for, a community traditionally excluded from society yet which has so much to offer when properly accommodated. This was a great project to coordinate, with fantastic support from a brilliant consortium, with particular thanks due to Dimitar Shterionov, our scientific coordinator, and Aoife Brady, who successfully managed the project. Hopefully SignON sets the standard for all future projects, where end-users are fully integrated into the project’s design and evaluation process from the word go.”

The SignON EU consortium includes 17 European partners led by Prof. Andy Way, Professor of Computing at Dublin City University, Ireland (coordinator), and Dr. Dimitar Shterionov, Assistant Professor in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at Tilburg University, The Netherlands (scientific lead).  The Irish team included DCU’s School of Computing / ADAPT and DCU’s School of Inclusion, TCD and TUD. Societal Partners included the European Union of the Deaf and the Vlaams GebarentaalCentrum.

This award is the third that SignON has received in recent months after it won the Societal Impact Award at the Analytics Institute AI and Analytics Awards in June, and also the prestigious Engaged Research Award at the SFI Summit Awards in November 2023.