The Cognitive Semiotics and New Medias Team (ESCoM) is one of the FMSH’s independent R&D structures. It is specialized in semiotic engineering as applied to the field of digital audiovisual data.
ESCoM’s research and development activities are organized around a team that includes some fifteen researchers and engineers. The team has three sources of financing: directly by the Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH); by the Ministry of National Education, Higher Learning, and Research in the form of PPFs (Programme de Pluri-formation, or Multi-Topic Training Program) in the framework of four-year contracts between the Ministry and the FMSH; or other national or international (including Europe) R&D projects.
Peter Stockinger, full professor at Paris’ Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (INALCO), has been the director of ESCoM since its creation.
ESCoM’s main goals include:
* creating, managing, using, and conserving knowledge bases using digital technologies;
* defining and performing semiotic and computer R&D activities that progressively lead to more and more diverse and “customized” uses of digital document collections found in digital archives or libraries;
* setting up more stable institutional partnerships for R&D whose goals include mutualizing both digital knowledge resources (in the form of archives, libraries,…) and scientific knowledge, methodologies, and computer tools.
It was with these goals in mind that ESCoM set up in 2002 the vast program called “Audiovisual Research Archives,” which offers, among other things, access to thousands of hours of audiovisual research documents covering all disciplines in the human and social sciences.