Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal (CRIM)

Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal (CRIM)
SOVO Technologies inc.

SOVO Technologies inc.

April 29, 2010 07:00 ET

Serge Forest appointed CEO of SOVO Technologies

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - April 29, 2010) - Jacques Ouellet, Chairman of the Board of SOVO Technologies and CRIM's Vice-President of Research, Development and Marketing, is pleased to announce the appointment of Serge Forest as Chief Executive Officer of SOVO Technologies. Mr. Forest will take up his duties on May 17, 2010.

"We are very pleased to welcome Serge. His exemplary career and remarkable achievements are aligned with the development goals of a start-up organization such as SOVO. Based on the programming hours broadcast on all types of networks, the value of the global close captioning market for the hearing impaired exceeds one billion dollars annually. In view of the fact that regulatory requirements with respect to subtitling vary significantly from country to country, the current penetration rate is certainly less than 50%," said Mr. Ouellet.

In the coming years, the developed countries will be moving towards mandatory subtitling of all TV programs broadcast within their jurisdictions. In addition, subtitling will also be used for Internet content in certain countries, as well as in academia, videoconferences and mobile applications. More than 10% of the world's population is hearing-impaired, and this proportion is expected to keep growing.

Daniel Blanche, CRIM's Chief Executive Officer, said: "CRIM researchers' work in the field of automatic speech recognition is recognized worldwide. It should be noted that CRIM began developing this research area 25 years ago, and its expertise is unquestioned. Moreover, SOVO, and its STDirect application, is a spin-off from CRIM. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Pierre Nelis, Vice-President and Managing Director of Inno-Centre, one of our partners from the outset, for serving as SOVO's interim CEO."

"In keeping with our mission to foster the development of start-up companies, Inno-Centre's specialists developed SOVO's business plan and provided support during all of the implementation stages, culminating in the establishment of this brand new company. Mission accomplished!" said Claude Martel, Inno-Centre's President and Chief Executive Officer.

SOVO's new CEO, Serge Forest, added: "I am very pleased to take the helm of SOVO. I believe that the company's future prospects are very bright thanks to our team's unique expertise and the impressive technology developed by CRIM, to say nothing of ever-growing market demand. I witnessed SOVO's highly successful efforts at the 2010 Winter Olympics as exclusive service provider for all of the French-language channels. The team produced 745 hours of subtitles broadcast live over a 17-day period—an impressive achievement! I look forward to contributing to SOVO's development, drawing on my IT experience and my passion for helping start-up organizations become international players and leaders in their sectors."

Mr. Forest has an enviable track record of achievements to his credit. Until recently, he served as Vice-President of Marketing for Sangoma Technologies, which specializes in voice and data products for communication applications. In his capacity as co-founder, Mr. Forest was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of Paraxip Technologies in 2003; the company was sold to Sangoma in 2008. Prior to that, Mr. Forest held a managerial position at Nuance Communications as well as various positions at Nortel. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from Montreal's École Polytechnique.

About SOVO Technologies

SOVO Technologies Inc. is a spin-off from the Centre de recherche informatique de Montréal (CRIM). As part of its mission, it markets under licence a state-of-the-art subtitling system known as STDirect. This system is based on a combination of technologies developed by CRIM, several of which are subject to patent applications. STDirect also incorporates speech recognition technology developed by CRIM, which plays a leadership role in this area. STDirect's initial application pertains to the coded subtitling of TV programs for the deaf and hearing impaired.

About CRIM

CRIM is an applied IT research centre that develops and transfers technologies and knowledge with a view to adding value to the products and services produced by businesses and other organizations and contributing to their marketing efforts. CRIM takes part in a wide range of activities, including planning, piloting and carrying out R&D projects with universities, businesses and research centres; organizing specialized training; conducting software testing and project coaching; raising awareness about information security; and organizing science and technology events. www.crim.ca

About Inno-Centre

Established in 1987, Inno-Centre fosters the start-up and growth of companies that use world-class technologies. In addition to developing and marketing a wide range of research initiatives, Inno-centre provides companies and parapublic organizations from Quebec and around the world with a full slate of professional and business services, including technical and commercial evaluations, business coaching and international marketing assistance. www.inno-centre.com

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