Originating in the Open Access academic environment, Knewco INC is a company founded by scientists in Europe and the United States who want to make knowledge more accessible to the world.
By drawing on academic training at institutions such as Stanford University, Leiden University, University of Illinois-Chicago, Erasmus University and professional stints at the National Library of Medicine and the The Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics, the founding scientists of Knewco created Open Access technology ( i.e. the Knowlet Knowledge Space) that enables the knowledge space surrounding millions of concepts to be identified and visualized. The Knowlet Knowledge Space of these concepts is generated by applying advanced machine driven computational textual analysis. While this output of any machine generated "Knowlet" is of high quality and a valuable asset in exploring knowledge and enhancing the environment for knowledge discovery, the founders of Knewco always envisioned that the community would play the critical role of perfecting the knowledge space around any given concept.
At a scientific conference in Latin America, one of the founders of Knewco, Dr. Barend Mons (Dept. of Human Genetics Leiden University and Dept. of Bio-Semantics Erasmus University), was on the same leadership panel as Jimmy Wales. It was there that Dr. Mons shared his vision for the Knowlet Knowledge Space and expressed the value he placed on the community. Jimmy Wales told Dr. Mons about a wiki-based project that was forming that desired to grow a community to produce a free, multilingual resource in every language, with lexicological, terminological and thesaurus information (OmegaWiki). Dr. Mons upon his return met one of the founders (Gerard Meijssen) of what would eventually be named OmegaWiki.
Partnering on OmegaWiki development
Knewco and OmegaWiki formed an immediate collaboration to develop OmegaWiki, with Knewco providing both direct financial and technical support to the project. Now over a year old, the Knewco/OmegaWiki collaboration has only deepened as the symbiotic relationship between OmegaWiki's terminology and the Knowlet's ability to show the Knowledge Space around such terminology has continued to grow. Both organizations believe that the community can play a valuable role in growing the terminology in OmegaWiki as well as helping to perfect the Knowlet Knowledge Space of eventually every one of those terms.
Knewco has made available in Open Access its basic Knowlet technology to the users of OmegaWiki. In addition through its biomedical contacts around the world, Knewco has imported over 1 million terms into OmegaWiki to serve the community.
Wiki for Professionals
The technology created by Knewco was at first developed with the bio-medical domain in mind. This is a huge domain with many separate fields of interest. These have often a need for functionality, even terminology that is quite distinct. The first Wiki for Professionals in the bio-medical domain is Wikiproteins.
When a community organizes itself, a Wiki for Professionals is possible for any domain. When there is a sufficient interest, more Wikis for Professionals can be started.
With an ever improving terminology available, it becomes possible to provide a real time functionality based on the recognition of the concepts used in a text. The most obvious one is to get an explanation of the meaning of the word. This is something that we aim to provide. For English texts to start off with, and with support for other languages as we improve the system.