The Semantic Web Services Challenge 2006 is organized by Stanford University. Phase I will be held March 8-10, 2006 whereas phase II will be held June 15-16, 2006.
The goal of the SWS Challenge is to develop a common understanding of various technologies intended to facilitate the automation of mediation, choreography and discovery for Web Services using semantic annotations. The intent of this challenge is to explore the trade-offs among existing approaches. Additionally we would like to figure out which parts of problem space may not yet be covered. The workshop aims to provide a forum for discussion based on a common application. This Challenge workshop seeks participation from industry and academic researchers developing software components and/or intelligent agents that have the ability to automate mediation, choreography and discovery processes between Web services.
And yes, I am critical of the pratical side of this research. But, people can do research on whatever they want, as long as their results are neat.
On the positive side of things, I believe these challenges are a great contribution to the research community. We need to have more of those.