Biography

This page provides some details regarding Leonardo’s life. Those in a hurry can read his concise bio, those more relaxed can spend time reading his detailed bio.

Concise biography

2011 May WimLabs Srl is established in Torino to help match demand, supply and distribution of multimedia content and services on the Web
2005 Nov Digital Media in Italia is established as an interdisciplinary, open, no-profit group with the goal to define action areas that enable Italy to acquire a primary role in the exploitation of the global
Digital Media phenomenon
2004 Jan Leonardo establishes CEDEO.net, a company advising major international companies on strategic, technology and market issues related to digital media, providing advanced digital media solutions and targeting the establishment of startups in areas served by the company’s technology assets
2003 Dec The Digital Media Project is established in Geneva as a not-for-profit organisation with the task to implement the vision of the Digital Media Manifesto
2003 Jul Leonardo launches the Digital Media Manifesto, an international group of experts gathered by Leonardo
2003 Jul Leonardo quits Telecom Italia Lab, the name last given to the company that was called CSELT when he joined it.
1999  Feb Leonardo is asked to be the Executive Director of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI) to develop specifications for secure digital music delivery
1998  Mar Leonardo launches the Open Platform Initiative for Multimedia Access (OPIMA) to develop internationally agreed specifications allowing open access to protected content
1996  Mar Leonardo launches the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA) to develop internationally agreed specifications of generic agent technologies that are usable across a large number of applications
1994  Mar Leonardo launches the Digital Audio-Visual Council (DAVIC) to develop internationally agreed specifications of open interfaces and protocols for the delivery of digital media
1989  Jul Leonardo establishes Image Communication, a EURASIP Journal for the development of the theory and practice of image communication
1988  Jan Leonardo launches the ISO/IEC Moving Pictures Experts Group (MPEG) standards committee. originally an Experts Group of TC 97/SC 2/WG 8
1987 Jun Leonardo establishes the International Workshop on 64 kbit/s Coding of Moving Video to promote adoption of low bitrate video coding technologies for emerging digital networks
1986 Nov Leonardo establishes the International Workshop on HDTV, an international event to promote HDTV technologies beyond specific industry interests
1973 Sep Leonardo obtains the Ph. D. degree in Electrical Communication from the University of Tokyo, Japan
1971 Mar Leonardo joins CSELT, the corporate research centre of the STET group (now Telecom Italia)
1968 Apr Leonardo is in Japan with a Japanese government scholarship to get a PhD degree
1967 Dec Leonardo graduates in Electronic Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin, Italy

Detailed biography

Leonardo Chiariglione was born in Almese (Italy). He obtained an MS-level degree in Electronic Engineering from the Polytechnic of Turin a Ph. D. degree from the University of Tokyo in 1973.

Since 1st of March 1971 he was with CSELT, the corporate research centre of the Telecom Italia group, where he was Vice President, Multimedia when he left the company on the 4th of July 2003.

Important milestones in his professional career were

  • RAM-based video simulator (1975)
  • DCT-based still picture transmission system (1979)
  • H.120 videoconference codec (1982)
  • H.120 multipoint videoconference unit (1985)
  • ITU-R Recommendations 601 and 656 interfaces (1986)
  • Basic-access ISDN videotelephone (1988)
  • MPEG-1 video-audio-systems codec (1991)
  • MPEG-2 video-audio-systems codec (1994)
  • DAVIC 1.0 system over ATM and IP (1996)
  • Platform for MPEG-4 services (1998).

He has led several European collaborative
projects:

  • IVICO, a RACE project investigating cost-effective integrated video codecs
  • COMIS an ESPRIT project supporting the development of the MPEG-1 standard
  • EU625 – VADIS a EUREKA project aiming at developing a European hardware and software technology for the MPEG-2 standard.

and participated in a number of other projects.

In 1986 he originated the International Workshop on HDTV, an event targeted at promoting the technical aspects
of HDTV overcoming the traditional barriers of specific industry interests. The last HDTV workshop was held in Geneva, CH on 15-16 June 1999. 

In 1987 he founded the International Workshop on 64 kbit/s Coding of Moving Video to promote adoption of low bitrate video coding technologies for emerging digital networks and chaired its Steering Committee. The last Workshop was held in September 1990 in Rotterdam.

In 1988 he originated the ISO standardisation activity known as MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) of which he is the Convenor. This group has a membership of over 300 experts, representing 25 countries and all the industries having a stake in digital audio and video. MPEG has produced the MPEG-1 and MPEG-2 standards that have triggered the digital audio-visual revolution, the DSM-CC the server to set-top protocol, the MPEG-2 Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) standard, MPEG-4,a standard providing seamless integration of natural and synthetic audio
and video information on delivery systems with different quality of service MPEG-7 a standard for audio-visual content description and MPEG-21, “Multimedia Framework”, a toolkit standard for multimedia applications. Currently MPEG is developing MPEG-A “Multimedia Application Formats”, MPEG-B “MPEG Systems Technologies”, MPEG-C “MPEG Video Technologies”, MPEG-D “MPEG Audio Technologies”, MPEG-DASH “Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP”, MPEG-E “Multimedia Middleware”, MPEG-M “Multimedia Service Platform Technologies” MPEG-U
MPEG Rich Media User Interface” and MPEG-V “Media Context and Control”.

In 1989 he founded Image Communication, a EURASIP Journal. The journal targets the development of the theory and practice of image communication. He has been its Editor in Chief until June 1999.

In January 1994 he launched the Digital Audio-Visual Council (DAVIC),a non-profit Association registered in Geneva, Switzerland, with a peak of 200 corporate members, from 25 countries around the world. The purpose of DAVIC, whose activities closed in September 1999, was the promotion of emerging digital audio-visual applications and services by the timely availability of internationally agreed specifications of open interfaces and protocols that maximise interoperability across countries and applications/services. He was President and Chairman of the Board until December 1995.

In January 1996 he launched the idea of the Foundation for Intelligent Physical Agents (FIPA), an international non-profit association of companies and organisations sharing efforts to produce in a timely fashion internationally
agreed specifications of generic agent technologies that are usable across a large number of applications, providing a high level of interoperability across applications. FIPA is a non-profit organisation registered in Geneva
with 55 corporate members from 13 countries. The first specification – FIPA 97 – were approved in October ’97 after just 18 months of technical work and have been followed by FIPA 98, published in October 1998 and FIPA 99 produced in 1999. He has been President and Chairman of the Board until October 1999.

In January 1998 he launched the idea of the Open Platform Initiative for Multimedia Access (OPIMA). The OPIMA platform is targeted at providing value-chain participants the ability to acquire, supply,process and consume multi-media services on a global basis in accordance with the rights associated with these services.The last meeting of the initiative was held in October 1999 and approved version 1.0 of the specification. A revised specification 1.1 was approved in June 2000.

In February 1999 he was appointed as the Executive Director of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI). The purpose of SDMI is to develop technical specifications for securing music across all digital delivery platforms. The first specifications for secure portable devices have been delivered on 08 July 1999 after just 4 months of intense
activity. The next achievement has been the definition of the “Phase I Screening Technology” achieved after just 8 months of work. In March 2001 he resigned from SDMI as he was appointed VP Multimedia at CSELT.

On the 4th of July 2003 Leonardo quit Telecom Italia, of which Telecom Italia Lab, the name CSELT had taken in April 2001, had become part. The following day he launched to the web the idea of the Digital Media Project, an initiative designed to break the Digital Media stalemate that is depriving industry of business opportunities while at the same time depriving users of the legitimate enjoyment opportunities offered by Digital Media. On 30th of September 2003 an international group of experts working by email and WWW has published the Digital Media Manifesto.

On the 1st of December 2003 Leonardo and 8 companies establish the Digital Media Project, a not-for profit organisation with the mission to promote continuing successful development, deployment and use of Digital Media
that respect the rights of creators and rights holders to exploit their works, the wish of end users to fully enjoy the benefits of Digital Media and the interests of various value-chain players to provide products and services
according to the principles laid down in the Digital Media Manifesto.

In January 2004 Leonardo establishes CEDEO, a company advising major international companies and organisations on strategic issues related to digital media and conceiving, designing, implementing, deploying and operating advanced digital media solutions based on smart combinations of new technologies and standards
for the next phase of pervasive media-enabled communication
.

On 18 November 2005 Leonardo and a group of Italians caring about the future of Italy establish Digital Media in Italia, an interdisciplinary, open, no-profit group with the goal to define action to enable Italy to play a primary role in the exploitation of the global Digital Media phenomenon.

In May 2011 Leonardo and his family establish WimLabs Srl to help match demand, supply and distribution of multimedia content and services on the Web.

As a result of his manifold activities Leonardo has received a number of awards and has appeared on a number of periodicals, broadcasts and web sites.

He is married with three (now quite grown-up) children. His hobby used to be learning foreign languages and practicing them with his worldwide circle of acquaintances. Otherwise he keeps on struggling to find time to look after the vineyard inherited from his grandfather, even though he now can work from home (when he is there).

Click here to see the list of his papers, some of them online.

Click here for some photographs.