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The Vocaloid project was a international effort and is considered the brainchild of Kenmochi Hideki (剣持秀紀), also known as the "father" of Vocaloid. The first inital ideas came from him in Japan in 2000. Much of the research into the software came from the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain and Mr. Kenmochi led this project. It was pure collaborative research, and they didn't think about selling at that time.