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2008-01-12 Search Engine Startup in Europe

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Surprised by the recent acquisition of FAST by Microsoft, I'm wondering where is the famous pan-European project called Quaero. After the initial project initialization made by France, Germany left and created their own search engine project called Theseus. I agree with the comment from Marc Andreessen where "investing" is more burning money in existing large companies taking the lead in the project. Progress in search engine won't come from investing in existing large company structure… but from small structure not really able to participate in large EU-funded project and could grab small part of the investment.

Where is the solution to boost search engine in Europe ? Instead of giving money to large group, EU could make a public call for investing the 100 Millions of Euro to 100 start-up in Europe working in information retrieval, search and information classification. The public call should be "paper free" (one electronic proposal submission) with one simple evaluation (to avoid the burden due to project management) : a product released in the first 2 years. That would give more potential "innovation" by distributing the risks and increasing investment in small structure more likely to create something new in the search engine area. Hey EC, it's time to take risks ?

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