Building a European Open Web Index – Open Calls launched to invite researchers, innovators and computing centres to join the quest for a new Internet Search in Europe

Starnberg – Researchers, innovators and data centres can request funding between 50,000 and 150,000 EUR for their ideas and infrastructure to build and exploit an open and independent Web Index (OWI) based on European values. OpenWebSearch.EU – a consortium of 14 research partners – is once again calling for third-party project proposals until 4th April.

Open Calls to invite researchers, innovators and computing centres to join the quest for a new Internet Search in Europe

„Community and partnerships are driving forces behind the OpenWebSearch.EU Initiative. We are committed to constantly expanding the open web search ecosystem and invite researchers, innovators and data centres to contribute their ideas, expertise and infrastructure to this pan-European project”, says Jasmin Tietgen of Open Search Foundation, who is responsible for the OpenWebSearch.EU project’s stakeholder management and the onboarding of new project partners.

Thus, the OpenWebSearch.EU project consortium calls for contributions in two new open calls:

Under Call #2, researchers and innovators are invited to submit ideas for innovative “applications of the Open Web Index”.

Call #2 asks for ideas on how the data provided by the Open Web Index can be used and exploited in innovative use cases or research scenarios. The project consortium will provide access to pre-processed and indexed web data with continuous daily updates until the end of the project.

“We are looking for innovative ideas on how to leverage the Open Web Index and its data”, explains Dr Stefan Voigt, Chairman of the board of the Open Search Foundation and a member of the OpenWebSearch.EU project management team. “The field for ideas is broad. Applicants can submit ideas that relate to vertical search applications (e.g., kids search), conversational search or search based on large language models. We also welcome topics such as geo-location-based search or new approaches to transparent and privacy-friendly search, just to name a few examples.

Opportunity to join the ranks of major European supercomputing centres

Call #3 invites computing and data centres to join the network of compute infrastructure providers and host parts of the Open Web Search and Analysis Infrastructure (OWSAI). Called are universities, public compute infrastructure providers, data centres, companies (e.g., cloud providers) or research teams with a well-established data infrastructure.

This current call offers public and private data centres the opportunity to join the team of major European supercomputing centres and work with them towards demonstrating the potential of a European Open Web Index.”, explains Mr. Voigt, who as co-initiator is one of the driving figures behind the OpenWebSearch.EU project. “We already have some heavyweights of the European computing centre community on board, like LRZ in Germany, CSC in Finland, IT4I in the Czech Republic as well as CERN in Switzerland. Now we are looking forward to expanding the computing and storage capacities with support of additional partners.”

In this second and third third-party call, successful applications can request funding between 50,000 and 150,000 EUR for a period of up to 12 months. Members of the consortium as well as external experts will review the applications. Eligible are individuals as well as organisations residing in EU Member States or in Horizon Europe Associated Countries. The third-party projects will be funded under the Community Programme. All awardees will be essential parts of ongoing and future R&D activities of the Open Web Search Community.

Applications are accepted via email. Opening date is 8th February 2024. The calls close 4th April 2024, 17:00 CET.

Detailed information and application packages can be found at: (applications) and (data centres)


OpenWebSearch.EU is the first EU-funded project, which aims to get tomorrow’s web search up and running. 14 renowned European research centers – including the Open Search Foundation – kicked-off the project in September 2022. Over the three years, the researchers develop the core of a European Open Web Index (OWI). They aim to set the foundation for an open and extensible European Open Web Search and Analysis Infrastructure (OWSAI), based on Europe’s values, legislation and standards. The project receives funding of 8,5 million Euros from the European Union’s Horizon research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101070014.

About Horizon Europe

Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. It aims to build a knowledge- and innovation-based society and a competitive economy while contributing to sustainable development. The programme aims at implementing the European Commission’s guidelines.