The EU project OpenWebSearch.EU, of which the Open Search Foundation is a partner, starts with the first Third-Party-Call. Research teams from science and research can apply now with their proposals on legal, economic and technical aspects of Open Search. They have the opportunity to participate in the development of a free and open search index and to become part of the Open Search Community.

The OpenWebSearch.EU project consortium is eager to onboard new third-party project teams in the OpenWebSearch.eu landscape and integrate them into the future activities for sustainable Research and Development. Candidates for third-party funded projects should address the closely related topics of the project. They should aim to extend and enrich the existing R&D activities as well as suggesting new ones which are complementary to the project objectives.

The first call consists of two tracks:

Track 1:
Conceptual contributions on legal or economic aspects of Open Search

Building an Open Web Index (OWI) does not only include technical challenges, but also legal and societal ones, especially when considering recent EU legislation like the Digital Service Act or the Digital Market Act. Furthermore, challenges for new business models or significant changes in the search engine market arise. The consortium seeks for two possible kinds of studies:

Legal Studies to analyse and understand legal constraints and requirements for building and operating an OWI, which includes, but is not limited to

  • (i) compilation and analysis of the laws and norms that are relevant to building and maintaining an OWI,
  • (ii) legal assessment of technical and non-technical prevention mechanism,
  • (iii) legal assessment of the implications of the right to de-referencing for an OWI or
  • (iv) analysis of existing open source and open data licenses in regard to the suitability for usage in an OWI.

Economic Studies for setting up and maintaining an OWI as public European infrastructure. This includes, but is not limited to studies for analysing and estimating the costs associated with setting up, operating and maintaining a distributed open web index infrastructure across Europe and analysing and estimating the market potential and economic impact of such an infrastructure.

Track 2:
Technical approaches to legally compliant data acquisition considering societal constraints:

Web crawling is the predominant method for web search engines to gather content for their index. However, webmaster and content owners have only limited control over the crawling process via mostly proprietary services. OpenWebSearch.eu is looking for concepts and approaches for opening the proprietary components and provide webmasters and content owners with more control over the crawling process and the usage of their content. Envisioned solutions should be technical in nature, including new metadata schemata/ontologies, algorithms / services for collecting website metadata, services and tools for webmaster and content owners to define legal constraints for crawling as well as open datasets and machine learning models for analysing and filtering web pages during the crawling process.

Dates and Modalities
  • Opening date: 1st March 2023
  • Closing date: 28th of April 2023, 17:00
  • Notification date: 30th June 2023
  • Start of projects: 1st August 2023

Successful applications can request funding between 25,000 and 120,000 EUR in this first call for a funding period of up to 12 months.

In particular, the call is targeting smaller companies (e.g. SMEs, start-ups), individual innovators, individual researchers or research teams (e.g. doctoral or post-doctoral researchers) from renowned universities. Eligible applicants are individuals residing in EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries, or organisations registered in EU Member States or Horizon Europe Associated Countries.

Find more info and the proposal package for download on the project website: openwebsearch.eu/call1

First EU project on Open Web Search launches third-party call – An invitation to advance R&D for a new Internet Search in Europe

OpenWebSearch.EU – a consortium of 14 research partners – is open for third-party proposals to help building an open and independent Web-index (OWI) based on European values. The first call addresses business and research partners to submit their applications in two tracks from March 1st until April 28th, 2023.

“We look forward to joining forces with new partners to advance the idea of an Open Web Index, built in a cooperative spirit across Europe. This call is an excellent opportunity to widen the scope and enrich our R&D activities for the internet search of tomorrow,“ says Stefan Voigt, CEO of the Open Search Foundation (OSF).

In particular, the call is targeting SMEs or start-ups, individual innovators and researchers or research teams. Third-party candidates should drive research closely related to the topics addressed in the project. Moreover, they should aim at enriching the existing R&D activities as well as suggesting new ones, in line with the project goals and aims.

“Building such an Open Web Index faces not only technical challenges. There are also legal and societal issues, especially when we consider recent EU legislations such as the Digital Service Act or the Digital Market Act.”, explains Dr. Megi Sharikadze, Team lead Research Coordination and Support at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ), one of the consortium partners.

Thus, the project consortium calls for contributions in two tracks:

Track 1 includes studies on legal or economic aspects of Open Search. This covers topics, such as legal constraints and requirements of crawling, storing, enriching or sharing web-data, but also the analysis of cost-benefit of an Open Web Index infrastructure across Europe or of market potential and economic impact.

Track 2 calls for technical concepts for legally compliant data acquisition and processing, considering also societal constraints. This includes contributions, such as vocabularies, metadata schemata or ontologies for expressing/defining legal constraints on web page usage or open datasets and machine learning models for analysing web pages.

In this first call of three, successful applications can request funding between 25,000 and 120,000 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 organizations residing in EU Member States or in Horizon Europe Associated Countries. The third-party projects will be funded under the OpenWebSearch.eu Community Program. All awardees will be essential part of ongoing and future R&D activities of Open Web Search Community.

Applications are accepted via email. Detailed information can be found at: https://openwebsearch.eu/call1

About the project

OpenWebSearch.EU is the first funding project by the EU to get tomorrow’s web search up and running. 14 renowned European research centers – including the Open Search Foundation (OSF) – kicked-off the project in September 2022. Over the next three years, the researchers will develop the core of a European Open Web Index (OWI). In addition, they will 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.

 

“With a market share of over 90 percent, Google is regularly the number one search engine in Europe. Since 2004, “googling” has been officially listed as a verb in the dictionary and stands for searching or researching on the Internet with the application of the subsidiary of the US umbrella company Alphabet. As the gateway for a large number of Europeans and citizens worldwide, Google not only opens up information, but also helps determine their view of the Internet and the things depicted on it.” …

The full blog article at California18 can be found here: https://california18.com/missing-link-open-web-index-to-make-europe-independent-in-searching/9087352023/

OpenWebSearch.EU has kicked-off with a consortium meeting in Berlin. 46 representatives of the project partners got together in a hybrid meeting format in September to exchange ideas and make plans for the successful execution of the project.

For the research project OpenWebSearch.eu, funded by the European Commission, the Open Search Foundation is looking for employees in the Munich area (working location Starnberg).

Within the framework of the research project, the Open Search Foundation, together with 14 renowned European universities and data centres, is developing the foundations for a European Internet search: open, transparent and distributed.

More information:

Wissenschaftliche(r) Mitarbeiter:in (Research Associate)

Mitarbeiter:in (m/w/x) Kommuni­kation/Öffentlich­keits­arbeit (Staff member Communication/Public Relations)

Officemanager:in/Assistenz Projektcontrolling (m/w/x) (Office Manager:in/Assistant Project Controlling)