The OpenWebSearch.EU project is aimed at developing an open European infrastructure for web search. The German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) is working with 13 European research and computing centres on the project, which is intended to strengthen Europe's digital sovereignty and promote an open and fair search engine market.
"Digitalisation is becoming increasingly important in all areas of society. Unrestricted access to information online, uninfluenced by the major commercial network monopolies, is necessary. Europe has the requisite expertise and computing power. By bringing them together in a skilful way, we can lay the digital groundwork for a multitude of European search engines. The OpenWebSearch.EU project is an important initial step in that direction," says Stefan Voigt, manager of the OpenSearch@DLR project at the German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD). The findings from DLR’s project will flow into the European initiative. OpenSearch@DLR also focuses on making the enormous quantities of online data more accessible through unbiased searching and facilitating the provision of scientific data and information.
Data centres combine efforts to index the web
Over the next three years, the organisations partnering in the OpenWebSearch.EU project will develop the core of an Open Web Index (OWI) for Europe. Data centres will make their computing capacities available for this purpose and work together to index the internet. The OWI will serve as the foundation for new forms of internet search. The project partners are devising an open and expandable European infrastructure for web search and analysis, based on European values, standards and legislation. Web search is currently dominated by a few search engine providers. Information and knowledge are not truly accessible as public assets at the moment.