Radboud University: OpenWebSearch to promote European independence in web search | India Education | Latest Education News | World Education News

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Radboud University and thirteen other European research centers will join forces to develop a new open European infrastructure for web research. The OpenWebSearch.EU project will contribute to Europe’s digital sovereignty and foster an open and human-centric search engine market. The European Commission has just approved the financing of the Horizon Europe project of 8.5 million euros.

“Free, open and unbiased access to information – we have lost these fundamental principles of web search and must urgently restore them.” That is why we will create an open European infrastructure for Internet search, based on European values ​​and jurisdiction,” says Michael Granitzer from the University of Passau and the Open Search Foundation, coordinator of the OpenWebSearch.EU project. .

Make research more ethical
Over the next three years, researchers will develop the core of a European Open Web Index (OWI) as the basis for new Internet research in Europe. Furthermore, the project will lay the foundations for an Open and Extensible European Web-Based Research and Analysis Infrastructure (OWSAI), based on European values, principles, legislation and standards.

At Radboud University, Arjen de Vries, Djoerd Hiemstra and others will be involved in the project. “We joined forces with Radboud for the primary purpose of our research to give people control over their information access needs,” says de Vries, information research professor and research director at the Radboud University Institute of Computing and Information Science. “We want to help people understand how their search results are produced, reduce the influence of search advertising, and overall make search more ethical.”

Search engine market imbalance

The project originated in concerns about the imbalance in the search engine market. Despite being the backbone of our digital economy, web search is dominated and limited by a few gatekeepers like Google, Microsoft, Baidu or Yandex. Thus, information as a public good, with free, impartial and transparent access, is no longer under public control. This imbalance endangers democracy and limits the innovation potential of Europe’s research landscape and economy.

The strong multidisciplinary OpenWebSearch.EU consortium of 14 European partners is convinced that “open web search infrastructure will not only contribute to Europe’s sovereignty in web browsing and searching. This will benefit us all as citizens. Based on our own preferences, we will finally have a real choice again when choosing search engines. This is the first EU-funded project to launch the search for the web of tomorrow and it will start in September 2022. The 14 partner institutions will initially cooperate over a period of three years.

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