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This is complicated and confusing, even before things have started: France and Germany thought developing a European search engine to rival Google-Yahoo-Microsoft’s dominance around the word would be a good idea…they started well, but then fought, and split off into two different projects in each country. Now the European Union has authorized Germany to give $165 million for research for the “Theseus research project” — the German arm of what the French call Quaero — and is aiming to develop the world’s most advanced multimedia search engine which would translate, identify and index images, audio and text, reports AP. Initially the German govt. will help kickstart R&D at Siemens AG, SAP AG, Deutsche Thomson oHG and EMPOLIS GmbH, owned by Bertelsmann AG, and then the money will spread out to other startups. “Research will focus on semantic technologies which try to recognise the meaning of content and place it in its proper context, helping computer programs to understand the context in which data is stored,” says the release from EC.
France is still discussing with EU, aiming to give $112 million to research led by French video-technology company Thomson.