New Calls for Third-party Proposals and new Funding Round to be Launched in February 2024 to launch open calls #2 and #3 soon, offering funding and onboarding to third-parties

After Call #1 in March 2023 and the resulting successful onboarding of six third-party partners in November 2023, the OpenWebSearch.EU will call for proposals again in February: Calls #2 and #3 will invite researchers, innovators and data centres to submit their applications to participate in the Open Web Search mission and receive funding for their project ideas. The calls will launch in February, applications will be accepted until April 2024. Call #2:
Applications of an Open Web Index

Call #2 will particularly ask for proposals for applications of the Open Web Index. The Open project will provide access to pre-processed and indexed data in the terabyte range. Also it will deliver continuous, daily updates until the end of the project. Successful applicants should use and exploit the data provided in innovative applications scenarios or research topics.

Under this call, applicants will be able to apply for funding of between EUR 50,000.00 and EUR 100,000.00 for a funding period of up to 12 months. Call #3:
Onboarding of Data Centres

Call #3 will address computing and data centers to join the network of infrastructure organisations and hosting parts of the OWSAI infrastructure. The consortium aims to on-board data centers as a proof-of-concept for the developed technology and engage in discussions on creating a sustainable future infrastructure. Called will be universities, public infrastructure providers, data centres, companies (e.g., cloud providers) or research teams with a well established infrastructure. Applicants should be capable of providing a significant extension to the current data and compute infrastructure, and engaging in relevant infrastructure-oriented R&D activities.

Under call#3, applicants can request funding between 100.000,00 and 150.000,00 EUR for a funding period of up to 12 months. Major cost categories can include infrastructure costs, other costs and human resources.


More information on the calls and the call application packages will be launched in February 2024 on the third-party call landingpage.

The open calls are part of the community programme, aiming to integrating new third-party project teams into the landscape and future activities for sustainable Research and Development. Therefore, the candidate third-party projects should probe the closely related topics addressed in the project and should aim at widening and enriching the existing R&D activities as well as suggesting new ones which are complementary to the project goals and aims. Ideally, the project results should be integrated with the infrastructure.

“Towards an unbiased digital world“ I CERN Courier

“We don’t want to copy what others are doing.“ – Interview with Andreas Wagner of project partner CERN

2024 marks the second year for the EU funded project – a project that aims to develop and create a European Open Web Index to ensure European sovereignty in the digital arena. Among the 14 project partners is CERN, the European Laboratory for Particle Physics in Geneva. Andreas Wagner of the CERN IT Department and responsible for the OWS.EU project lead within CERN, was interviewed about the ambitious project in CERN Courier – the renowned monthly magazine for high-energy physics.

In the interview he shares about the collaborative approach of the project in building a foundation for less biased, transparent and open access to information in the digital world. Read about the current status of the project, including first crawling activities, as well as an outlook on how the project could move ahead with regard to aspects such as funding, navigating through legal frameworks and establishing ethical rules of conduct and curation.

Read the article online at CERN Courier

Who, what, why and when – Compiled answers to frequently asked questions are now available on our website

❓What is an Open Web Index (OWI)?
❓Are search engines and web search still relevant given the growing influence of AI technology?
❓How will I as a developer or company be able to use an Open Web Index?

Those are just some of the questions that come up a lot when people first hear about the project – our  3 year long research project, funded by the EU commission with their EU Horizon Europe research framework programme.

To answer some of the questions that arise a lot, the team has launched an FAQ page. Find out about who is behind and which problems the project aims to solve as well as how a long term funding of an Open Web Index could potentially look like. Stay curious and dive right in!

And for those that would like to get involved, we recommend checking out our Community page:


“Those who defend the free Internet against the state and corporations” I

Three years, five data centers, six universities, six third-party partners,…: The project was initiated in 2022 by 14 European partners with the aim to create an open, European search index. One of the partners being the Open Search Foundation in Starnberg near Munich.

For his book “Der Kampf um das Internet – Wie Wikipedia, Mastodon und Co. die Tech-Giganten herausfordern”, author Stefan Mey interviewed the Open Search Foundation‘s board members Stefan Voigt and Christine Plote about the basic ideas, motivations and drive behind the Open Search Initiative.

You can now read an excerpt from the interview on Telepolis (available in German):

Also in the book: a portrait of the Open Search Foundation. Find the book on the publisher’s website: