Common Goals with Common Crawl

OWS.EU constantly thrives to move forward with more transparent, self-determined web search. With the aim to build a Europe-based Open Web Index, choosing trustworthy, powerful crawling partners is key. Common Crawl is one such dedicated and renowned partner. It is therefore an honor to be featured on their website in the official partners section.

Common Crawl is not only a major resource for web-innovations, but also an inspiring partner. We are particularly looking forward to co-operating on license-aware crawling and to integrate their crawls into our open web index,“ says Michael Granitzer, OWS.EU’s principal investigator.

The Common Crawl Foundation is an NGO that crawls the web and freely provides its archives and datasets to the public. Its mission: to democratize Open Web Search, “enabling free access to web crawl data encourages collaboration and interdisciplinary research, as organizations, academia, and non-profits can work together to address complex challenges.” The non-profit has significantly expanded its core team throughout the last two years and is continually growing.

We are proud to be an early partner, sharing a similar vision.

“Meet the StormCrawler users: Q&A with the project” | Digital Pebbles

Interview on StormCrawler blog for an interview with Michael Dinzinger and Saber Zerhoudi, both researchers in the project.

Learn about their research at the Uni Passau, about resource-efficient crawling and how they build crawling pipelines for an open web index – and why the heterogeneous infrastructure of the project is a major challenge in their work.

Read the interview here: Consortium meeting at IT4 in Ostrava

The third OWS.EU consortium meeting took place in Ostrava, Czech Republic. For three consecutive days the 14 partners of reunited  at the IT4Innovations National Supercomputing Center (a big Děkujeme!) to discuss updates across all working packages and create a new agenda for the year to come.

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Third-Party Partners Successfully Onboarded into Community Programme

Six third-party funding partners have joined the Community Programme with projects surrounding technical, legal and economic expertise.

On October 27th 2023, successfully onboarded six Third Parties who were selected subsequent to its first Open Call (announced in March 2023) for the Community Programme in 2023. The selected partners were picked from 21 submissions with the goal to extend and enrich existing R&D activities that are relevant to the project in reaching key targets.

The call demanded contributions in form of research studies on legal or economic aspects of Open Search (Track 1) as well as on concepts for legally compliant data acquisition, processing, considering also societal constraints (Track 2).

Third-party projects should explore closely related topics of the project. They should aim to extend and enrich the existing R&D activities and propose new ones that complement the project objectives. The calls especially targeted smaller companies (i.e., SMEs, start-ups), individual innovators, individual researchers or research teams (e.g., doctoral or post-doctoral researchers).

The selected third-party projects are funded under the Community Program. They receive partial fundings for their project contributions ranging between 25.000 and 120.000 Euros each. introduces the 6 Third-Party Projects:

„Market Potential Assessment for Quantifying benefits and costs of scaling EU web search“.
Provided by Mücke Roth & Company GmbH (Germany)
Click here for the partner profile.

„A Legal Framework for the development and Operation of an Open Web Search Index (Legal, Intellectual Property and Cyber-Security Aspects)“.
Provided by Prof. Dr. Matthias Wendland from Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg (Germany)
Click here for the partner profile.

„Open Console Implementation“.
Provided by Mark Overmeer and Thao Phuong Nguyen from MARKOV Solutions (The Netherlands)
Click here for the partner profile.

„Legal Open European Web Index“.
Provided by Paul C. Johannes and Dr. Maxi Nebel (Germany)
Click here for the partner profile.

„Assessing Legal Risks and Mitigating Challenges in Open Web Indexes“.
Provided by Prof. Dr. Kai Erenli from BFI Vienna (Austria)
Click here for the partner profile.

„License-Aware Web Crawling for Open Search AI“.
Provided by Dr. Daniel Braun – University of Twente (The Netherlands), Dr. Bernhard Waltl – Liquid Legal Institute (Germany) and Balthasar Cevc – Fingolex (Germany)
Click here for the partner profile.

More Open Calls to follow

The next call for proposals will follow in the first quarter of 2024. To stay up to date regarding proceedings as well as to stay on top of the next Open Call, interested parties from research and business can follow on the Socials (LinkedIn, Mastodon, Twitter/X), join the community Channel on MatterMost and regularly check our website: is funded by the EC under GA 101070014.

The Open Search Foundation is Calling for #FreeWebSearch Day

“The #FreeWebSearch Day on 29 September reminds us that open access to online resources is a key factor for freedom of information and democracy. It draws attention to this issue worldwide and bundles participatory actions and invites especially the Open Web Search Community to take action” says Christine Plote, co-fouder and member of the board of the non-profit Open Search Foundation.

The Open Search Foundation (OSF) from Starnberg (Germany), a project partner of, is calling for #FreeWebSearch Day on 29 September. On this day, contributions from as many different groups as possible are welcome: Companies, schools, universities, other educational institutions, museums or associations can contribute to open online search with (online) lectures, discussions, participatory activities or projects. IT specialists or programmers can contribute with technical know-how and organise hackathons to work on an open web index to catalogue web content.

The Open Search Foundation has set up a website for this international action day and, together with partners, invites people to advocate a free web.


“Eine Suchmaschine für Europa” | ORF

Austrian broadcaster ORF reported in his radio program „Ö1 Digital.Leben“on our European initiative and the EU project and called the movement “Search Engine Rebels”. The two interviewed are Alexander Nussbaumer from TU Graz and Stefan Voigt from Open Search Foundation/DLR.

Here is the radio piece (German):

Opinion paper: Impact and development of an Open Web Index for Open Web Search | JASIST

A quick read yet thorough overview of the possibilities, technical aspects and principles of an Open Web Index

The OpenWebSearch.Eu consortium published an opinion paper on “The Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology (JASIST)” about the impact and development of an Open Web Index. The 23-strong author team explains the challenges and outlines six basic principles for developing and maintaining an open web index, based on the principles of open data, legal compliance and collaborative technology development.


Read the full paper here:

Get the full paper as pdf:

#ossym23 – Register now for 5th International Symposium on Open Search

#ossym23: Registration is open

In October 2023, the Open Search community will gather at CERN in Geneva for its autumn meeting. For the fifth time, #ossym will provide a forum to discuss and further develop ideas and concepts of open internet search. Registration for the free event is now open.

Discuss all things Open Web Search and meet the partners and community at the interdisciplinary conference on Open Search. Organized by project partners Open Search Foundation and CERN, the International Open Search Symposium will again be hosted as a hybrid conference in Geneva from 4 to 6 October 2023.

5th International Open Search Symposium

CERN, Geneva (Switzerland) + online

4 to 6 October 2023


Discuss about all aspects of Open Web Search, such as:

  • Architectures and platforms
  • Societal and ethical challenges and solutions
  • Web Data Analytics and Web Mining
  • Large Language Models, Machine Learning and generative AI
  • Green computing and sustainability
  • Politics and governance
  • Economic dimensions, business models, applications of open search
  • Legal aspects of open search
  • and many more …

Information and Registration

More information is provided on the webpage of the organizer Open Search Foundation:

#ossym23 5th Open Search Symposium 4-6 October 2023 CERN, Geneva, Switzerland

About the Organiser – Open Search Foundation e.V.
The Open Search Foundation e.V. is a European movement to create the foundation for independent, free and self-determined access to information on the Internet. In cooperation with research institutions, computer centres and other partners, we’re committed to searching the web in a way that benefits everyone.
Motto: “Together for a Better Net”. More info on the website:

“The web is critical infrastructure, and should be treated as such” | HIPEAC info

… headlines #HIPEAC magazine #69. It features a comprehensive interview with researchers Noor Afshan Fathima (CERN) and Katja Mankinen (CSC – IT Center for Science) and project coordinator and Michael Granitzer (Universität Passau).

HiPeac Cover #69Very readworthy article about Open Web Search, Large Language Models and why an Open Web Index is important for Europe’s economy and science landscape.

Download the magazine here:


#ossym23 – Call for papers for 5th International Symposium on Open Search | Media Release

#ossym23: Call for papers is open until 31st May

In October 2023, the Open Search community will gather at CERN in Geneva for its autumn meeting. Papers on research and best practice projects can be submitted until the end of May 2023. For the fifth time, #ossym will provide a forum to discuss and further develop ideas and concepts of open internet search.

Organized by project partners Open Search Foundation and CERN the International Open Search Symposium will again be hosted as a hybrid conference in Geneva from 4 to 6 October 2023.

The call for papers is aimed at a wide range of experts – invited are, among others, researchers and speakers from research and informatics, data centres, libraries, technology companies, politics, education as well as legal, ethical and societal thought leaders.

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