Looking back, thinking ahead
Year’s end – time to take a step back, reflect on the past year and perhaps even cast a glance into the future.
For OpenWebSearch.EU, 2023 was filled with many milestones, including the ongoing development of a first index prototype, first AI and location services test applications, first member state briefings, the start of the OWLer crawler, and much more.
The last few months were particularly full of events, “firsts”, and anniversaries: In September the project celebrated its first fulminant anniversary, birthday cake included. The #OpenWebSearch community engaged in the first #FreeWebSearch Day ever, initiated by the Open Search Foundation. In October the Open Search Symposium #ossym23 brought together the #OpenWebSearchCommunity at CERN in Geneva for the 5th time (read the recap here). November marked not only the NGIForum23 in Brussels with active participation of ows.eu team members (more below), but also brought the start of the monthly #OpenWebSearch Community Update and the French-German Data Challenge at the Uni Passau. Also in autumn, we welcomed six new partners as part of the project’s third-party partner programme (more below).
We are very proud of all the progress and achievements. A big thank you goes out to the project partners and the many team members at OpenWebSearch.eu, – and, of course, to you, the #OpenWebSearch community!
In this spirit: Farewell 2023! Welcome 2024 – we can’t wait to see what you bring to the table and are ready to roll!
Until then, for the time “in between years”, here are a few recaps, media tips and a preview of events in 2024 – happy reading!
Behind the scenes
Community is at the heart of success.
Without the dedicated team behind #OpenWebsSearchEU, the project would not be possible. After more than a year, a sense of community has grown that enables seamless, smooth collaboration. And the team is growing …
Meeting online – that works and is useful for day-to-day project work. But aren’t face-to-face meetings and workshops much nicer and more fruitful? That’s why the team members meet twice a year in turn at a project partner’s premises.
In 2023 two on-site consortium meetings brought all 14 parties together: In April the partners met at Graz University of Technology in Austria, in October at IT4I in Ostrava (Czech Republic). Thank you to both hosts for your warm welcome and the elaborate preparation of the meetings!
Upcoming in March: the consortium meeting at Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. We are certainly looking forward to it!
Six new partners to enrich the #OpenWebSearchEU project with distinct economical, technical and legal expertise
An important step this year was the incorporation of six third-party partners, selected from the first open call in spring. The new partners are in charge of economical, technical and legal assessments, which all form the foundations for future operability and scalability of an #OpenWebIndex. A warm welcome!
Interested to join ows.eu as a third-party partner? Stay tuned as the next open call will be published in spring ’24.
NGIForum23 – Panel Discussion on “Open Web Search, Large Language Models and Beyond”
The #NGIForum23 brought together thought leaders, policy makers, researchers and innovators in Brussels to discuss a more secure, open and citizen-centred internet of the future. All keynotes (e.g. by Roberto Viola and Henri Verdier), impact presentations and panels are available online.
We particularly recommend the panel session with Georg Rehm (DFKI), Isabell Claus (thinkers.ai), Milena Sokolic (Trace Labs), Alexandre Zapolsky (LINAGORA) and Michael Granitzer (University Passau/ ows.eu). The renowned experts discussed challenges and opportunities in the landscape of (open) web search, AI, and large language models, and looked at the importance of openness, transparency, and collaboration. You can watch the panel session online.
“Impact and development of an Open Web Index for open web search”
A quick read yet thorough overview of the possibilities, technical aspects and principles of an Open Web Index:
The 23-strong author team delves into the challenges and outlines six basic principles for developing and maintaining an Open Web Index (OWI), based on the principles of open data, legal compliance and collaborative technology development.
Save the date: „Orientierung in der Digitalen Welt“, Munich/Starnberger See | 1–3 March
German-speaking community members – you should mark the first weekend in March in your diary! Together with the Evangelische Akademie Tutzing, the Open Search Foundation is hosting a conference weekend with lectures, interactive workshops and “Salon Talks” surrounding „Orientation in the digital world“. The weekend near Munich will focus on values, democracy, platform power and social aspects of internet search.
The full program is yet to be announced, but you can register for early bird updates.
#wows2024 – First International Workshop on Open Web Search, Glasgow | 28 March | Call for papers and software is open
#SaveTheDate and get your papers, software and ideas ready for #wows2024!
The first International Workshop on Open Web Search #wows2024 will take place in Glasgow on 28 March 2024.
Organised by the #OpenWebSearch community and co-located with the #ECIR2024 conference, the event calls the information & retrieval and #OpenWebSearch community.
The calls are open! Especially doctoral students, but also early-stage students such as Master‘s and Bachelor‘s students of Computer Science, Information Science, Information Retrieval and NLP are welcome to submit their scientific work and software implementations.
Save the date + submit papers and demos:
#ossym24 – 6th Open Search Symposium
9-11 October 2024
The #ossym organisers are already prepping for #ossym24, scheduled for October at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Munich, Germany. The call for papers and demos is open!
Welcome to the Fediverse!
Yay! We joined Mastodon in October! Visit us there, we look forward to hearing from you! And if you’re not on Mastodon yet, it is easy to join:
- Visit joinmastodon org or install app
- Choose mastodon.social or pick another server
- Accept the ground-rules
- Accept terms of data protection
- Enter information and create account
See you there – and leave a toot!