Six third-party partners have joined the EU funded project OpenWebSearch.EU, introducing new technical, legal and economic research topics in support of a European Open Web Index.
Starnberg, November 2023 – OpenWebSearch.EU successfully onboarded six third-party partners who were selected subsequent to the consortium‘s first open call (announced in March 2023) for the OpenWebSearch.eu Community Programme. With the aim to establish a European Open Web Index (OWI), the call demanded contributions in form of research studies on legal or economic aspects of open search as well as on concepts for legally compliant data acquisition or processing, which consider also societal constraints. The selected parties were picked from 21 submissions.
Third-party projects should extend and enrich the existing R&D activities and propose new ones to complement the project objectives. The calls especially targeted small companies, individual innovators, individual researchers or research teams.
The selected parties will receive partial fundings for their project contributions ranging between 25.000 and 120.000 Euros each. The next open calls will take place in the first quarter of 2024. Successful third-party partners will be integrated into ongoing and future activities for sustainable research and development in the field of Open Web Search.
OpenWebSearch.EU introduces the 6 third-party projects:
MRC – Market potential assessment for OpenWebSearch.eu: Quantifying benefits and costs of scaling EU web search
In charge of assessing the market potential of an Open Web Index, the Mücke Roth & Company team surrounding Dr. Daniel Nowakowski brings in their management consulting expertise to help evaluate both economic and non-economic aspects, including societal, cultural and environmental dimensions of the project.
Mücke Roth & Company are a Germany-based management consultancy with approximately 50 full-time professionals and over 70 independent industry experts.
More info about the MRC project
LISA – A legal framework for the development and operation of an Open Web Search Index (Legal, Intellectual Property and Cyber-Security Aspects)
The project aims at delivering tangible guidelines from a legal, social and security viewpoint. From this perspective, the project moves beyond frontiers, not only in a technological, but also a legal way.
Project owner Prof. Dr. Matthias Wendland, LL.M. (Harvard) is Professor of Information Technology Law at the University of Oldenburg in Germany and Head of the Digital Law Hub at the University of Graz in Austria.
More info about the LISA project
OPEN CONSOLE – Open Console Implementation
Regulation about copyrights, licenses, and abuse management require a sense of consent between data collectors and the data providers. Together, participants in Open Console improve the availability and quality of produced knowledge about websites, improving thus the trust of users that their data is processed carefully and according to their inputs.
“Open Console can be used to level the playfield: an alternative to Google’s Search Console is a module in the Open Console web-interface. You prove your identity and site ownership once, and all Search Engines can get the same configuration you entered.” says Mark Overmeer, of Markov Solutions – a Netherlands-based freelance business run by Mark Overmeer and Thao Phuong Nguyen.
More information about the Open Console project
LOREN – Legal Open European Web Index
The project LOREN seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of the legal constraints and requirements for building and operating an OWI. It will give insights into the legal implications of crawling and data storage and sharing together with recommendations for an OWI that complies with European laws and regulations.
Project owners are Paul C. Johannes, a Germany-based attorney at law with a focus on IT law, and Dr. Maxi Nebel, research associate in provet at ITeG and managing partner at DRBG in Germany.
More information about the LOREN project
ALMASTIC – Assessing Legal Risks and Mitigating Challenges in Open Web Indexes
With the project ALMASTIC Prof. Dr. Kai Erenli (University of Applied Sciences BFI Vienna) aims to legally secure the Open Web Index by subjecting its technical aspects – collection, storage, distribution– to legal evaluation. The goal is to identify obstacles and mitigate legal risks in the process of global dissemination of the OWI.
More information about the ALMASTIC project
LAW4OSAI – License-Aware Web Crawling for Open Search AI
With the aim of enabling license-aware crawling of web content by automatically identifying and retrieving content licenses, Dr. Daniel Braun (University of Twente), Dr. Bernhard Waltl (Liquid Legal Institute, a Germany-based non-profit institution focusing on legal innovation) and Balthasar Cevc (fingolex, a Germany-based IT law firm) are joining forces under project LAW4OSAI. The project aims at enabling open web search filtered by licenses and, more importantly, the development of open large language models for next-generation search technology. This includes conversational search or image generation that respect the rights of authors and copyright.
More information about the LAW4OSAI project
OpenWebSearch.EU is the first funding project by the EU to get tomorrow’s web search up and running. 14 renowned European research centres kicked-off the project in September 2022. Over the next three years, the researchers will develop the core of a European Open Web Index (OWI). In addition, they will set the foundation for an open and extensible European Open Web Search and Analysis Infrastructure (OWSAI), based on Europe’s values, legislation and standards. The project receives funding of 8,5 million Euros from the European Union’s Horizon research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 101070014.
About Horizon Europe
Horizon Europe is the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation. It aims to build a knowledge- and innovation-based society and a competitive economy while contributing to sustainable development. The programme aims at implementing the European Commission’s guidelines.