EU-backed French consortium plans Search rival to Google

New Europe writes that the European Commission has approved a USD 152 million French-backed grant to fund a consortium, consisting of companies like France Telecom and Thomson, whose aim will be to reinvigorate the Quaero Project.

Quaero is a European researcn and development program which aims at developing multimedia and multilingual indexing and management tools, rather than a pure commercial search engine like Yahoo or Google.

Not much is known about the Search Engine except that it has already attracted a number of criticisms for being more idealist than pragmatic as it was initially put forward as a way to derail the "Anglo-Saxon cultural imperialism" - dixit Former French President, Jacques Chirac.

Others like Search Engine Specialist Autonomy said that by the time Quaero would be out, it would already be one or two generations behind current technologies.

The Germans who were initially onboard have split from the project to develop a less ambitious equivalent known as Theseus with the help of German companies like Bertelsmann, Siemens or SAP.

The European Union also financed another project called P2P next which will develop a platform mixing peer to peer and social networking; 19 million Euros have been earmarked for it.