The challenge launched by French President Jacques Chirac to develop a search engine for European «nationality» has been taking shape. In addition to France, «Quaero» has had the support of Germany from the beginning, with the group of average Bertelsmann is close to getting the leadership of the consortium of companies and other entities that support the project in Germany, when on the French side the responsibility falls to Thomson.
It is already established that the French side, which in addition to Thomson brings together France Telecom and Saint-Gobain, will invest 150 million euros in the project, through the Industrial Innovation Agency. Deutsche Telekom and Siemens are so far the German companies associated with Bertelsman in support of Quaero.
The idea of creating a search engine at European level was presented by Jacques Chirac in April 2005, at the same time that it was suggested the development of a multimedia library at European level, an announcement that coincided with the suspension of the same digitization initiative from Google (see Related News). More recently, the President of France has reiterated his support for Quaero, arguing that the launch of the search engine should be a priority for Europe. «Currently, a new geography of knowledge and cultures is being designed. In the future, everything that is not available online will run the risk of becoming invisible to the rest of the world «, he warned in a speech.
Quaero, a Latin word that means «search», will use advanced techniques of transcription, indexing and automatic translation of multilingual audiovisual documents, something that some of the current search engines already do. But it is said that the future search engine will be the first truly multimedia and therefore a powerful rival to Google.
Those responsible for the project explain that Quaero will not be a traditional Internet search engine since it will provide a varied set of multimedia tools for the identification and indexing of images, sound and text. At the same time, it will include a powerful translation tool capable of «understanding» audio, such as text. Thomson and Bertelsmann have already indicated that they intend to make Quaero available on various platforms, including PCs, mobile devices and digital televisions.
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2005-09-30 – European Commission proposes a concerted strategy for digitizing library contents
2005-04-29 – Heads of State ask the EU to create a European Digital Library