The European Commission has authorized the Euro120 million that Germany intends to grant to start THESEUS, a research project for developing and testing new search technologies for the next generation Internet.
THESEUS aims to develop and test new search technologies and integrated information and communications technology services for the next generation internet. The project will also develop methods for providing the public with structured online access to cultural information, for example, through the creation of digital libraries.
Research will focus on semantic technologies which try to recognise the meaning of content and place it in its proper context, helping computer programs to understand the context in which data is stored.
In a first phase, several large companies, EMPOLIS GmbH, SAP AG, Siemens AG and Deutsche Thomson, will to receive grants to act as icebreakers, preparing the ground for new R&D. In later phases, SMEs would receive aid to build on the results.
The THESEUS project originates from April 2005, when Germany and France agreed to work towards a new technology policy to strengthen the competitiveness of both countries. Subsequently, a high-level group proposed, among other projects, QUAERO, an initiative to develop new search technologies and services.
While France maintained the project-title QUAERO, Germany named its national programme THESEUS. France is currently discussing corresponding state aid plans with the Commission. Both countries aim to collaborate on their respective projects.