Send in your ideas. Deadline October 1, 2024

Open Web Search Launches Third-party Open Calls

An invitation to researchers, innovators and computing centres to join the quest for a new Internet Search in Europe announcement of third-party open calls. Looking for researchers innovators and datacenters, Help building an open + independent Web Index. Funding offered between 50.000 and 150.00o euro

OpenWebSearch.EU is calling for third-party project proposals to help building an open and independent Web Index (OWI) based on European values. Researchers, innovators and data centres are invited to submit their ideas until 4th April. Applicants can request funding between 50.000 and 150.000 EUR. NLnet Foundation is one of the 14 partners in the OpenWebSearch.EU consortium.

The OpenWebSearch.EU consortium calls for contributions in two new open calls.
(Note that applications can be submitted via the OpenWebSearch website and not through the NLnet application form.)

Call # 2: Applications of the Open Web Index”.

Call # 2 invites researchers and innovators to submit ideas for innovative for ideas on how the data provided by the Open Web Index can be used and exploited in innovative use cases or research scenarios. The project consortium will provide access to pre-processed and indexed web data with continuous daily updates until the end of the project.

"We are looking for innovative ideas on how to leverage the Open Web Index and its data", explains Dr Stefan Voigt, who is a member of the OpenWebSearch.EU project management team, scientist at the German Aerospace Center DLR and Chairman of the board of the Open Search Foundation. “The field for ideas is broad. Applicants can submit ideas that relate to vertical search applications (e.g., kids search), conversational search or search based on large language models. We also welcome topics such as geo-location-based search or new approaches to transparent and privacy-friendly search, just to name a few examples.”

Call # 3: Computing and data centres

Call # 3 invites computing and data centres to join the network of compute infrastructure providers and host parts of the Open Web Search and Analysis Infrastructure (OWSAI) . Called are universities, public compute infrastructure providers, data centres, companies (e.g., cloud providers) or research teams with a well-established data infrastructure.

In this second and third third-party call, successful applications can request funding between 50.000 and 150.000 EUR for a period of up to 12 months. Members of the consortium as well as external experts will review the applications. Eligible are individuals as well as organisations residing in EU Member States or in Horizon Europe Associated Countries. The third-party projects will be funded under the Community Programme. All awardees will be essential parts of ongoing and future R&D activities of the Open Web Search Community.

Applications go through the OpenWebSearch.EU website and are accepted via email. Opening date is 8 February 2024. The calls close on 4 April 2024, 17:00 CET.

Detailed information and application packages can be found at: and

Outcomes of first open call

IN the first open call, which ran in 2023, six projects were selected and onboarded as third-party funding partners. Project ALMASTIC aims to legally secure the Open Web Index by subjecting its technical aspects – collection, storage, distribution (and use by end-users) – to legal evaluation. Project LAW4OSAI (License-Aware Web Crawling for Open Search AI) aims to enable license-aware crawling of web content by automatically identifying and retrieving content licenses. Project LISA (Open Web Search Legal, Intellectual Property, Cyber Security Aspects) seeks to help deliver tangible guidelines from a legal, social and security viewpoint.

Project Loren (Legal Open euRopean wEb iNdex) seeks to provide a comprehensive analysis of the legal constraints and requirements for building and operating an Open Web Index. Project MRC assess the market potential of OpenWebSearch.EU transparently, quantifying benefits and costs in scaling a European web search index. Project Open Console aims to solve questions around implementing EU law in data collecting applications.

About is the first EU-funded project which aims to get tomorrow's web search up and running. 14 European NGOs and research centers – including NLnet – kicked-off the project in September 2022. Over the three years, the researchers develop the core of a European Open Web Index (OWI). They aim to 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.