The French government has boosted plans to develop a European rival to Google by awarding a group of 23 European private firms, led by electronics firm Thomson, €99m (£66.5m).
The European Commission has approved the cash injection for Quaero, which is Latin for “I seek,” saying the project has research and cultural benefits. The consortium plans to make the Quaero engine available for personal computers, mobile handsets, TVs and other media platforms.
The Quaero concept was conceived by former French premier Jaques Chirac in 2005. He billed the project as a Franco-German attempt to compete with Google. Some of the German team split from the main Quaero initiative in 2006 to pursue their own engine Theseus. Last July the EC cleared EURO120m of funding for Theseus from the German government.