Nicknamed the Digital Airbus,' the Franco-German search engine project, Quaero (Latin for I search') is expected to break away from its German industrial partners. Two German public laboratories will however continue to participate, explained a spokesperson. Nevertheless, the French Agency for industrial innovation (AII) which will contribute to the financing of the project, refuses to acknowledge failure.

The Franco-German programme, based on a partnership between industries, SMEs, laboratories and clients, initially estimated as being worth 250 million, is intended to create a European aequivalent to the American Google or Yahoo! by offering new search possibilities, particularly aimed at audio and video.

"Industrialists have the initiative to choose their project and consortium," explained the spokesperson from AII, indicating that Quaero had not yet completed all stages. So, before starting, Quaero needs to be given the green light by the European...

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