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European Startups Receive EU Funding to Challenge Leading Internet Search Engines, Offering a New Privacy-Preserving, Ad-Free, Bias-Free Option

The alternative Internet search engine has created a new, user-centric revenue model 

Scottish-based start-up Better Internet Search, a new search engine promising increased privacy, fewer ads, and less bias, and Danish-led Partisia Blockchain, a Web 3.0 platform built for trust, transparency, and privacy, have secured a grant from the EU-funded Next Generation Internet Trust (NGI Trust), to develop a new alternative search engine.

The NGI Trust supports the development of a human-centric internet and provides grant assistance for projects via the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. Today’s internet search engines have an estimated four billion active users. With Google holding market dominance at 85%, demand for a more user-centric internet that respects privacy and offers a better experience has grown rapidly in recent years as investigations and antitrust cases continue to hit the headlines.

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While most search engines make their money through advertising, Better Internet Search and Partisia Blockchain are working together to develop an alternative that is both privacy-preserving and completely ad-free. Rather than using valuable processing power and bandwidth to serve ads to users, the new approach to internet search engines leverages advanced algorithms to prioritise the results that searchers actually want. With a token-based internal currency system and by leveraging Partisia Blockchain’s bespoke privacy-preserving solutions, the two are challenging the current advertisement model by using their proprietary data science technology, combined with the highest levels of privacy and security.

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Better Internet Search was launched in December 2020 by serial tech entrepreneur Dr. Gordon Povey. He said, “Ads not only get in the way of the results users want, they also bear click-bait, fake-news, scams, and other malware. With an ad-based model, users are not really the customer, they are actually the product that is sold to advertisers. At Better Internet Search, we have developed a new user-centric model that puts the customer front and centre, eliminating advertising and ensuring built-in user privacy at the core of everything we do.”

Partisia Blockchain boasts a team of well-known industry luminaries among its ranks, including world leading cryptographers, developers, and entrepreneurs in the area of Multi-Party Computation (MPC), a unique privacy enhancing technology.

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Kurt Nielsen, Co-Founder and President of Partisia Blockchain said, “For decades now the internet has operated in the same way, while, in the meantime, the world it serves has changed dramatically. Privacy is now non-negotiable and demanded from users, enterprises, and governments alike. Our collaboration with Better Internet Search will ensure that privacy is built-in at the new search engine’s core, meaning users no longer need to worry about the risks and fears of sharing their personal data when using the internet.”

Dr Monique Calisti, CEO of Martel Innovate and Director of the NGI Outreach Office says, “Europe aims at ensuring a trusted human-centric internet that respects the fundamental values of privacy, participation and diversity. This roots on several other important initiatives such as the GDPR and its success very much depends on engaging and supporting researchers and innovators, including high-tech pioneers, all across Europe. Through dedicated funding and open calls the Next Generation Internet initiative has already supported many SMEs, Startups and researchers. NGI Trust supported for instance the Better Internet Search leading to the launch of a unique privacy-preserving ad-free search engine. Now, we welcome the collaboration with the Partisia Blockchain Foundation as another great opportunity. Partisia  is in fact at work to design a more secure, decentralised search engine. Another step ahead and many more are expected to come!”

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