The German government decided to back out of the Quaero search engine and focus instead on a national project called Thesus, to develop search technologies for the next-generation internet.
Earlier this week, Hartmut Schauerte, state secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, told an auditorium full of high-ranking political officials and chief executives that the government would end its involvement in the Quaero consortium and focus instead on a national program, called Theseus, to develop search technologies for next-generation Internet of the next generation.
"There will now be separate programs -- Germany's Theseus and France's Quaero," said ministry spokesman Hendrik Luchtmeier in a telephone interview Wednesday. "We will still see cooperation but in another form, such as workgroups. But the consortium between the German and French governments is over."
French government officials, however, claim the project is moving ahead -- with German involvement.
"The Quaero file is not closed," said Armelle Ceglec, spokeswoman for the French Agency for Industrial Innovation (AII), which funds research for the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry. "There are still German partners involved in the Quaero project (but) the configuration of partners will change. When you work on something international, it's more complicated than when it's just the French involved."