Last week the European Commission approved a 120 million euros ($166 million) grant from the German government which will be distributed among SAP AG, Siemens AG and other companies for the Theseus project.
The goal is to create new search technologies for the next generation Internet, including "semantic technologies which try to recognize the meaning of content and place it in its proper context" .
The semantic Web has been considered the next evolution of the Internet at least since Tim Berners-Lee, widely considered a creator of the current version of the Internet, published an article describing it in 2001.
In theory, a semantic Web could receive a user request for information about fishing, for example, and automatically narrow the results according to the user's individual needs rather than blanket the user with pages related to numerous aspects of fishing.
The Commission's funding approval Thursday immediately sparked talk of building a potential European challenger to Web search leader Google Inc.
But Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry said that Google (GOOG) is actually more likely to take advantage of the possible fruit of the Theseus project, rather than compete head-to-head with it.
"I don't see this as a threat to Google," Chowdhry said. "Even if they do come up with a semantic Web, Google will index it and create searches on it like it does for Wikipedia."