World’s Top Labs Enter Search Engine Contest

SINGAPORE ~ Some of the world’s top laboratories have entered a Singapore contest for a next-generation multimedia online search engine, a government agency said on Monday.

Fifty-six teams from 17 countries have entered the competition organised by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, the agency said in a news release.

Among the entrants are two universities from China, France’s Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble, India’s Indian Institute of Technology, Japan’s National Institute of Informatics and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from the United States, it said.

Contestants vying for a 100,000 US dollar cash prize are required to create a search engine that can identify search terms found not only in text within websites, but in music and video files as well.

The competition is aimed at creating a search engine that works across all multi-media platforms, especially Web 2.0 and user-generated content websites such as Facebook and YouTube, the agency said.

“Developing such search capabilities will radically change the way people interact with multi-media information, creating seamless and accessible platforms for people across different online communities,” Lim Chuan Poh, the agency’s chairman, said earlier.

The grand finals will occur on October 23 as part of the opening of Fusionopolis, a science and technology research centre.

An international advisory panel oversees the competition.

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