Wikimedia Foundation, the organisation behind the biggest online encyclopedia Wikipedia, has been granted a $250,000 grant by the John S and James L Knight Foundation to kick start work on a project that is long suspected to rival the current online search giant, Google.
The grant for the new project dubbed Knowledge Engine, will help ‘explore ways to make the search and discovery of high-quality, trustworthy information on Wikipedia more accessible and open’.
A report on The Register notes that Wikipedia initially denied working on a Google-like search engine, however, the foundation finally confirmed the grant this week.
With the funding, the Wikimedia Foundation has started six months of deep research, testing, and prototyping on user search habits and practices on Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects.
The risks with Wikipedia’s efforts towards the Knowledge Engine hint at existing search giants, Google or Yahoo! suddenly devoting their own resources to a similar project.