Not so, say the project's research leaders. "Quaero participants say that their project has been misunderstood by the public, that
it is not the recipient of unfair subsidies, and that it is not even a search engine," writes Victoria Shannon. The consortium (which includes 23 companies and research organizations) will actually be
researching and developing prototypes for multimedia and multilingual search tools--and the fruits of their labors will be available for anyone who wants to license them, even Google.
As for Quaero's futility, François Bourdoncle founder of French-based search engine Exalead, says that the project is valid and necessary, given the current domination of the search space by U.S. companies.