Israeli Universities partner with Google for online auction research

The technology spin-offs of three leading Israeli Universities are to collaborate with Google on research looking at online auctions.

The search giant is sponsoring Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Technion to conduct over 20 such research projects which will address the opportunities of the Internet economy, posing questions around the economic effects of viral networking, the dynamics of electronic markets, and new formats of selling advertisements, which could be beneficial to the user and the advertisers, according to the press release.

Furthermore, it’s thought that academic research in disciplines such as algorithmic game theory and algorithmic mechanism design could benefit by learning from the Internet industry’s own innovations and products but would also be able to provide future insights to “improve online advertising auctions and create more opportunity for advertisers, users, and the online economy at large.”

Prof. Yossi Matias, Managing Director of Google’s Israel R&D Center is quoted as saying: “ Israel boasts unusual academic excellence in the inter-disciplinary foundations of electronic auctions and markets. I am personally delighted at this unique opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between Google and Israeli academia.”

Of course, Google itself grew out of ideas in academia and was very much supported by the ecosystem around Stanford University so projects like this aren’t really surprising.