A Scots technology entrepreneur is set to take on the mighty Google with an ad-free internet search engine after winning significant EU funding.

Gordon Povey reckons the technology developed by the Better Internet Search business he founded will transform the way people hunt for information on the web by using artificial intelligence (AI) tools to trawl through multiple online resources.

He hopes to capitalise on dissatisfaction with market leaders such as Google amid perceptions their services prioritise the needs of firms that advertise on their sites.

Mr Povey noted discontent about personal data being used to target content and adverts that can constantly follow users around the Internet.

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“We need to make the search results more relevant to the user and one of the ways we are doing this is by applying AI to the task of finding and ranking results for the user as opposed to using AI to target ads at the user,” said Mr Povey, who has developed a range of technology firms in Scotland.

He added: “Having removed advertising, we are developing our alternative revenue model that does not interfere with the quality of results.”

Mr Povey did not give details of any revenue models that are under consideration.

However, he noted a survey of UK internet users had found that 10 per cent would be willing to pay for ad-free search.

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The potential of Better Internet Search’s technology has been recognised by experts in the field.

The firm has won €93,000 (£82,300) funding from the Next Generation Internet Trust to further develop its search engine technology, working with Edinburgh Napier University.

The website of the Next Generation Internet initiative says it aims to ensure the web of the future “embodies the values that Europe holds dear: openness, inclusivity, transparency, privacy, cooperation, and protection of data”.

Mr Povey said Better Internet Search had successfully demonstrated the capability of its engine in collaboration with Edinburgh Napier university.

“Our digital world is becoming increasingly dominated by companies who have created business models which are based on analysing our every action on the Internet, and then in pushing advertising content to users,” said Professor Bill Buchanan, of the university’s school of computing.

Better Internet Search is recruiting a small development team to work on its technology and to run tests to help firm up plans for revenue generation.

Mr Povey has invested an undisclosed amount in the venture, which he said has built on advances he made earlier in his career.

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Mr Povey spent seven years lecturing at Edinburgh University in the 1990s after completing a doctorate in cellular communications.

He went on to sell the Trisent business he developed to Artilium for £ 1.7m in 2008.

Trisent won renown for developing software that could figure out where phones were. It also produced a prototype of a system that could automatically record where people had been and what they had been doing.

Mr Povey bought back some of the intellectual property concerned in the belief it could be used to develop a product with wide appeal.

After running a range of technology firm including the Dukosi car battery specialist he worked on plans for a digital diary that would allow people harness the masses of information held online about them.

The Next Generation Internet initiative was launched by the European Commission in the autumn of 2016.