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Google funds research to help it understand itself

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Geplaatst op 20 maart 2009 - 12:21

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On Wednesday, Google and WPP, a marketing and advertising firm, announced the award of the first round of funding in a planned series of grants to the academic world. The grants, which will total $4.6 million dollars over three years, will be used to fund a variety of projects in areas such as economics, consumer behavior, and statistical analysis, but they all have one thing in common: a focus on online advertising. Grant recipients get to pursue their studies using internal data provided by both Google and WPP, but it's not clear whether the use of proprietary data is compatible with the companies' desire to see the results published in academic journals.

The awards fall under the umbrella of Google Research. Applications were due at the end of last year, and reviewed by three people with academic backgrounds: Glen Urban, the former dean of MIT's Sloan School of Management, Hal Varian of Berkeley, who also acts as Google's Chief Economist, and John Quelch, who's at Harvard Business School while also acting as a director at WPP. There is certainly no obvious reason to think that this panel would be anything other than academically rigorous when evaluating the grants. Their own schools, along with places like NYU and the USC are represented among the recipients, suggesting that the grants attracted applications from professors at a diverse range of top business schools.

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