Yahoo unveiled Monday the companys first-ever research facilities located outside the United States.
The labs, in Santiago, Chile, and Barcelona, Spain, exemplify how Internet search interests are looking internationally for new talent and innovation.
The new Yahoo centers are led by Web search expert Ricardo Baeza-Yates, who is based at the Yahoo Barcelona facility. Baeza-Yates created the Center for Web Research in Santiago. He is a former Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
Each facility will be staffed predominantly by students and professors from local universities.
Hyper-competitive Internet search providers constantly tinker. A new feature can boost traffic to the search engine, which translates into more ad revenue. The sale of ads are the sole source of a search engines revenues.
Why look overseas for brain power? Elite Internet search talent no longer lives just in the United States, according to Prabhakar Raghavan, head of Yahoos research arm, and its tougher to persuade that talent to relocate to America. The kinds of facilities Yahoos opened help solve the dilemma.
"Yahoo cant sit back and say, Well move the best talent to Silicon Valley," he said.
To that end, all top-tier Internet search providers are opening research facilities, the most recent in conjunction with local universities. But in these kinds of private/academic projects, intellectual property rules sometime can clash with academic research interests.
Last year, Microsoft, Internet search leader Google and Sun Microsystems founded RAD Lab, which is a partnership with a university. RAD stands for Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems.