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Industry Software
Founded 2006
Key people
Dr. David Hawking
Products Funnelback Hosted, Funnelback Server for Web, Funnelback Server for Enterprise, Funnelback Platform
Revenue Unknown
Number of employees
Slogan Search like you've never seen it.

Funnelback is both an enterprise search engine and the name of the company selling the technology. Funnelback is used by many Australian universities and government organisations to search for information on their websites, intranets, file-shares and databases.


Funnelback was originally developed by CSIRO as part of a research project, then called "P@noptic". The initial design and development was headed up by Dr. David Hawking, a researcher on search technologies. With its initial launch in 2001 as P@noptic, and with the research weight of CSIRO behind it, it quickly attracted some high profile clients. With its rapid commercial success, it was spun off from the CSIRO ICT Centre as its own company in February 2006. In July 2009 Funnelback was acquired by Squiz.


Despite being spun off from CSIRO, it still retains close research links with them and jointly publishes papers. Research is currently underway in the areas of search types, subject-specific search, realistic applications of metasearch, topic distillation, website searchability and search in support of e-commerce.


The core of the system is based around the Padre engine developed by the CSIRO to perform very fast data look-ups.

It has the ability to search a range of formats in addition to range of HTML files. These include PDF, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, images, and XML. It also has the ability to connect to, and index databases. Adapters currently exist for MySQL and TRIM Context, and the design of the system allows users to create their own adapters should they not exist.

It works on Windows, Linux and Solaris, and there is also a hosted service available.


The Panoptic search engine has been widely recognised as a leader in its field. Panoptic has been awarded:

  • 2003 Network Computing Editor’s Choice Award
  • 2004 Network Computing Well Connected Award
  • 2004 AIIA iAward