Seriously though, now Northern Light has sold out, I would like to see someone take the "independent research engine" slot. FAST have a strong crawler setup, and an existing interest in this area (Scirus). One push now, and they could dominate the niche
heini provided a good analysis here [webmasterworld.com] of Scirus, but I'm sure it could stand to have a few million thrown at it
FAST must have plenty technical talent to come up with what it did so far. Take a look at [zend.com...] or couple others in the FreeBSD core development group. What FAST needs to do is probably to hire content editors to nurse the AlltheWeb content similar to Google or others. SCIRUS.com is FAST technology "nursed" :) by Elsevier science won the Best Specialty Search Engine award.