Apps for Communities Challenge

Posted on May 16, 2011

Knight Foundation and Federal Communications Commission Launch Apps for Communities Challenge
Deadline: July 11, 2011

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Federal Communications Commission have launched a new initiative called the Apps for Communities Challenge, which aims to help bring useful public data to traditionally underserved populations through Web, mobile, or text/SMS- based applications.

The goals of the challenge are to make local public information more personalized, usable, and accessible for all Americans; to promote broadband adoption, particularly among Americans who are less likely to be regular Internet users (including low-income, rural, elderly, disabled, and low digital/English literacy communities); and to create better links between Americans and services provided by local, state, tribal, and federal governments.

The challenge seeks entries of software applications that deliver personalized, actionable information to people who are least likely to be online. Entries should utilize hyper-local government and other public data to develop an app that enables Americans to benefit from broadband communications by providing easy access to relevant content.

To be eligible for an award, applicants must provide either a fully functioning app or a demonstration and source code. The app must use one of the OSI-approved open-source licenses and must use publicly available data.

The challenge will award total prizes of $100,000. The grand-prize winner will receive $30,000, the second-place winner will receive $20,000, and the third-place winner will receive $10,000. Runners-up will receive $5,000 each. Prizes of $10,000 also will be awarded for best design and visualization, and for the most replicable application. Additionally, prizes of $5,000 will be awarded for best use of SMS and for greatest impact among populations with limited digital proficiency and limited English literacy.

Complete program information and entry guidelines are available at the Web site.

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