Fancy a trip to China? Huawei, Microsoft and the European Young Innovators’ Forum team up to find Europe’s top “social inclusion” apps

Shanghai Bund
Shanghai Bund

Shanghai Bund

The European Young Innovators’ Forum is teaming up with Huawei and Microsoft to send three app developers with ideas for encouraging “social inclusion” on an innovation and culture study tour in China.

As part of the first phase of the just-launched InnoApps contest, the three partners are calling for app ideas – if you’ve got an existing product, that’s fine, but the app can’t already be on the market. The call is for apps for Windows Phone, which is still sitting on less than 10 per cent market share among mobile operating systems in Europe, but there’s nothing to prevent later adaption for Android or iOS.

Contestants must be residents of a European country and under the age of 27. The contest is free to enter and the closing date for submissions to the first phase of the contest is 8 September 2013. The ideas must have some kind of link to the “social inclusion” theme: defined as either IT skills and digital literacy, entrepreneurship, or collaboration across different generations and cultures in Europe.

Three winners – including top female developer – off to China

Those that make it through the first phase will have until 20 October 2013 to actually develop the apps. Six finalists will then be invited to pitch at the InnoApps Final in Brussels on 20 and 21 November. 

[contentad keyword= “left”]The top overall app, judged by a three-person jury, will get €5000 and support for app commercialisation; the top two overall apps and the top female developer will be sent on an all-expenses-paid trip to China courtesy of Huawei, with dates, duration, locations and centres to be arranged in discussion with the winners. Those three plus the top audience choice winner will also get their app featured in the Windows App Store.

The European Young Innovators’ Forum (EYIF) is a volunteer non-profit involved with various policy initiatives, including the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 “Innovation Voucher Scheme”, and the host of the annual young innovators’ Unconvention in Brussels. The group is managing the competition on behalf of Huawei.

It’s the first time Huawei’s been involved with this kind of contest in Europe. Why now – and why is the EYIF keen to send European developers to China?

“I think it’ll be a good experience for them,” EYIF president Kumardev Chatterjee said. “A lot of people in Europe haven’t been to China so they’ll get a chance to learn from innovation approaches there, which are different to those in Europe and the US.”

His hope is that the winners of the competition will bring that insight, understanding of the market and the contacts they make on the trip back for their ventures in Europe.

Huawei, headquartered in China, also has a clear interest in supporting IT skills and innovation in Europe: it employs over 7500 staff in the region and runs 13 R&D sites across Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Sweden and the UK.

Image credit:
Shanghai: Flickr user Wenjie, Zhang / A Certain Slant of Light

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