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Kuvaaja: Saana Säilynoja

Published July 1, 2013

Entries invited for 2013 Apps4Finland competition

Writer
 
Ossi Kuittinen

The fifth version of the open data innovation contest Apps4Finland has been launched. The focus for the 2013 competition is on applications based on social problem-solving. Sparring, mentoring and further development for participants are now a feature of the contest, with the aim of commercialising the winning applications. The organisers of Apps4Finland 2013 are Forum Virium Helsinki and Finland’s Internet Democracy Association.

In 2013, the Apps4Finland contest is seeking new types of mechanisms for solving well-being issues in particular. One of the contest themes is health and well-being, which is why Sitra is involved as a contest partner.

”In particular, we hope to see ideas and applications for boosting health and enabling self-care by citizens,” says Senior Lead Tuula Tiihonen, who is responsible for the development of electronic self-care services at Sitra.

According to Tiihonen, applications based on games and open data are gaining ground as an important means of promoting health. Sitra is currently hosting the Gesundheit 2013 health game competition, with the purpose of generating fun and addictive Finnish games and apps themed around health issues. ”Apps4Finland provides us with an excellent channel for developing new user-driven services that exploit open data. For example, in the healthcare sector there is a need for user applications that provide real-time data on waiting times.”

A chance to meet funders and market specialists

Since the first year of the Apps4Finland competition, the number of entries and the interest in the contest has steadily grown, with each year’s event attracting more and more attention. Those participating in this year’s event will get the chance to develop their apps into profitable businesses, as well as contributing ideas for solving well-being issues. Leading Specialist Ossi Kuittinen of Sitra says developers and funders will be able to meet market specialists at a further development day: ”We want to offer participants even better opportunities to commercialise their applications,” he says.

Applications based on open data are also attracting more and more attention abroad, as proven by previous winners of Apps4Finland such as ParkkiNappi, a mobile application based on GPS tracking, and the BlindSquare application for aiding the blind and visually impaired in their daily lives. Both these applications have attracted international interest.

Ossi Kuittinen also explains that the competition is exploring new ways of securing funding for successful entrants: ”We are involved in developing new agile funding instruments, such as the Datademo concept. This is an instrument for channelling funds to start-up companies, for building demos. The concept helps fill the gaps in venture capital availability on the financial markets.” The Digidemo concept, developed by Diges, has generated several Finnish success stories in the creative industry sector, notably in the field of gaming.

The open data innovation contest Apps4Finland 2013 is the fifth of its kind. This annual contest is based on seeking ideas and application demos based on open data.

Further information:

http://apps4finland.fi/en/ Contest Project Manager Petri Kola, tel. +358 40 162 6525, petri.kola@forumvirium.fi

Forum Virium Helsinki

Finland’s Internet Democracy Association