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InnoApps Challenge: empowering young people to make a difference


25 Jul 2013


EU Priorities 2020
Social Europe & Jobs

[Brussels, Belgium, 22 July 2013] A competition challenges youth developers to design innovative mobile applications to foster social inclusion. The contest, launched today, is a joint initiative of the global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider Huawei, the leading software maker Microsoft and the European Young Innovators Forum (EYIF).

The competition, entitled ‘InnoApps, Huawei Apps Developers European Challenge, Powered by Microsoft’, is open to university students and young professionals under 27 who are EU residents. The contest aims to contribute to a more inclusive society by fostering ‘e-skills’, increasing ‘e-participation’ and promoting entrepreneurship among young people.

 “Through the competition, we hope to attract young talent and empower young people to develop their ideas while also fostering more youth entrepreneurship in Europe,” explains Leo Sun, President of Huawei’s European Public Affairs and Communications Office in Brussels.

“Technology is a vehicle of opportunity, moving beyond its everyday use and solving some of the world’s toughest problems. This competition challenges young people to make Europe a more inclusive society by creating technology-based solutions, whilst encouraging their entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity.” Jan Muehlfeit, Chairman, Microsoft Europe

Contributions will be accepted until 8 September 2013. The awards will be presented at a ceremony in Brussels during Global Entrepreneurship Week, which will take place from 18 to 24 November 2013.

The winner of the first prize will be awarded €5000 and will enjoy full commercialisation support to help them promote their app and to further foster youth entrepreneurship.  The developers who come in first and second place, and the top female developer, will be taken by Huawei on a trip to China’s innovation centres. These developers, along with the audience’s selected winner, will all have their apps promoted in Microsoft’s Windows store. The six finalists will receive technical and marketing mentoring at a Brussels workshop, as well as promotion on the organisers’ websites. They, and six runners-up, will also receive a Huawei phone each.

In order to retain talent in Europe, opportunities need to be created for the next generation of ICT leaders: it is expected that between now and 2015, the EU will be unable to fill approximately 900 000 IT job vacancies. The competition forms part of the organisers’ efforts to address this challenge, in line with their commitment to the EU goal of creating a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy by 2020.

The European Young Innovators Forum is the leading foundation for youth innovation in Europe. The EYIF’s Founder and President, Kumardev Chatterjee explains, “It is vitally important for the future of Europe and to exit the current crises, that its youth are given concrete opportunities for self-empowerment and supported to take risks for innovation and entrepreneurship. EYIF remains committed to creating such opportunities alongside partners and supporters across all sectors of society, government and business.”

Microsoft supports the European Commission’s eSkills strategy and is working hard to partner with EU stakeholders on the development and implementation of the Digital Agenda for Europe.

Huawei also supports a number of schemes to promote ICT education in Europe. Its successful flagship initiative in this field, the Undergraduate Work Experience Scheme, provides students with the opportunity to get hands-on work experience at Huawei’s headquarters in China.

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