FI-WARE was born in 2012 as one of the public-private projects aiming to foster innovation across the digital environment in Europe. Telefónica is one of its founding partners, but not the only one, major ICT players such as Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telecom Italia, IBM, and Siemens are also committed to foster innovation and entrepreneurship as well as to promote an open internet for all. In the headlines Europe looks like the grey continent, full of economic problems and anchored in the past. But the reality is different; FI-WARE is one example of things moving in this old but also new continent. Definitely, Europe is alive and kicking. (as you can also see here).
Telefónica and the European Commission announced this week that both Campus Party and FI-WARE itself will host the largest call in their (short but success) history to developers around the world with more than 800,000 Euros in prizes. Good news for geeks. Indeed, it will be Campuse.ro, the Campus Party´s geek network of knowledge that will centralise this contest, divided in two calls. The first will end in February 2014, and the second one will take place during the first semester of that year. In the first call 400,000 euros will be given to the finalists and winners of two development challenges: Smart Cities and Smart Business & Industry.
Smart Cities challenge may represent an important step towards a more efficient management of cities and innovative new services for citizens. Ideas about how to improve traffic management and services that save costs while increasing the quality of service are some of the applications that will be received until 20 December, the date of closure of the challenge.
On the other hand, specific applications for the challenge of Smart Business & Industry seek helping companies, with special attention to SMEs, to manage their businesses in a more efficient way or to offer innovative services to their customers. This includes applications that help running industrial processes more efficiently or to automate industrial processes in a radically innovative way, among many others.
In both challenges the process is divided into two stages. In the first one, which consists on a global "call for ideas', it will be accepted all those ideas about innovative applications on the theme of each challenge that may be developed with the FI-WARE platform technology. In a second phase, candidates will develop the proposed idea and present its prototype to the awards jury.
A specialized jury of engineers from the FI-WARE Consortium will evaluate all ideas presented during the “call for ideas” stage. €112,000 in prize will be divided between the forty best - twenty for each challenge. These 40 finalists of “Smart Cities” and “Smart Business & Industry” challenges are the ones who will go to the second phase of the challenge. The process will end in Campus Party Brazil (from January 27 to February 2), where the candidates will be advised so they can improve their prototypes and finally present their projects to the public and the jury.
The winners will compete for €290,000 in prizes, divided by €145,000 for each challenge, which will be divided among the following categories:
First Prize: €75,000
Second Prize: €40,000
Third Prize: €20,000
Special Mention Young Developer: €5,000
Special Mention: Most Innovative Application: €5,000
After completing this first stage of the contest, in February 2014 FI-WARE will launch a new challenge –also for developers- and the FI-WARE Excellence Award. The latter may be chosen by all projects that have obtained a score higher than 7 and will have a €201.000 in prizes.
All in all the European Institutions, the private sector and entrepreneurs have found a common playing field where everyone can get the best from other, and at the end of the day all win. FI-WARE is just another probe that things are moving in Europe.
Would you like to join us? We invite you to do it here!
Eduardo Salido Cornejo, Public Affairs and Policy Manager of Telefónica Europe plc.