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Apps for Innovation - Two More Weeks Til Deadline

The Consumer Electronics Association's "Apps for Innovation" contest for software application developers closes in two weeks, on Monday, December 14. The grand-prize winner will receive $10,000 and a free trip to the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), January 7-10, 2010, in Las Vegas.

A second-place winner will receive $5,000, and a third-place winner will receive $3,500, with all contenders having the opportunity for their apps to be displayed on the show floor at CES. Apps can be for any device or any platform.

CES is the world's largest gathering for consumer technology, with more than 100,000 people attending annually. Industry keynote speakers will include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, and Intel CEO Paul Otellini. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is also set to speak at the event.

The contest, inspired by the government 2.0 movement, is looking for apps that help constituents better communicate with lawmakers about the need for innovation policies, such as alternative energy, R&D, broadband, and science/technology education. Alternatively, apps can illustrate, perhaps with government data, how innovation is already at work in the United States. A couple of ideas:

*Jobs & Start-Ups App. Venture-backed companies employed more than 12 million people and generated more than $3 trillion in revenue in the United States in 2008, found a report from the National Venture Capital Association. An app could show us where the jobs have been created and how much they are adding to each state’s GDP.

*Cell Phone Towers App. Where are the short cell phone towers? The FCC collects data on tall cell phone towers of a certain height and those that sit near airports, but they largely don't know where the hundreds of smaller cell phone towers sit that are popping up across the country. An app could let passers-by post cell-phone photos they take of smaller towers (or large ones too) on a map. Cell phone triangulation could record the location of the photo and where it should sit on the map.

*Expiring R&D Tax Credit App. The R&D tax credit that supports private company innovations is set to expire on December 31, 2009. An app could let constituents email their members of Congress to ask them to pass the credit to further innovation in America and keep R&D jobs in the United States.

What are you ideas? What would you like to see as an "App for Innovation"?

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