Nokia seeks designers to raise living standards in developing world

Nokia has launched a competition to design a mobile product or service that will raise the living standards of people in the developing world.

The Growth Economy Venture Challenge will award the innovators with the best idea $1m (£600 000) to work on the project.

Proposals must improve the lives of people from growth economies and should provide a potential return on investment, but do not have to include software or hardware that uses Nokia platforms. Because of the limited mobile and Internet capability in many of the target countries, proposals can also stretch beyond the mobile phone.

As well as funding, Nokia will offer the winner expert technical support and marketing assistance. Ten finalists will also be invited to show their ideas to a panel of Nokia directors and private investors.

Nokia chief executive Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo says, ‘We’ve seen what the tech community can do when it focuses on problems that are also opportunities. We want to channel that energy toward improving lives in the developing world.’

The deadline for submissions is 18 April, and the finalists will be revealed by mid-May. The winner will be announced in June.

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