There’s NOT an App for That…

But if you write a good one you could win $100,000

A digital inclusion App that is…

The FCC and the Knight Foundation are teaming up to offer an “Apps for Inclusion Challenge” that asks:

technology innovators to review government and community services and develop tools that will improve lives by making it easier for citizens to receive these services through mobile and online applications.

For the FCC’s part—they are interested in increasing the rate of broadband adoption in “lagging” sectors and see potential in useful apps for achieving that goal.

The Knight Foundation is fronting the money. Details are not yet available but the Knight Foundation suggests that they’ve got three core beliefs that this challenge would serve:

First, our ideal of informed, engaged communities; second, our conviction that universal broadband is key to achieving this ideal; and third, our deep interest in using new approaches to connect with innovators.

The inclusion of mobile platforms and highlighting it with the allusion to “Apps” is probably pretty good policy. Recent research shows that more of the poor and minority populations that are lagging in net connection are adopting wireless devices more rapidly than the rest of the population…mobile’s probably a pretty good target.

There’s been a recent push in Lafayette to get more governmental data available online. We’ve even got a placeholder location for hosting data in an accessible form. Some places, like San Francisco, are a bit further along in having its data available in a form developers find useful. It’d be a neat project for somebody—or some civic-minded group of geeks. I’d sure like to have a version for the Lafayette Commons’ gadget page….