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Challenge Supporting the EU App Economy – Addressing EU Market Conditions
Supporting the EU App Economy – Addressing EU Market Conditions
STATUS: Awarded
Active Solvers: 160
Posted: Aug 22 2013
Challenge ID: 9933405
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Supporting startup companies to overcome barriers in the EU app market

The EU app economy has the potential to create revenue and jobs on a scale similar to that of the United States, following the growth in adoption of mobile devices and the popularity of online social networks. However, various characteristics of the EU app landscape threaten to hold back that growth: (1) the natural fragmentation of national and regional markets (compared with the US, China, or Japan) by size, language, culture, etc.; (2) EU and local regulatory conditions (legal complexities, country-specific personal data policies, etc.); and (3) difficulties in finding and retaining a talented, educated and skilled workforce. The European Commission is seeking advice on initiatives it could develop to overcome these “environmental” barriers and foster growth of the EU app economy. The EC is seeking perspectives broadly - proven ideas from the high tech/software industry or from any other industry are welcome. 

In addition to the monetary prize, up to five top Solvers will be invited to present to, and network with, a group of thought-leaders from leading app companies, platform providers and EU officials at a meeting in Berlin in mid-November 2013. For each invited solver, travel expenses up to $1,750 will be covered. This is an excellent opportunity to help advance an industry and also to raise your profile in the app development community! 

This Chalenge is the second in a series of 2 Challenges targetting development of the EU application economy - the first challenge is Supporting the EU App Economy – Funding and Scaling-Up App Companies

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.


The app economy in the European Union (EU) is less mature than the US market, where app companies contribute several billion dollars annually. The nature of the EU app market and business/technology environment poses many challenges for small app companies that are targeting this market, thereby limiting the overall growth of the EU app economy. The European Commission is looking for viable ways through which it can foster growth in this important industry. 

Flickr: liquidx

Market fragmentation, regulation, and workforce

This challenge focuses on improving some key characteristics of the EU app economy that hinder growth of this sector in Europe, including: (1) fragmentation of markets and platforms, for example, due to language and cultural differences and different price sensitivities; (2) EU-wide regulatory issues, such as complex legal systems or the lack of a coherent direction for the EU market; and (3) difficulties in acquiring a talented, educated and skilled workforce. The European Commission is looking for specific solutions that it can support and enact through policy changes and implementable schemes or programs to help small app development companies expand beyond the boundaries of their original market (typically their national market). 

Up to five Solvers proposing high quality solutions will be invited to present to, and network with, a group of thought-leaders at a Berlin meeting in November 2013. Budget is available to cover travel costs of selected Solvers. More information is available in the detailed challenge description. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award. The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $5,000, with at least one award being no less than $3,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000. In addition to the monetary prize, up to five top Solvers will be invited to a meeting in November 2013 with travel expenses up to $1,750 covered. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grants to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal.

After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). All Solvers that submitted a proposal will be notified on the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided.

What is InnoCentive?
InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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