Microsoft and Nokia fund AppCampus programme
The new scheme, based out of a Finnish university, will encourage more mobile app development on the Windows Phone platform.
Microsoft and Nokia today announced the foundation of a new university programme to boost the creation of mobile applications for the two company's joint venture.
Nokia is the major distributor of the Windows Phone operating system, having launched its Lumia 800 handset last year. However, the one question mark remaining over the system is the lack of applications in the Windows Marketplace.
The partnership between Microsoft and Nokia is a critical investment in this growing ecosystem.
By pairing up with Microsoft again at the Aalto University in Finland, the AppCampus project will boost numbers of developers working on the platform, increase the amount of applications and boost the overall mobile market in the country.
The two firms are investing up to 9 million over the next three years to fund the programme and will also feature development for Symbian and Series 40 smartphones.
Both companies believe the advice from industry heavyweights and the creative environment will aid mobile start-ups and entrepreneurs in developing their ideas and turning their apps into a business.
"AppCampus offers an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice and create world-class mobile products," said Klaus Holse, president of Microsoft's Western European region.
"We want to turn a new leaf in the mobile industry and foster Finland's role as a centre of excellence for mobile technology. Such investment into early-stage concepts has rarely been seen in this sector, and this demonstrates how highly both Nokia and Microsoft value Finnish mobile expertise."
AppCampus has received the backing of the Finnish Government, with the Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen even attending the launch.
"The ICT industry and knowledge base in Finland is one of the most competitive in the world, particularly in the mobile technology field," he said. "Finland is an early-adopter market, and the significance of national education and technology innovation is deeply rooted in our culture."
"As a result, there is a growing appetite for entrepreneurship among the younger generation at Aalto University and beyond. The partnership between Microsoft and Nokia is a critical investment in this growing ecosystem and represents an exciting opportunity and access to global markets for our local start-up community."
The AppCampus programme will kick off in May and applications for grants to fund the course are open now.
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