infoDev, a donor-funded ICT for development agency hosted by the World Bank, has formed a public/private partnership with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Nokia to undertake a joint program on Creating Sustainable Businesses for the Knowledge Economy, worth some €12 million, that will run from 2010 – 2012.
This request for expressions of interest (EOI) concerns Track 1A of the program, on the establishment of a regional mobile applications lab for Africa. As the implementing agency for the program, infoDev is looking to identify either one, or two, host institutions in Africa where the activities of the lab can be situated. This grant award for between US$200’000 and US$300’000 (depending on the number of labs selected) covers the establishment of each lab, by the end of 2010, and the start-up phase in early 2011. Additional grant funding may be available later following successful completion of the start-up phase.
The services to be offered by the lab include:
1. Training and accreditation for mobile applications developers.
2. Certification of applications and facilities for developers to test applications under operational conditions.
3. Fostering competition for ideas among applications developers.
4. Business mentoring to assist applications developers with bringing their ideas to market. In this sense, the Labs could serve as specialized business incubators.
5. Replication of successful applications, between countries, languages and operating systems.
6. Developing a repository of knowledge in ICT4D.
7. Conducting consumer behaviour research.
8. Facilitating access to finance and access to markets.
On the basis of responses to this EOI, a shortlist of candidate host organizations will be drawn up who will receive a more detailed request for proposals. More information on this request for EOI is available at /en/Publication.829.html. If you have questions about this initiative, please visit the public wiki we have set up to ensure this information is shared as widely as possible. This collaborative space through which we intend to address questions and clarify the process around this Request for Expressions of Interest can be found at http://mobileappslab.wikispaces.com/.