The Open Knowledge Foundation today proudly announces the launch of the Apps 4 Germany Contest.

The Contest is organised by three civil society organisations (The Open Data Network, the Gov2.0 Network and the German Chapter of the OKFN) in cooperation with BITKOM (Federal Association for Information Technology, Telecommunications and New Media) under the auspices of of the Ministry of the Interior (BMI). The launch was celebrated at the Modern State fair with a speech by the Minister of the Interior, Hans Peter Friedrich. The best Apps will be presented and rewarded at CEBit 2012.

The Apps 4 Germany contest will feature new and stunning applications, developed using German Public Sector Information recently opened up for re-use. All data will be released under CC-BY and can be accessed through the unofficial German Open Data Catalogue run by OKF DE using CKAN.

The contest is open to everyone, even outside Germany. The only limitation: the application must use openly licensed data from German authorities. The competition also sets a spotlight on the release of Data. The organisers encourage Public Sector Bodies in Germany to contribute to the competition by opening up their data. A special price will be awarded in the category “Data” to a Public Sector Body.

Neelie Kroes comments on the German apps challenge:

“Open public data benefits everybody – and more and more public authorities across Europe are recognising this and opening up. The recent EU Open Data Challenge showed innovative applications using these data – made by citizens, for citizens. By demonstrating the usefulness of open data, competitions like this can increase awareness, stimulate innovation, and boost European competitiveness. I am delighted that Germany is joining the movement towards open
government data!”

And also Sir Tim Berners Lee welcomes the German move to Open Data enthusiastically:

“In the UK, with clear request from the very top levels, with dedicated people working within government, with strong support from academic and non-profit sides, there has been a major shift toward Open Government Data as the default.

Spending data has made the workings of government much clearer to journalists and citizens, encouraging citzen engagement in the process and in democracy. Logistical and geospatial data made it more efficient to run a company. Data on the performance of schools and hospitals has helped people chose where to live, and of course provided publicly visible feedback to the managers .. and so on.

The US and UK governments have competed in an informal race to get the data out, and to reap the benefits. We welcome Germany joining that race, for Germany’s sake but also because we know that as more countries provide data about more things, so we all will get a picture of the state of the whole world, a picture which is very important in this crucial era.”

So we are very excited about this competition and even more excited about all the Data that will be made available open for re-use and about all the Ideas and Apps which will likely be developed over the next month.

You can find more information about the contest here (unfortunately German language only).

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Theodora is press officer at the Open Knowledge Foundation, based in London. Get in touch via

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