FCC, Knight Foundation challenge citizens to create 'Apps for Inclusion'

The Federal Communications Commission is teaming up with the Knight Foundation to reward innovators who design tools that help citizens better access or use government resources.

Billed as the "Apps for Inclusion" Challenge, the contest would award about $10,000 in prize money to anyone who devises new mobile, desktop or Web programs that help citizens take advantage of community, state or federal services online.

Entries will be judged both by a panel of experts and Web users, who will be able to vote for the best apps online, according to the Knight Foundation.

Its leaders promised more details about the contest at a later date.

In a statement announcing the contest on Tuesday, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski described the challenge as one in line with his agency's forthcoming National Broadband Plan, due to Congress next week.

“We are pleased to embrace a contest that will so clearly demonstrate the power of broadband innovation to benefit individuals and society,” Genachowski said.

“This contest is not just a fun way to reward the creative spirit of American entrepreneurs," he added. "It also demonstrates that our National Broadband Plan is a team effort, and puts a critical part of that team – American inventors – to work now implementing core goals of the Plan.”