The deal is expected to empower the hubs to act as scouts and agents for local talent and fast-tracking of their access to AppCampus funding.
A statement signed by Delia Sieff, Head of Communications, South East Africa Nokia, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said on Thursday that the deal was launched at the Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship in South Africa on Wednesday.
It said with an 18 “million- Euro joint investment between Microsoft and Nokia, the aim was to foster mobile application development on Windows Phone and any other Nokia platform.
The statement said the deal marked part of the investment fund for 26 awards per annum for the best mobile innovation ideas to be made via the mobile innovation hub network.
This will start with infoDev™s mobile application labs in South Africa, Kenya, Armenia and Vietnam, as well as mobile application laboratories in Egypt, Nigeria and Mexico.
According to the statement the value of each award ranges from 20,000 Euros, equalling 26,000 dollars to 70,000 Euros, corresponding to 90,000 dollars.
śDepending on the complexity of the solution or business model behind the idea,ť the statement said.
It quoted Pekka Sivonen, Head of AppCampus, as saying: śBy working jointly with the mobile innovation hubs, we are able to connect more effectively with local developers in emerging markets and provide support in terms of funding, especially for locally relevant innovations.
śAlthough the criteria to access the AppCampus funding remains the same, with ideas needing to be original, competitive and scalable, the advantage is faster processing and the mentorship provided by these innovation hubs.ť
The statement also quoted Jussi Hinkkanen, Vice President Corporate Relations for Nokia Middle East and Africa as saying Nokia is working closely with infoDev and has supported the establishment and operation of a number of mLabs across emerging markets in assistance of local developers.
śThe AppCampus collaboration showcases our commitment to strengthening the growing mLab network around the world and infoDev™s vision of supporting emerging market entrepreneurs in conquering local, regional and global markets.ť
Valerie D™Costa, infoDev™s Programme Manager said: śThe AppCampus initiative fits with the philosophy of infoDev of supporting innovative entrepreneurs from developing countries.
śWe want to support those who can excel with some level of mentorship, skills training and seed financing.
śWe provide potential job-creators better access to markets, which is what we are all about.ť