New Contest Aims to Create Easier Online Access to Government and Community Services

Knight Foundation partners with FCC; Contest offers cash prizes to software developers nationwide

Photo: FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announces Apps for Inclusion program at The Newseum.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 9, 2010) A contest to develop online applications that would tap the power of broadband to help communities and citizens was launched today by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in partnership with the Federal Communications Commission.

The Knight/FCC “Apps for Inclusion” Challenge encourages technology innovators to review government and community services and develop tools that will improve lives by making it easier for citizens to receive these services through mobile and online applications.

Knight Foundation and the FCC announced the contest today at America’s Digital Inclusion Summit at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. At the same event, the FCC also presented working recommendations in its pending National Broadband Plan for expanding broadband access for all Americans.

“This contest reflects on three beliefs that are key to our work at Knight Foundation,” said its president and CEO, Alberto Ibargüen: “First, our ideal of informed, engaged communities; second, our conviction that universal broadband is key to achieving this ideal; and third, our deep interest in using new approaches to connect with innovators.”

“We are pleased to embrace a contest that will so clearly demonstrate the power of broadband innovation to benefit individuals and society,” said FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. “This contest is not just a fun way to reward the creative spirit of American entrepreneurs. 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.”

A panel of experts will review applications and pick winners. The public will have a vote through several “people’s choice awards.”

Knight Foundation will commit $100,000 in prize money.

Knight Foundation will announce further details about the contest in the near future.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed, engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit

About the FCC’s National Broadband Plan

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 directed the FCC to submit a National Broadband Plan to Congress that addresses broadband deployment, adoption, affordability, and the use of broadband to advance solutions to national priorities. More information about development of the National Broadband Plan can be found at


Contact: Marc Fest, Knight Foundation, 305-908-2677;

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit