Microsoft and Nokia are each committing to invest up to €9 million (a total of around £15 million) into a mobile application development program at Finland’s Aalto University during the next three years. It’ll be called AppCampus, it starts from May 2012 and it’s been set up to encourage the creation of innovative mobile applications for the Windows Phone, Symbian and Series 40 platforms.
Aalto University will provide premises, coaching services, and access to academic and business networks for budding app developers. Students will be given support, training and funding to create innovative new mobile apps and services.
Jyrki Katainen, Finland’s prime minister, said “The ICT industry and knowledge base in Finland is one of the most competitive in the world, particularly in the mobile technology field. Finland is an early-adopter market, and the significance of national education and technology innovation is deeply rooted in our culture. As a result, there is a growing appetite for entrepreneurship among the younger generation at Aalto University and beyond. The partnership between Microsoft and Nokia is a critical investment in this growing ecosystem and represents an exciting opportunity and access to global markets for our local startup community.”
Klaus Holse, president of Microsoft Western Europe, said “We want to turn a new leaf in the mobile industry and foster Finland’s role as a center of excellence for mobile technology. Such investment into early-stage concepts has rarely been seen in this sector, and this demonstrates how highly both Nokia and Microsoft value Finnish mobile expertise.”