Microsoft and Nokia want to boost the number of quality mobile apps for both Windows Phone as well as Nokia's own Symbian and Series 40 operating systems. Today, both companies announced plans to launch a new mobile application development program called AppCampus that will be centered at Aalto University, located in Nokia's home country of Finland.
The press release states that Microsoft and Nokia will spend over 9 million euros (about $12 million) each over the next three years to fund the AppCampus program. Aalto University, in addition to offering their campus space, will also contribute "coaching services, and access to both academic and business networks for budding app developers."
Participants in the program will be able to get advice from professionals in business and others to help commercialize their mobile apps. The developers will be able to hold on to the rights for their mobile apps while working under the AppCampus project.
Ari Rahkonen of Microsoft states:
AppCampus offers an unprecedented opportunity for entrepreneurs to put their ideas into practice and create world-class mobile products. 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.
The program is scheduled to begin in May.