Windows Phone partners Microsoft and Nokia are shelling out €9m each to fund a mobile app development programme at Aalto University in Finland.
The €18m (£15m) investment will be used to set up the AppCampus programme and run it for three years, Nokia and Microsoft said in an announcement on Monday. They hope to attract students and entrepreneurs from around the world to Finland to build software around Microsoft's Windows Phone mobile OS.
"AppCampus... has been set up to foster the creation of innovative mobile applications for the Windows Phone ecosystem, and in addition Nokia platforms, including Symbian and Series 40, to create a new generation of self-sustaining mobile startups," the partners said in a statement.
The move is part of a continued push by the partners to spur software for Windows Phone-based smartphones. Going by a survey report released by Appcelerator and IDC on Tuesday, this is paying off: Windows Phone 7 interest remains high among developers, following a "huge jump" in interest at the end of 2011, the companies said.
Aalto University will lead and manage the AppCampus program, which is scheduled to get going in May. People can then begin applying to take part via a dedicated website.
Successful candidates will get training in mobile technology, design and usability, as well as funding to build apps and services. In addition, they are promised business coaching to make money out of their software while guarding their intellectual property.
"This new program... will enable new and existing developers to create next-generation mobile apps and unique user experiences," said Nokia executive vice president Kai Oistamo. "The partnership will allow developers to ideate and monetise business opportunities globally, via both Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store."