Rio de Janeiro launches competition to foster software innovation

City government uses citizen ideas to create tech-enabled public services
Written by Angelica Mari, Contributing Writer

A competition has been launched by the Rio de Janeiro city government to gather ideas for public services which will be delivered as software applications aimed at tourists and the population.

The initiative by the city's Science and Technology department has two parts: Rio Ideias, where citizens could submit proposals of ideas that could be turned into applications and RioApps, where IT companies and independent programmers will then turn ideas into tools such as mobile apps.


Some 1.368 ideas were submitted in the first stage and the best 30 ideas were announced this month, across 15 categories including health, education, social development, tourism and culture. The authors of the winning suggestions, which were chosen through a public vote and a jury, received cash prizes of up to R$1,000 ($408).

Ideas for applications- chosen based on criteria such as the possibility of implementation and potential impact of the suggestion - included the paperless purchase of parking tickets, the ability to report a crime through a mobile phone, a tool that would enable citizens to follow the work of their local politicians and a game that rewards participants for helping clean up their local beach.

The next stage of the competition, RioApps, has already started and independent techies and IT firms are being invited to submit applications designed to help improve the lives of tourists, as well as citizens and businesses based in Rio.

The applications can be based on original ideas or inspired by one or more ideas submitted in the first stage of the competition. Winners will receive cash prizes between R$ 5,000 ($2,042) and R$ 30,000 ($12,256). The tools should be submitted until December 3 and the rules of the competition are available here.

Image Credit: Rio's Sugar Loaf mountain by Mark Hillary (cc)

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