The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has launched a competition for developers to build apps that boost inclusion, citizen participation and transparency in mobile health, mobile payments, e-education, e-government and intelligent transport systems.

The first ITU ICT Innovation Application Challenge is part of the organisation’s efforts to tap into the power and interoperability of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

The ITU said innovation is a key element to spur growth in economic crisis and enable emerging economies to sustain growth in the future.

Individual developers, companies and public sector organisations can enter the competition although not all are eligible for a cash prize.

There is a US$5,000 prize for the best app for an individual or small and medium enterprise as well as non-cash prizes for best corporate app and honourable mentions for the same two categories.

The competition was launched at the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly in Dubai and developers interested in entering should submit a working application and concept paper. The online registration runs to 22 January 2013.

Winners will be announced on World Information Society Day on 17 May 2013.