GSMA launches innovation forum

The GSM Association has launched an initiative designed to improve the interface between smaller vendors and developers and the GSM operator community, as well as potential investors.

Dubbed the Mobile Innovation Programme, the initiative will revolve around a series of summits, the first of which will take place in November, during the Association’s Mobile Asia Congress in Macau. Prior to this, the GSMA said Monday, a panel of senior carrier and VC representatives will review and rank submissions from a range of innovators, generating a list of “the top 50 small companies targeting the mobile sector”.

These firms will then be called to meet with operators and investors at the November Summit, where the best of the bunch will be recognised at an awards ceremony. The process will be repeated at the 2008 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona next February.

“Technology advances and the mobile industry’s convergence with the internet, entertainment sector, financial services and many other industries are enabling thousands of small companies to develop innovative applications, products and services for mobile users,” said Bill Gajda, chief commercial officer af the GSMA. “But it is a major challenge for these small companies to effectively market their innovations to the more than 700 mobile operators worldwide and cross the chasm separating promising ideas from commercial success.”

Annual membership to the programme has been set at Eur500.

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