Open data competitions are no longer new for Australia, however it is great to see that Queensland hasn't put limitations on where entrants can come from - unlike previous state open data competitions.
This is a major step forward as it allows the Queensland Government to tap into good ideas from anywhere in the world, rather than limiting them to a geographic area.
The competition only offered $20,000 in prizes spread across four categories ($5,000 in each), howeve received a major boost with support from Microsoft, who is contributing an additional prize, which I value at close to $100,000. This Microsoft Start-Up Accelerator Award will be awarded to the team who develops the most innovative concept with the best start-up potential and will include: · five Nokia Lumia 920s, five Asus VivTab tablets, one four-month course at Founder Institute for the nominated team founder to attend from February 2014 and a maximum of $60,000 worth of Windows Azure for a maximum period of two years.
This size of prize pool is important for open data competitions given the efforts that teams and individuals put into development. I generally also suggest splitting prizes into a range of awards to give more teams the opportunity to win and thereby increasing participation and engagement.
Overall this looks like a good competition and it will be interesting to see the level and range of entries and the winners.
The support offered beyond the competition to entrants will also be interesting to observe, as open data competitions both in Australia and overseas have often suffered from being 'flashs in the pan' - with most apps and services created being abandoned after the end of the competition process.
To find out more or enter the competition, visit data.qld.gov.au/data-event/premiers-awards