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Inspired By Apps for Democracy, 'Apps4Russia' Prepares to Launch

BY Becky Kazansky | Friday, June 24 2011

Yesterday, a group of Russian bloggers, developers, and transparency proponents let slip the news of a new open data app competition they've organized, Apps4Russia.

The official announcement is slated for Tuesday, June 28, but the site is already public. The grand prize will be 100,000 rubles, or about $3,400, project initiator Ivan Begtin told me in an email. As far as Begtin knows, this is the first open data apps contest in Russia — and it isn't government-sponsored.

Inspired by contests such as Apps for Development of the World Bank, NYC Big Apps, Apps for Democracy in the United States, and contests in Germany, Finland, and elsewhere, the contest's goal is to generate data-driven applications that contribute to government transparency and the public benefit in Russia.

Begtin is also the founder of, an open data repository for Russia. His site has five sets he considers "well prepared" and lists another 324 data sources that are easy to parse, he wrote. The contest website has a list.

"We have a lot of data to start," he told me in an email.

"Our competition is non-governmental, non-political and non-commercial," Begtin and the other contest organizers write on the contest's website. "Its organizers and jury are people who have decided that we are ready for such activities in our country, and who have invested their own personal funds ... we accept all projects which are aimed at technological solutions for public use."

The contest will begin next week and end October 1.

(With Nick Judd)

This post has been updated.