Governor Quinn Announces Winners of Illinois Open Technology Challenge


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$60,000 to 4 winners-- $15,000 each. Very large prizes for a civic app contest.

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Governor Quinn Announces Winners of Illinois Open Technology Challenge

  1. 1. OFFICE OF THE GOVERNORPAT QUINNFor Immediate ReleaseWednesday, June 26, 2013ContactPress Line: (312) 814-3158Brooke Anderson Brooke.Anderson@illinois.govGrant Klinzman Grant.Klinzman@illinois.govGovernor Quinn Announces Winners ofIllinois Open Technology ChallengeUnprecedented Release and Compilation of Municipal Government DataFuels Competition to Develop Civic-Minded AppsCHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn announced today the winning entries in the pilot competition of theIllinois Open Technology Challenge (ILOpenTech). A total of $60,000 was awarded to four winning teams ofdevelopers who created digital tools that utilize open government data for the benefit of Illinois residents andtheir communities.Each winning entry was awarded $15,000 and was focused on one of three pilot locations –Champaign, Belleville and a group of South Suburban communities under the auspices of the South SuburbanMayors and Managers Association (SSMMA) – as well as an entry designed for use statewide. The city ofRockford also participated as a fourth pilot community, playing host to a series of developer meet-ups.Rockford’s participation will culminate in an open tech app hackathon later this month, the winner(s) of whichwill receive a $15,000 prize.“We commend these enterprising developers for applying their skills toward making municipalgovernment more transparent and accessible for Illinoisans,” Governor Quinn said. “This first-of-its-kindinitiative clearly demonstrates that Illinois is taking a national leadership role in embracing digital governmentand promoting open data, which is spurring more innovation and economic development statewide.”Winning entries of the competition include:• State of Illinois: iApplied, a web app that tracks job application activity in an effort to help governmentunemployment security workers streamline the review process for unemployment insurance benefits.• Belleville: Belleville Code, a centralized easy-to-navigate website containing the Revised CityOrdinances of Belleville. An essential tool for anyone interested in economic development andentrepreneurship, the website’s content was previously only available within 1,000 pages of PDFshoused on the City Clerk’s website.• Champaign: C-U There!, a “tour guide” app for iPhone that features local news and event feeds,comprehensive parking location information and directories of historic landmarks and local businessesin Champaign-Urbana.
  2. 2. • SSMMA: South Suburbs Housing Investment Tool, an online tool that allows users to analyze, scoreand rank potential housing development projects according to their proposed location. The tool alsosuperimposes the data on a fully navigable map.“It is my hope that iApplied will reduce government staff workloads, encourage unemploymentbeneficiaries to apply for jobs and ultimately make more efficient use of taxpayer dollars,” said Tyron Foston ofPark Forest, who developed iApplied. “If it improves unemployment benefit operations in Illinois, iApplied couldbe adopted by other states around the nation.”Foston decided to create iApplied after speaking with some of his unemployed friends and realizing aneed for a more effective, streamlined system to verify eligibility for unemployment benefits. He consulted withbusinesses and municipal employees who provided positive feedback on the tool. Foston plans to use theaward money to further develop iApplied to bring it to market.ILOpenTech is an initiative of Governor Quinn’s Illinois Innovation Council and is managed by theIllinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) in partnership with the Smart Chicago Collaborative. Theprogram is focused on making Illinois’ open data platform, Data.Illinois.Gov, available and applicable tocommunities statewide through trainings, community meet-ups and hackathons, bringing together technologydevelopers with civic leaders and community groups. The challenge was sponsored by the ChicagoCommunity Trust, Comcast, Google, Illinois Innovation Council, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation andThe Motorola Mobility Foundation.ILOpenTech is the state’s first sustained, engaged initiative outside the Chicago metro area to workhands-on with local governments and developers on the collection and publication of open data. It has createda strong foundation for starting or accelerating open data projects statewide by helping municipalitiesunderstand the nuts and bolts of using open data to drive innovation.In advance of the competition, ILOpenTech worked with 12 government IT professionals in the four pilotcommunities to compile and publish 138 new sets of data about local government operations toData.Illinois.Gov: 34 in Champaign, 15 in Rockford, 12 in Belleville and 77 from the 42 communities in theSSMMA.“We are excited to explore ways that SSMMA and our member communities can apply the SouthSuburbs Housing Investment Tool to the housing development process,” said Ed Paesel, executive director ofthe SSMMA. “ILOpenTech has galvanized South Suburban communities to strengthen their commitment toopen data and increased government transparency.”“Throughout this first phase of ILOpenTech, we’ve seen the tremendous opportunity in gathering andpackaging local government data in new ways that are useful to the general public,” said ISTC President andCEO Mark Harris. “By fostering partnerships between municipal governments and the Illinois developercommunity, we can increase transparency and accessibility, and spark innovation in both government andbusiness.”About the Illinois Science & Technology CoalitionThe Illinois Science & Technology Coalition (ISTC) is a member-driven, nonprofit organization that works tocultivate and attract research and technology-based investment, talent and job growth in the state. Throughstrategic public-private partnerships, advocacy efforts and project management, ISTC connects government,academia and industry to leverage the state’s world-class resources to enhance Illinois’ position as a globalhub for research, innovation and entrepreneurship. For more information, visit www.istcoalition.orgAbout the Smart Chicago CollaborativeThe Smart Chicago Collaborative is an initiative that helps build the long-term capacity of the city of Chicagoand its neighborhoods to realize the transformative potential of information technology. For more information,visit