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MSB Team wins IDS Innovation Grant

Tablet APPs

A team from the MSB - Centre of Excellence has won a technical Innovation grant from IDS Knowledge Services.  The Grant was made available through a recent Call for Proposals to use IDS' Open Application Programming Interface (API) to "design and build applications or services, that demonstrate innovative ways of combining data and information from different sources, to create new tools, applications and systems which are useful, meaningful and relevant for informing development policy and practice".

The MSB team, Gebre Wallace and Matthew McNaughton, submitted a proposal for:

"an Android tablet application that combines the scholarly works found in the IDS publication portal and Application Programming Interface (API), with related agriculture data indicators in the World Bank Open Data API, and current events and news trends, powered by Microsoft’s Bing News Search API"

The Grant invitation was open to technical staff / application developers based in an organisation in a developing country (over 190 countries eligible). According to the IDS selection panel: 

"We had a large number of excellent proposals and the decision-making process was a difficult one.We are very pleased to offer you a grant to build the Agriculture Evidence Research Assistant app. Congratulations! We felt that your proposal showed real innovation and we liked the use of visualisation and aggregation of different data sources."

Of course winning the Grant was the easy part, the team now has to undertake the challenge of designing and building the application within 5 weeks. But the experiences gained from working on the COE's Innovation project that involved building the RADA Agriculture API and related demonstration applications, and being involved in two successive Slashroots Codesprints will no doubt serve Gebre and Matthew very well in this endeavour. To accomplish this challenging task within the short timeframe, they will be joined by.Jonathon Smith and Tian Gooden from the UWI Department of Computing. The application will, of course, be developed using open source technologies and will be subsequently released into the open source community.

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) is a leading global charity for international development research, teaching and communications.The IDS Knowledge Services Open API provides access to tens of thousands of thematically organised resources, primarily academic research, on development issues  

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