The Interactive Knowledge Stack (IKS) project is attempting  to generate developer interest in creating semantically enriched applications using a compelling tool – cash.

IKS Moves Semantic Technology Forward

IKS is an open source community, partially funded by the European Union, tasked with broadening the use of semantic technology in content management systems by developing an open source technology stack. The team has spent the last two years creating tools to fulfill those goals, but, like most truly cool technology, most of the work isn’t stuff you can see. It’s infrastructure. It’s under the covers.

The IKS project doesn’t want to be discreet any longer. It is launching a contest with a prize of €110,000 -- a little over US$ 152,000 -- for developers to submit ideas on how to leverage the IKS project’s semantic back-end to create a compelling user experience.

Valid entries for the contest must show a clear end-user benefit and also meet the following conditions:

  1. Semantically Enriched User-centric Story. The proposed solution should provide a compelling semantic experience. Contestants can start with the existing IKS User Stories or create their own scenarios.
  2. Bring new levels of semantic intelligence to CMS platforms. The proposed solution should leverage an existing CMS/KMS/ECM system and should ideally be able to be implemented "quickly," which IKS describes as minutes.
  3. Free and Open Source Deliverable. The awards will let the winners finance the development and implementation of the work. 
  4. Leverage the existing IKS Semantic Stack. The proposed solution should leverage the existing IKS technology stack and reuse as many components as possible. 
  5. Comply with all contest rules and criteria.

The Contest Metadata

The entries, which are limited to a maximum of 20 pages, are due October 14 and will be reviewed by the IKS advisory board. The top five proposals will be invited to do a 10-minute pitch in November where the five proposals will be ranked and a winner selected by a panel of three judges and the audience. The top two winners will receive €40,000 each and each of the next three runners-up receive €10,000 to fund the development of a demo of their idea.

The winning teams must make a demo available by the end of March 2012. Because the IKS embraces open source, teams must also make all project assets -- code, documentation and binaries -- available in a public source control repository like CVS, SubVersion or GitHub. The implemented solution must remain available online for the public until the end of June 2013.

Additional information about the contest is available. If you have a great idea for using semantic technology, you should enter. Who knows, you might get rewarded with cold hard cash for your brilliance.