The Illinois state government is seeking to make more local and state data available online and is challenging entrepreneurs to create applications with the information that will serve the public.
Gov. Pat Quinn announced the Illinois Open Technology Challenge on Saturday and said it would start on a pilot basis in four communities around the state: Belleville, Champaign, Rockford and Chicago's south suburbs.
The governor said the project would increase transparency at the local level and create jobs.
"We live in a knowledge economy that is driven by access to information and new ideas," Quinn says.
One similar state-supported competition produced applications like iFindit, which provides information on food, housing and medical care to the homeless.