Prize money totalling one million euros is on offer from Deutsche Telekom in a new IPTV innovation competition aimed at individuals, start-ups and small and medium sized companies. Finalists will have the opportunity to develop their ideas for implementation, with the winner receiving a prize of 300,000 euros.

Deutsche Telekom currently has more than 100,000 customers on its Microsoft Mediaroom platform, with the potential to reach 17 million households.

“Our Entertain product already makes us a driving force in the future-oriented market of IP-based television,” said chairman, René Obermann, at the second IT Summit in Hanover. He said that was just the beginning. “We want to give creative developers the opportunity to realize their own ideas for the future of interactive television and to help shape new services.”

Launching the competition, Marc Schröder, who is responsible for communications services in the products and innovations division said: “All of us at Deutsche Telekom working on the future of interactive television are very excited to hear your ideas and welcome the opportunity to discuss these with you”.

Deutsche Telekom says it can only take full advantage of the enormous potential of interactive TV if it joins forces with capable, creative developers. The telecommunications company sees the award as a catalyst for developers and companies to develop applications for interactive television.

The submissions will be reviewed by internal and external interactive television experts. Three finalists will each receive a prize of 100,000 euros, and the eventual winner will receive an additional 200,000 euros.

Deutsche Telekom will provide access to its own development environment, organize workshops and training with Telekom specialists and provide the necessary developer kit.

Written submissions for project ideas will be invited starting at the CeBIT show from 4 March. Until then, potential participants can find out more at the Deutsche Telekom web site or contact informitv for further details.