Technology companies in the region seem to be embracing the trend of crowd-sourcing in an attempt to generate innovative ideas and keep customers engaged.  A number of firms are running corporate social responsibility (CSR) campaigns to encourage the public to submit ideas for potential products.

Ericsson, a provider of communications technology and services, has announced that is has reached a considerable number of entries from the MENA region for its Ericsson Application Awards and is accepting submissions until February 28.  The annual competition is in its fifth year and has invited developers, start-ups and individuals to submit ideas for mobile apps.

Last month, Samsung Gulf Electronics launched a campaign asking the public to share ideas across four categories – fashion, invention, start-ups and education – to have a chance to transform their ideas into reality.  The initiative was introduced by Samsung some time ago in France and has been brought to the MENA region for the first time.  Spanning five GCC countries (UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman & Qatar) and Yemen, the ‘Launching People’ campaign will help kick-start the top idea in each category with support from Samsung.

Both companies’ campaigns promise the winners with a financial reward.  The first and second prize winners in Ericsson’s competition will be awarded €25,000 and €10,000 respectively, while the rest of the top 10 winners will be recognized with diplomas and honorary mentions.

Samsung will provide financial assistance of up to $35,000 for the winner in each category to get his/her idea off the ground.  Apart from receiving technical and practical support from the tech firm, each winner will be assigned a mentor who will provide guidance in developing the product.