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    RIM and innovation guru Charles Leadbeater to headline GSMA Mobile Innovation Marketplace in Barcelona


    The GSM Association (GSMA) has announced the finalists for the Mobile Innovation Global Awards, along with the headline keynotes for the Mobile Innovation Marketplace at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona between February 11th and 12th.

    Jim Balsillie, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Research In Motion (RIM), and Charles Leadbeater, a leading authority on innovation and creativity and author of ‘We-think: the power of mass creativity', will be keynote speakers at the GSMA's Mobile Innovation Marketplace in Barcelona. The GSMA's Mobile Innovation Marketplace, launched in 2007, is designed to help the thousands of small and medium-sized companies developing innovative mobile products and services reach mobile operators and bring their innovations to end-users.

    Mr. Balsillie, who has held the position of Co-CEO at RIM since 1992 and who's been a major force behind the success of the company and its flagship BlackBerryÒ wireless solution, and Charles Leadbeater, who has advised companies, cities and governments around the world on innovation strategy, will talk about how the mobile industry should encourage and leverage innovative ideas, solutions and products ahead of presentations by the top finalists at the Mobile Innovation Global Awards.

    "With such high calibre and experienced business thought leaders kicking-off the Mobile Innovation Marketplace sessions in Barcelona, we hope to trigger lively discussions and debate focused on how new mobile products and services are developed and brought to market successfully," said Bill Gajda, Chief Commercial Officer of the GSMA. "The Marketplace also offers innovators with an opportunity to pitch their ideas to decision makers as well as get the level of exposure they need in front of senior executives within the mobile operator community."

    The Mobile Innovation Marketplace, which is being sponsored by Ericsson and FierceWireless, will also include a ‘speed dating' session, whereby twenty-five shortlisted companies will have the opportunity to present their innovations to operators and potential investors. Other activity includes a panel session entitled ‘Breaking Down the Barriers – exploring the realities of bringing innovation to market', which will include speakers such as Dr. Yeon-Hak Kim, EVP & Chief Strategy Officer of KTF, and other representatives from leading industry innovators and global venture capitalists.

    The Mobile Innovation Global Awards were created by the GSMA as part of the Mobile Innovation Marketplace to encourage breakthrough technology, applications and services in the mobile industry by bringing together smaller companies developing innovative mobile products, industry investors and mobile operators.

    Ahead of the Mobile Innovation Marketplace in Barcelona, innovators were invited to submit an application in one of five categories, which were reviewed by senior executives from mobile operators and venture capitalists. Two finalists in each category have been chosen to pitch their products and services to an expert judging panel at the Marketplace on Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th February. A winner from each category will be presented at the event, with one Overall Mobile Innovation Global Award winner being presented at the Global Mobile Awards 2008 Gala Dinner at the National Palace in Barcelona on the evening of Tuesday February 12th. The ten finalists for the Mobile Innovation Global awards are:

    Most Innovative Wireless Device-centric Technology
    ·        Inside Contactless, France

    • Vuzix Corporation, UK

    Most Innovative Carrier Infrastructure or Platform
    ·        Flexenclosure, Sweden

    • Xtract, Finland

    Most Innovative Mobile Application in a Vertical Market
    ·        GestureTek, Canada

    • Wyless, UK

    Most innovative Consumer Application or Service
    ·        Tagattitude, France

    • Valimo Wireless, Finland

    Most Innovative ‘True Mobile Start-Up'
    ·        Audience, USA

    • uLocate Communications, USA