TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 11, 2013) - The Honourable Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board, today highlighted the value of Open Data to students and innovators at the University of Toronto. He announced his support for the Great Canadian Appathon (GCA), now in its fourth year, and plans for a new, forthcoming national Open Data Appathon that will serve to bring the high tech community together and celebrate Canadian entrepreneurship and innovation.

"We are planning to support a national Open Data Appathon," said Minister Clement. "Our Government believes that Open Data is one of the new, great resources of the 21st century, and it is part of our commitment to be at the forefront of a movement that is spreading around the world. Appathons are great educational tools. They create real world opportunities to code and build apps that have value to users. I look forward to seeing what open data enthusiasts will come up with for both these challenges. New datasets found on are a significant addition."

Students and innovators came out to the University of Toronto campus to learn about the launch of the Great Canadian Appathon 4, and witness a demonstration of the use of data in action by other students. Over 500 students from 36 universities took part last year in the Great Canadian Appathon, and more and more are becoming aware of this great opportunity.

The Government of Canada hopes to incite this same level of enthusiasm by supporting a new national Open Data Appathon, likely early in the new year, among Open Data enthusiasts, and among those who are new to Open Data. Both rookies and those experienced with Open Data are invited to explore the data found on to create innovative new products and ideas.

"Game developers and designers have a history of pushing the boundaries of technology: piloting tech innovation like Instant Messaging (IM), gesture control or 3D graphics," said Ray Sharma, Founder and President of XMG Studio Inc., the award-winning Canadian mobile games shop behind the GCA. "As the largest annual competitive hackathon in Canada, the GCA attracts this exceptional talent, and we hope the crème-de-la-crop will also be there to supercharge and guarantee exceptional results for appathons to come."

Minister Clement applauded the University of Toronto for hosting the day's event and continuing to encourage students and enthusiasts to try their hand at app development.

"Our students, faculty and alumni are enthusiastic participants in the growing wave of appathons and hackathons, and we have supported the Great Canadian Appathon from the start," said Sven Dickinson, Chair of the Department of Computer Science. "The University of Toronto remains on the leading edge of technology innovation. We are inspired by the work our students can produce, and are excited to see what they, and other students across the country, will bring to the fourth year of the GCA, and the upcoming national Open Data Appathon."


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