Following the lead of the $10 million Android Developer Challenge from Google and the $100 million iFund started by Kleiner Perkins venture capitalist John Doerr, Research in Motion, along with RBC and Thomson Reuters, have ponied up $150 million in venture capital to support the development of the next generation of mobile applications.

I am not going to recite the entire press release because you can just read it here. I do want to add, however, that this is a pretty cool idea and should lead to so very innovative applications for the BlackBerry and other mobile platforms.

This kind of reminds me of the the BlackBerry bounty Alex King set up for getting the BlackBerry 8700 to tether to a Mac but on a much much larger scale. Developers come up with pretty good ideas on their own, but, when you incentivise them with the thought of funding or prize money, the software and applications that they come up with can be quite spectacular.