Microsoft Corp. and Nokia have come together to finance the future of mobile apps. Each is investing up to 9 million euros (about $12 million) in AppCampus, a newly established mobile application development program at Finland’s Aalto University, during the next three years.

The goal of the program, according to both companies, is to create future generations of self-sustaining mobile startups all over the world.

AppCampus begins in May 2012 and will be led and managed by Aalto University, which also is providing premises, coaching services, and access to both academic and business networks for participants. The program covers training in mobile technology along with design and usability, as well as funding to create new mobile apps and services. Mobile industry mentors will share insights, experience and business coaching to help commercialize ideas while retaining full intellectual property rights.

Taking it further into the real world, Windows Phone Marketplace and Nokia Store will offer local and global business opportunities including worldwide distribution. As that indicates, developers devoted to the iPhone need not apply – the program covers Windows Phone, Symbian and Series 40.

“The ICT industry and knowledge base in Finland is one of the most competitive in the world, particularly in the mobile technology field,” said Jyrki Katainen, the prime minister of Finland. “Finland is an early-adopter market, and the significance of national education and technology innovation is deeply rooted in our culture. The partnership between Microsoft and Nokia is a critical investment in this growing ecosystem and represents an exciting opportunity and access to global markets for our local startup community.”

Related links:

Aalto University – press release