Intel (INTC), Samsung and the Linux Foundation are behind a recently launched a $4.04 million application development contest called the Tizen App Challenge aimed at adding some heft to app development for the alternative open source platform.

Grand prize winners in each of three games categories can take home $200,000 and non-games victors can walk away with $120,000. Developers can use the new Tizen Software Development Kit 2.2 in the contest.

The Tizen OS is a Linux-based operating system springing from Nokia’s (NOK) now-defunct 2010 MeeGo project with Intel, subsequently taken over by the chipmaker and Samsung and overseen by the Linux Foundation.

The Tizen platform has received a fair amount of play of late. Samsung has disclosed plans to offer a high-end smartphone based on the OS later this year—likely tied to an apparent strategy to cover multiple OS standards, including Microsoft’s (MSFT) Windows and Google’s (GOOG) Android OS and Chrome browser. And, Intel is lining up behind an OS that might, at some point, bring it more mobile customers as it attempts to make up for ground it ceded to rivals in that market.

Neither vendor wants to be caught flatfooted if the mobile segment suddenly reverses field and heads another direction, making Tizen more than merely a hedge against already placed bets. The problem Tizen faces, of course, is a dearth of apps and developer interest that would serve to build an ecosystem. Hence, the Tizen App Challenge.

The contest, which runs until Nov. 1, will award a total of $4.04 million to more than 50 developers competing in nine categories. Competitors can submit for the one entry. Judging will take place Nov. 4-25 and the winners will be declared at an as-yet undetermined date in December. An official awards ceremony for the grand prize winners is planned for sometime early next year.

“As a Linux Foundation Collaborative Project, Tizen and the growing community can focus on building apps and the ecosystem that supports the platform,” said Mike Woster, Linux Foundation chief operating officer and vice president. “The Tizen App Challenge will help surface the very best apps for Tizen users and will give developers an opportunity to get in early on developing for this important platform.”