The competition gives developers and designers access to seven-day listings information in a format that allows them to take it apart and reassemble it in any form they want.
BBC bosses are asking them to come up with new ways of using the schedules. Potential ideas include building systems that can group programmes by genre, recommend programmes to viewers, or send them alerts to remind them when their favourite shows are on.
"We want people to innovate and come up with prototypes to demonstrate new ways of exploring the BBC's TV schedule," project leader Ben Metcalfe told the BBC News website.
"We have some ideas: people might want to combine schedules with web search services."
The competition - which runs until 5 September - is part of the BBC's Backstage initiative, which makes BBC content available in formats that computer developers can use easily.
The winner will be invited to take the proposal further, with the view to landing a possible commercial contract.
The competition will be launched at the Open Tech conference in London on Saturday, which is being sponsored by Backstage.