Australian IT Students Compete for Global Technology Innovation Award
Sydney, Australia - 11 April, 2007 -
Entries are open for the 5th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup and Australian university students are being encouraged to join the more than 100,000 students worldwide who have already submitted their entries.
Microsoft's Imagine Cup challenges students to build projects around a different theme each year. In 2007 the challenge is to ‘imagine a world where technology enables a better education for all', with incentives including generous prizes in cash and kind, as well as the trip to Seoul, Korea to compete in the grand final.
Mr Ben English, Technical Audience Manager, Microsoft Australia said in Australia alone more than 150 registrations have been received and encouraged students to get their entries in before the end of May when the local finals close.
"This is a truly global competition, we already have entries from more than 100 countries so this is a great opportunity for students to showcase their designs and inventions on the world stage," said Mr English.
"Last year a team from Canberra University designed a system to enable paramedics and doctors to communicate better, winning the local competition and going on to compete in the grand final in Delhi, India," said Mr English.
Over the past two years, Microsoft has teamed with communications partner, British Telecom Ltd, to mentor the top six teams at the global finals to assist them make their projects commercially viable.
A successful Imagine Cup inventor, Tu Nguyen from the 2003 US team turned his Hotpad invention into a company which he now runs as vice president. The organisation, called DocCenter, http://www.doccenterinc.com, employs 27 people and has three core products on the market.
"For the first time we will also be providing additional mentoring locally offering to link Australian entrants with mentors in the business community during the development of their projects," said Mr English.
Former judge at the global Microsoft Imagine Cup finals and local Microsoft Valued Professional Mr Nick Randolph, Interaction Designer, Intilecta Corporation said he was in awe of the quality and innovation that goes into every one of the student entries.
"Given the incredibly short period in which the students are expected to form a team and put together both a software solution and a presentation, I think the students rival industry professionals who do development for a living," said Mr Randolph.
"Students who compete in the Imagine Cup represent the next generation of technology and business leaders. Their creativity and innovation speaks volumes about the promise of technology to make a difference in peoples' lives and in the way we think, work and communicate," said Mr English.
Dr Simon Cuce, Lecturer at Monash University, Victoria said "The value for students by participating in such an event is two fold. Firstly, students have a chance to apply their knowledge in a competitive environment, being able to measure their skills with other students. Secondly, they are able to exercise their creative side, which is all too forgotten in the commercial world".
Finalists will be announced in June and will be flown to the Microsoft Imagine World Cup 2007 in Seoul, Korea in August. Prizes for Imagine Cup 2007 will total more than US$170,000 across the nine categories.
For more information and a full list of competition categories, in addition to software design, or to find out more information on the Imagine Cup 2007 please visit http://www.imaginecup.com
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