The Microsoft Imagine Cup provides students across the world with the opportunity to use their knowledge of technology to help solve major global challenges. Following the UK final, Kevin Pfister of York University and a team of students from Manchester University went forward to the international final, held from 8-14 July in New York.
With the winning students not only gaining a trophy and a cash prize, but also support and mentorship to help make their idea a reality, the competition was hotly contested. Kevin’s ‘Child Sleep Safe’ system, designed to reduce cases of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, demonstrates how software can be used to address even the most long-standing problems.
Child Sleep Safe made it into the final six in the Embedded Development category, and Kevin is now working with a Microsoft Gold partner to take it from prototype to product, illustrating the wider commercial importance of the Imagine Cup.
The Manchester students’ entry, a software solution called Project OVE which allows volunteering organisations to use a single framework to track opportunities and recruit and share volunteers, also attracted praise. Judges described it as a “brilliant way to motivate people to volunteer.”
With next year marking the tenth anniversary of the Imagine Cup, Microsoft will be highlighting the work of the UK’s emerging technology talent as they progress through the 2012 competition. Next year’s Worldwide Final will be held in Sydney, where the next generation will get the chance to showcase their ideas and change the world for the better.