"Imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today", was imagine cup competition theme for 2009. Over 300,000 students from 100 countries participated in this competition using innovation and technology to solve prevailing world problems. From Lebanon, a team from AUST University with their Project "S2S" (Service to Survive) won the Lebanese Local Imagine Cup Competition and will be present in Egypt from the 3rd till 7th of July to compete in the World Wide Finals and represent Lebanon’s Students innovations.
This year the Imagine Cup theme ties in to the eight United Nations Millennium Development Goals, which encompass universally accepted human rights such as freedom from hunger, the right to basic education, the right to health, and a responsibility to future generations. There are nine categories which students can enter, ranging from software design to photography, with the aim being to demonstrate how technology is one of the most crucial tools for making a difference in a changing world.
The "S2S" (Service to Survive) project that was submitted by the AUST team, is a web application, that allows people to give away things they no longer need to needy people and earn points in return and based on collected points they can trade them for items they do need that are posted on the S2S website. Dr. Aziz Barbar, Chairperson, Department of Computer Science said "We are always proud of Computer Science students @ AUST and their work, which is why we like to share it with others. This competition gave our students the chance to demonstrate a creative solution that helps in solving one of the most challenging world problems." He further explain "The Imagine Cup is in itself an opportunity that paves the way for students to experience real-world situations where they are exposed to the basics for starting up their own firms. This also inspires creativity and innovation in the technology industry."
On the other hand, Samer Chidiac, Microsoft Lebanon Developer Evangelist confirms, "Imagine Cup is about more than just creating software and gadgets" he said "it’s about helping our young leaders to focus their dreams, ideas, and energy into projects that benefit the world. Microsoft Lebanon continues to create opportunities for developers in college and high school to show their skills using advanced technologies from Microsoft."
This year - more than any other - the Imagine Cup connects students to the idea that their technology and innovation can make a significant difference and once again, Microsoft Lebanon leverages the local talent and presents it to the international arena.