Middle East Oman Under the auspices of ITA and in collaboration with...
Under the auspices of ITA and in collaboration with OmanTel Microsoft launches Imagine Cup 2013 Competition in Oman
More than 400 registrations received over the last 3 months
Monday, January 28, 2013
Muscat, Oman

• National winner team will participate in the Worldwide Finals in St. Petersburg, Russia
• Three new core competitions and US$300,000 prize money

Under the auspices of Information Technology Authority (ITA) and in collaboration with OmanTel, Microsoft today announces the launch of its Imagine Cup 2013 Competition in Oman, inviting all students ages 16 to 23 to partake in the world’s premier student technology competition. The National winner team will represent Oman in the Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide Finals taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia between 8 and 13 July 2013.

Supported by its strategic partners, and in cooperation with Knowledge Oman, Microsoft will organise a road show to various universities across the Sultanate to give students the chance to learn more about Imagine Cup and how they can participate in this worldwide annual competition.

The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s premier student technology competition. Over the past ten years, more than 1.65 million students from more than 190 countries have participated in the Imagine Cup.

During the strategic partnerships signing ceremony, Sheikh Saif Hilal Al Hosni, Business Development Manager for Microsoft Oman said “Imagine Cup competition is the first step in a lifelong journey for a young entrepreneur, inventor, designer, developer or innovator.” He added “With this 11th session of Imagine Cup competition, we aim at inspiring more students from all academic backgrounds to collaborate on applications and seize opportunities to impact the Omani community as well as the world.”

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Salim Al Ruzaiqi, CEO of ITA, said: “We strongly believe in the potential of our youth, and we thank Microsoft for presenting them with such a unique opportunity to challenge themselves, achieve their ambitions and represent the Sultanate internationally. Our collaboration comes as part of our continuous efforts to help support and develop Omani youth skills and innovation in IT; we are keen to promote, inspire, empower and support the Sultanate’s future generation and help them succeed.”

“We are pleased to support Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Competition for another session in Oman, and we are excited to witness the hype this initiative creates within the young community in the Sultanate,” said Dr. Amer Al Rawas, Chief Executive Officer for Omantel. “This collaboration comes in line with our commitment to supporting opportunities that help young Omanis flourish into the leaders of tomorrow.”

More than 300 students partook in last year’s session of Imagine Cup Competition in Oman; the National winner was Team Grawesome from Sultan Qaboos University. The winning project “Blood it” is a system that monitors the blood supply in a blood bank. In case of shortage in a specific blood type, or in case of emergency, a GPS system locates the nearest registered donors and automatically sends an SMS. The viable donor has to acknowledge the SMS and confirm their availability to donate; otherwise, the next in line donor will be contacted. The system takes into account the blood units needed and contact enough donors accordingly.

Commenting on their participation in Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012, Team Grawesome said “Imagine cup was an important experience for us as programmers. In Sydney we met a huge number of students and were introduced to great ideas; we also befriended some participants. Our participation in Imagine Cup has opened the door for many opportunities, and now we are working to establish our own business and looking forward to participating in Imagine Cup 2013.”

To inspire more students globally and encourage a wider variety of aspiring innovators to participate, Microsoft has redesigned Imagine Cup around three new core competitions built on the core elements that have been most popular with students in the past 10 years — social impact and gaming — while expanding the competition’s focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. In Imagine Cup 2013, students may compete in the following competitions:
• World Citizenship. Honors the software application developed on Microsoft platforms with the greatest potential to make a positive impact on humanity.
• Games. Honors the most engaging and entertaining games targeting teens and youth, built on Microsoft platforms.
• Innovation. Honors apps that give consumers inspiration and innovation at their fingertips with Microsoft tools and technology.

The first place prizes in the Worldwide Finals for World Citizenship, Games and Innovation will each be US$50,000.

Students interested in signing up for Imagine Cup 2013 may register on the website, http://www.imaginecup.com.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software - any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft opened its Dubai-based Middle East office in 1991. Microsoft today has four subsidiaries in the Middle East region: Microsoft Gulf which oversees Microsoft activities in Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman and Yemen, Microsoft Arabia covering the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Microsoft Egypt and Microsoft North Africa East Mediterranean and Pakistan that oversees Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine Territories and Pakistan.

Microsoft Corporation's address on the World Wide Web is: www.microsoft.com
Microsoft Middle East's Web site is: www.microsoft.com/middleeast

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