Middle East Bahrain Microsoft and Tamkeen Ink Strategic Partnership for Imagine Cup 2013...
Microsoft and Tamkeen Ink Strategic Partnership for Imagine Cup 2013 Competition in Bahrain
Monday, December 31, 2012
Manama, Bahrain


As part of its ongoing commitment to promoting creativity and IT skills amongst youngsters, Microsoft announces that Tamkeen has become a strategic partner of its Imagine Cup 2013 Competition in Bahrain, inviting all students ages 16 to 23 to partake in the world’s premier student technology competition. The National winner team will represent Bahrain in the Imagine Cup 2013 Worldwide Finals taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia between 8 and 13 July 2013.

Supported by Tamkeen and other strategic partners, Microsoft Bahrain will organise a road show to various universities across the Kingdom to give students the chance to learn more about Imagine Cup and how they can participate in this worldwide annual competition.

During the strategic partnership signing ceremony, Tareq Hijazi, Regional Country Manager for Microsoft in Bahrain & Oman thanked Tamkeen for their support and emphasized the role they are playing in empowering the Bahraini Youth as well building labour market relevant skills; about the competition Hijazi 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 Bahraini community as well as the world.”

Tamkeen Chief Executive Mahmood Hashem Al-Kooheji stressed the critical role youth play in advancing Bahrain’s overall development as outlined by Bahrain’s economic vision, and noted entrepreneurship and innovation amongst them as a key way to reach this goal. “Tamkeen and Microsoft enjoy a long-standing partnership in creating and delivering world-class programmes as part of our drive to empower Bahrainis in the private sector and enhance their contribution to the national economy, Al-Kooheji said. “We are firm believers in the tremendous potential of Bahraini youth, as evidenced by our “Mashroo3i” youth business competition held earlier this year, and are excited to see more of that creativity unleashed in the Imagine Cup 2013.”

More than 600 students partook in last year’s session of Imagine Cup Competition in Bahrain; the National winner was Team FutureTorch from AMA International University. The winning project “LIGHTS” is a system that aims to effectively control and manage the lighting of highways using motion detectors and visual sensors. The “LIGHTS” system is designed not only to reduce the unnecessary usage of energy, but most importantly to save drivers’ life and help alert authorities of any danger or accident to provide imminent rescue and assistance.

Commenting on their participation in Microsoft Imagine Cup 2012, Team FutureTorch said “Imagine Cup is not just a competition; it helped us understand the true meaning of being a computer sciences student. Imagine Cup encouraged us to improve our skills in programming especially that we had experts from Microsoft supporting us with comments and inputs and sharing their experience. Imagine Cup taught us that no boundaries can hold our skills and our imagination, you can always create new things and surprise the world.”

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.

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.

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