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Record Entries For Imagine Contest

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DateWednesday, April 07, 2010
AuthorS K

Record Entries For  Imagine Contest

Record Numbers of Irish Students Have Entered Microsoft's Annual Technology Challenge



Dr. Kevin Marshall, Head of Education for Microsoft Ireland with light switch Liadh Wrafter from UCD.Record numbers of Irish students have entered Microsoft's global student technology competition - the Imagine Cup, which challenges students around the globe to imagine a world where technology helps them to solve the toughest problems the world faces today.



Microsoft Ireland said 600 Irish students from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland from have registered for the 2010 The Imagine Cup contest, which  is  its eighth year.



The Competition is open to all third level institutions. Students  compete in categories including  software design and short film making to challenges involving algorithms and programming.



Students work will reflect valuable, real-world solutions that address pressing global issues while giving them the opportunity to compete for generous cash prizes. Prizes for Imagine Cup 2010 will total more than $250,000 across the five categories.



Microsoft Ireland Head of Education Dr. Kevin Marshall said: "Imagine Cup has been a phenomenal success in Ireland. The passion and enthusiasm of the students we have met over the years has been inspiring and is a credit to Ireland.


"The quality of projects submitted by teams North and South has continuously exceeded our expectations and that standard has been reflected in the success of our teams in the world finals.


"We are looking forward to building on that success this year, and we hope that Ireland will be once again be represented at the world finals. The Imagine Cup is designed to encourage students to pursue careers in technology, engineering and the sciences, by demonstrating the practical and innovative applications of their work and attract the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs." continued Dr Marshall.


"It is essential that we look to the future economy and  for the skills that will be required in the years to come, to ensure Ireland's competitiveness. If we hope to develop a true innovation economy we need a pipeline of enthusiastic students qualified to work in the 21st Century workplace.


"We believe that programmes like Imagine Cup will reignite the enthusiasm and passion about the rewards that a career in technology can bring," said Dr Marshall.



After advancing through the online and local competitions, a short list of students will participate in the Irish  Finals which take place on the 29th April in DIT, Gleeson Hall, Kevin Street, Dublin 2. The winners of the national final will receive mentoring from Enterprise Ireland as they prepare for the global final.



The Irish winners will have  five meetings with an Enterprise Ireland approved mentor, who is experienced in working with pre-trading, pre-startup entrepreneurs to help the teams scale their idea to  compete at the world championships in July 2010 in Poland, where entries from around the world will be presented to a panel of judges from academia and the technology industry.



Joe Carthy, Head of the UCD Computer Science Department is a member of the judging panel for the Imagine Cup Irish finals. He said: "The Imagine Cup is a unique opportunity for students to help solve real-world problems while gaining experience outside the classroom.

ROUNDUP330.pngDeveloping technology innovations, working in a team environment and understanding how to create a viable business plan are invaluable to students who want to successfully achieve careers in today's world,said  Carthy.

I am delighted to be part of Microsoft Ireland's Imagine Cup judging panel and I look forward to reviewing all of the innovative projects that make it to the Irish finals," Carthy continued.


The competition is open to all third level colleges and universities and  consists of nine categories spanning team-based challenges.



Microsoft first opened its doors in Ireland in 1985 with a small manufacturing facility employing just over one hundred people.  It  now encompass four distinct operations at its campus in Sandyford, employing over 1,200 full time employees and 700 full-time contract staff.


Its operations in Ireland include software development and testing, localisation, operations, finance, IT, HR and sales & marketing, both here in Ireland and across Europe, Middle East and Africa.




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