- Winner will walk away with US$15,000 and a chance to compete in the world-wide finals
- This year’s contest features strong smart-city theme; Azure cloud is a compulsory component of submitted solutions
Microsoft today announced the eight innovative teams that will compete in the UAE Imagine Cup 2017 Finals on 18 April in Dubai, with a chance to walk away with US$15,000 and a place in the world-wide finals in USA in June.
Imagine Cup has become a global phenomenon since its first tournament in 2003. The contest aims to promote collaboration and disciplined creativity through competition, as teams of students across the globe conceptualise and showcase their real-world solutions under scrutiny from industry experts. This year’s edition is sponsored by regional construction giant Emaar and the UAE Ministry of Education, as Education Partner.
The shortlisted teams are: Bane’s Mercenaries, from Middlesex University; AAWC Smart Irrigation and iBins, from Higher Colleges of Technology; I’ll Order, from the Birla Institute of Technology; My Team.name, from BITS PILANI; B.A.S.S and Side Quest, from Wollongong University; and Green Jam, from American University in Dubai.
More than 200 attendees are expected at the UAE finals, including team supporters and VIPs. The winning team will receive a US$15,000 cash prize, followed by second prize of US$10,000 and third prize of US$7,000.
“Investment in young talent is exceedingly important to Microsoft, and Imagine Cup is the ideal way to discover that talent,” said Michael Mansour, Chief Innovation Officer, Microsoft Gulf. “This competition encourages students across all STEM disciplines to collaborate, and learn how to turn their creativity into something real. Their participation will also translate into greater employability, and increase their prospects of becoming entrepreneurs. This has never been more important, as the UAE continues towards its Vision 2021. Economic growth and technological innovation go hand in hand, and our finalists and their peers are the people we will look to for that innovation in the years to come.”
In February, Microsoft and Emaar visited more than 25 universities across the UAE, urging STEM students to compete in the Imagine Cup. This year’s event has placed a strong emphasis on smart-city solutions, with teams submitting more than 100 projects under Emaar’s exclusive Smart City category, which is the highest number of submissions under a single category in the region since the competition began. This year, Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform is a mandatory tool for all the submitted projects.
Veresh Sita, Chief Digital Officer for Emaar Properties, said: “Emaar’s support to Imagine Cup underlines our commitment to promote a culture of digital innovation in the UAE in line with the vision of our leadership. It also highlights the strong focus of Emaar, across our organisation, to leverage the potential of digital technologies to transform customer service and provide breakthrough solutions. By promoting our youth through Imagine Cup, we are nurturing a new generation of talents, who can contribute to the nation through their creative and innovative ideas for smart cities.”