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Imagine Cup kicks off in India


Johannesburg, 07 Aug 2006
Microsoft Press Office
Read time 2min 20sec

Microsoft this morning kicked off the finals of its 2006 Imagine Cup, a global technology competition comprising the best student-developed solutions from 41 countries around the world.

Joe Wilson, director of academic initiatives at Microsoft, says the competition, now in its fourth year, is designed to get students to chase their technology dreams.

"Each year, the competition centres on an area of the worldwide social environment that technology can assist in developing and is hosted in a country where the theme has strong relevance. As such, the theme for this year`s competition is 'imagine a world where technology helps us live healthier lives` and the chosen host-country is India.

"The competition provides a global platform for students to air their innovations and show what role technology played in that innovation. It`s about providing a way for innovation to be seen and heard and building strong nations with strong entrepreneurial spirit," he said.

Competition categories are software design - which focuses on the delivery of a complete custom-developed solution to a market need, algorithm - a 24-hour coding and brainteaser challenge, IT, a 24-hour IT systems deployment and management challenge, programming battle, a 24-hour strategy development challenge for a 3D game environment, short film, and interface designer - focusing on the development of a innovative forward thinking user interface.

Local team

Dean Proxenos, one half of "Team SA" - the country`s representation in the software development discipline - explains his team`s entry, ER-CMS, is an emergency response, control and monitoring system.

"The solution is designed to aid emergency response resources in assigning response units to calls, tracking the progress of emergency response units, guiding those units to the scene of the emergency (using GPS technology) and providing real-time tracking of activities, ultimately consolidating all information to a single view, which is overseen by the emergency service`s operations centre."

Ross Jones, the other half of the team, says the local team stands a strong chance of placing in the top three.

"Even if we don`t win, however, we have an opportunity to showcase the kind of high quality intellectual capital the South African market has to offer. It shows SA has a strong part to play in the worldwide IT market and we`re excited about the prospects this forum presents for us and South African students."

Before the rankings are decided, teams will have to complete a judging process comprising three rounds of presentations. The total prize money for the event is $125 000.

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