Microsoft together with du, today announced the launch of Microsoft’s premier technology competition, Gulf Imagine Cup 2010. Now in its eighth year, Imagine Cup 2010 is calling on students across the UAE to set their imagination on fire and rise to the challenge to “imagine a world where technology helps solve the toughest problems facing us today.” Finalists will showcase their innovative projects at the regional finals of the Gulf Imagine Cup 2010 being held in the UAE in May. Students aged 16 and over are invited to register for the event in which students use technology to create innovative solutions that can change the world. Students must apply at http://www.imaginecupgulf.com  by April 20th, 2010 to have the chance to compete in the Gulf finals. This year on-campus training sessions will take place across the UAE which include: Higher Colleges of Technologies (Abu Dhabi Men’s College, Abu Dhabi Women’s College); UAE University; American University of Dubai; University of Sharjah and American University of Sharjah.
“Microsoft Imagine Cup is where legends are born and lives are changed - where an application starts as an idea and ends up being used all over the world,” said Pooya Darugar, Local Software Economy Lead for Microsoft Gulf. “In the UAE, we are seeing tremendous interest from both the education and private sectors who want to be involved in this year's Gulf Imagine Cup as the contest provide students with a launch pad for their ideas and access to key resources that can set them on the path to career success. For Microsoft, this is another opportunity for us to highlight the necessity of supporting student talent in science and technology for future progress in the industry.”
The competition empowers students to use technology, innovation and creativity to help solve some of the world’s most challenging social issues outlined in the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. From designing mobile healthcare applications to enabling access to quality education for all children and creating games that teach disease prevention, young social innovators are using technology to make a difference in the life of people around the world and in their own communities.
Hala Badri, EVP, Brand and Communications, du, said: “Technology is undeniably a critical tool for the future, and this is why we at du pride ourselves on being at the forefront of technological innovation, as well as being dedicated to nurturing the creativity and talent of young people in the region. By collaborating with Microsoft, we are very pleased to be able to provide the required platform to nurture and build talent at grass root level through Gulf Imagine Cup.”
“After all, young people are the ones who will drive this nation forward, and it is therefore crucial to encourage innovation and creativity in order to succeed in this increasingly high-tech world. As an organisation, we are proud partners of this initiative – and do hope that programmes such as the Gulf Imagine Cup will lay the foundation for more interactive, creative platforms that will help build a stronger and healthier society,” added Hala Badri.
As the world’s premier student technology competition, the Imagine Cup is Microsoft’s initiative to encourage young people to apply their imagination and creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference and address real-world issues. Imagine Cup compliments Microsoft’s Unlimited Potential commitment to create social and economic opportunity through programs and products that transform education, foster local innovation and enable jobs and opportunities worldwide.