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IT Sligo Team win Imagine Cup Final


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CategoryBusiness
DateThursday, July 14, 2011
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IT Sligo Team win Imagine Cup Final

Irish Students Best Software Design Team at Microsoft Imagine Cup Finals in New York

 

 

IT_SLIGO_Team_Hermes_Imagine_Cup.jpgThe finals of the Microsoft global student competition, the Imagine Cup, took place in New York this week, and the team from IT Sligo have won the Software Design category, competing against China, Jordan, New Zealand, Romania and the United States.

 

 

This year, more than 350,000 students from 183 countries registered for the Microsoft Imagine Cup. Earlier this year, 124 student teams competed regionally to secure their places for the worldwide finals event, where they have been demonstrating technological advancements in problem-solving in categories including Software Design, Embedded Development, Game Design, Digital Media, Windows Phone 7, IT Challenge, Interoperability Challenge, Windows 7 Touch Challenge and the Orchard Challenge.

 

 

Competing for international recognition and US$215,000 in cash prizes, the students' projects tackle serious humanitarian issues, often inspired by the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, such as the environment, health, accessibility and education.

 

 

Team HERMES from IT Sligo, is an interdisciplinary venture between the School of Engineering and the School of Business and Humanities. It has a key goal of initially targeting "the most at risk" drivers to increase road safety and thereby tackle what the World Health Organisation predict will be the 5th leading cause of death by 2030.

 

 

With this goal in mind the team came up with a unique idea that will change the way in which road and human factors are associated with fatal and serious vehicle road traffic collisions. The team researched the statistics reported on road safety and found that the data was lacking real time analysis for any given accident. The team have developed an in car road system that communicates data from the device in the car to a mobile phone, which will then be uploaded to the cloud thereby acting as an early warning system on erratic driving behaviour.

 

 

Speaking from New York, IT Sligo student James McNamara, from team HERMES said: "We're delighted to have made it to the final stage of the Microsoft Imagine Cup. We're looking forward to representing IT Sligo, our fellow students and our country in the final round of the competition and are busy preparing for our final presentation. Our fingers are crossed for tomorrow."


 

Talking yesterday, Clare Dillon, Microsoft Ireland, said: "Some of history's greatest inventions were created by students, and in this fast moving world, students need to know how to learn new skills as quickly as technology creates new challenges. Participating in a major educational competition such as the Microsoft Imagine Cup, inspires students who are working at the cutting edge of new technologies and where they are able to apply their innovative thinking to real-world causes in order to generate the future's greatest inventions as well."

 

Clare added: "To see young innovators and entrepreneurs harness their creativity and talent to benefit a greater good is absolutely inspiring, and we're delighted team HERMES has made it to the finals tomorrow and we will all be supporting them in their pursuit of gold."


 

President of IT Sligo, Professor Terri Scott, said: "This is the second time that IT Sligo has represented Ireland at the Microsoft Imagine Cup World Finals in the last five years and we are delighted with what team HERMES have achieved this year. Their project is a wonderful example of how well interdisciplinary teams can work together."


 

Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton also offered his congratulations, saying the victory is an inspiration to the country. “I have said repeatedly that if we are going to get out of this crisis, we are going to have to encourage indigenous innovation in any way we can. Today’s news that a group of Irish students have won first place in one of the world’s most prestigious technology competitions is truly inspiring.


These young students used modern technology and some new thinking to help solve the long-standing problem of our unacceptably high level of road deaths. It shows how new technology can help solve old problems potentially in any area of life.

It also confirms to me that Irish people can compete the very highest level when it comes to creating technologies that can solve complex problems and create viable businesses. I hope to speak to the members of this team later today to congratulate them personally and arrange to meet them to discuss with them how we as a government can learn from their

success.”

 

 

Microsoft also announced plans to launch a three-year, $3 million competitive grant program to help recipients realize their vision of solving the world’s toughest problems.  S. Somasegar, senior vice president, Developer Division, Microsoft said: “The innovators, entrepreneurs and humanitarians who compete in the Microsoft Imagine Cup have developed an inspiring spectrum of projects, raising the bar higher and higher each year. We are in awe of the students’ solutions for addressing social and real-world challenges, and want to help them take their projects to the next level with the financial, technical and business support they need to change the world.”

 

Microsoft Imagine Cup teams will be eligible to apply for grants that include a combination of cash, software, training, consulting and other support. Microsoft will announce details about the grant program and application process later this summer.

 


 

 

 

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