Ireland Imagine Cup Software Design Overview

Microsoft Ireland ran the Imagine cup software design competition final on the 30-April in Trinity College Dublin Science Gallery. This was the first year taking the Imagine cup outside Microsoft offices and the Science Gallery proved to be an outstanding success. This years Imagine cup software design competition was sponsored by Enterprise Ireland (€15K), Invest Northern Ireland (€10K), Lenovo (€5K) and Lero (€5K) : Total Sponsorship (€35K). Over the past 3 years Imagine cup has experienced tremendous growth in Ireland and we were delighted to see 550 students register for Imagine cup 2009.Imagine cup 2009 overviewIreland Imagine Cup Software Design Winners 2009:

The winning team from Trinity College Dublin, created an affordable alternative to simulated eye-surgical training for particularly complex operations such as cataract removal surgery. The technology used by the students will speed the training of student doctors who need to perform these operations in Africa, where needless blindness is widespread. The team have support from right to sight http://www.righttosight.com/index.php for their project.

The second prize went to IT Sligo’s AmazED, whose project aims to address the learning needs of young children, enabling them to teach themselves maths with the aid of an NXT Lego Mindstorm that would also teach them hand-eye coordination.

The third prize went to IT Sligo’s MediKnight project, which developed a system that allows experienced medical professionals in the developed world to link directly to medical staff working in under-developed regions.

Ireland Imagine Cup Software Design Winners 2009

Innovation Accelerator “Dragons Den”
At this years Imagine Cup final we introduced Innovation Accelerator Dragons Den for the first time. We picked 4 high potential Imagine Cup 2008 teams and gave them business and technical training over the past 12 months. On the day of the Imagine cup final the 4 teams pitched their idea for 5 minutes to 4 “Dragons” selected from Ireland and UK industry. 2 of the 4 teams received support from the Dragons to help commercialise their idea. A really good account of the Dragons Den can be found at http://www.siliconrepublic.com/news/article/12863/randd/irelands-young-innovators-ready-to-take-on-the-world

The 3 teams selected for next years Innovation Accelerator Dragons Den event were as follows
1. IADT Dunlaoighaire – HealthText – Provide simple medical information to parents and children via mobile phones.
2. IT Carlow – Neurosynergy – A neuroscientifically innovative brain fitness (IQ-EQ) game to enhance intellectual (‘IQ’) and emotional (‘EQ’) performance.
3. IT Sligo – Amazed – A game to address the learning needs of young children through building and problem solving.

Innovation Accelerator 'Dragons Den'

Best Imagine Cup 2009 A0 Poster Competition
We introduced a new prize this year of best A0 poster. Trinity College Dublin Provost John Hegarty presented the winning prizes to Cristina Luminea, Linzi Ryan and Dana Vasiloaica from Team Amazed IT Sligo. Below is a picture of the winning A0 poster which was truly amazing!!!!…

Best Imagine Cup 2009 A0 Poster Competition

Quotes From Irish Imagine Cup Final
Patrick Kavanagh Software Design Competitor NUI Galway “I just wanted to drop you a mail to say thanks so much for another great Imagine Cup experience. It really is my favourite event of the year. It’s exciting to see so many innovative thinkers and like minded people in one room and I’m looking forward to being part of it next year. I’ll be following the winning teams progress and I hope all involved have a great time in Cairo and do Ireland proud”

Paula Murray Industrial Placement Officer NUI Maynooth “Congratulations on yet another great Microsoft event! I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it very informative, not to mention the buzz from winning a great piece of Microsoft software! I was delighted with it, thanks. I spoke to the NUIM team after the event and, while they did no win, they all agreed that they had gained from the experience of presenting their project, the teamwork involved and the nuts and bolts of bringing a project so far”.

Eamonn Linehan Imagine Cup Judge “I am just writing to thank you for inviting me to Judge and for your hospitality and organisation yesterday. I think the event ran very smoothly thanks to your efforts. The judging itself was very difficult and the standard of all the teams was very high. Most of our decisions were very close and I hope you get the opportunity to relay to the teams how it came down to very small points (often just a low score on one of the ten judging criteria) to be able to separate some teams on the day. You did a fantastic job with selecting the judging panel. There was a lot of experience as well as people from diverse backgrounds. We had some lively debate but consensus was reached quickly and in a very fair manner. Overall it was a very positive, enjoyable experience for myself”.

Quotes From Irish Imagine Cup Final

Media Highlights
Attached is a report on the Media Coverage from Irish Imagine Cup final. See below for links to some of the media coverage

http://www.techcentral.ie/article.aspx?id=13373
http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/finance/2009/0504/1224245890019.html
http://www.myscience.ie/2009/05/imagine-cup-finals/
http://www.independent.ie/lifestyle/jobs-careers/ireland8217s-young-innovators-ready-to-take-on-the-world-1731353.html
http://www.enn.ie/story/show/10125166

Thank You
Deborah Hayes, Miriam Smith and the 12 Microsoft buddies : Alan Spillane, Cathal Coffey, Catherine Smith, David Gibson, Denis Mulcahy; Francis McGuigan; Frank Han, Kevin Cooke, Mark Clerkin, Marty Leonard, James Shiels, Richard White, who supported the 12 finalist teams on the day

Microsoft would like to thank the following judges for their time and energy and for supporting the Imagine Cup competition:
Emanuele Ognissanti – Academic Group Marketing Manager Microsoft Seattle
Patrick Meegan – Director Entertainment & Devices Division Microsoft Ireland
Flavien Charlon – Software Development Engineer Microsoft Ireland
Declan Brady – Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer & Irish Computer Society
John Leech – Lenovo European Web Manager
Evelyn Smith – Enterprise Ireland Corporate Marketing
Tracey Walsh – Invest Northern Ireland
Paul Sheridan – Engineers Ireland STEPS To Engineering Manager
Eamonn Lenehan – LERO

The 4 Dragons for Innovation Accelerator
1. Aaron Jackson : Lightwell Ltd.
2. Mick Fealty : Slugger O’Toole political blog and Telegraph columnist
3. Gerry Mc Guire from Atlantic Bridge Ventures
4. Tony Kilduff : Founder Of Kindle

Microsoft would like to thank again our sponsors Enterprise Ireland, Invest Northern Ireland, Lenovo and LERO especially David Byrne from Enterprise Ireland, Tracey Walsh from Invest NI, Fiona O’ Brien from Lenovo and Dr. Kevin Ryan from LERO, for their financial support. Thanks to Tom O’ Sullivan and Jim Franks from the Irish Computer Society, Caitriona Geraghty Engineers Ireland for promoting the Imagine Cup.

Thanks to Martha Rotter and Darren Doyle for taking photos and doing videos with the 12 finalist teams which we will publish to Channel 8 http://channel8.msdn.com/ soon.

Thanks to Paul Rellis, Kevin Marshall and Clare Dillon for attending the final presentation ceremony with Minister Hannifin and Trinity College Dublin Provost John Hegarty.

Some pictures of the event can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/martharotter/sets/72157617686159283/

Ireland Status In Other Imagine Cup Competitions Progress
• We have 2 teams (Waterford IT & NUI Maynooth) in round 2 of Embedded Development competition
• We have 7 teams (Trinity College Dublin, IT Sligo, IT Carlow X2, University Ulster Coleraine, Dundalk IT & Griffith College Dublin) in round 2 of Games development competition
• We have 1 team(IT Sligo) in round 2 of photography competition
• We have 7 teams (Limerick IT X 4, IADT , NCAD, Darklight) in round 2 of short-film competition
• We have 1 team (NUI Maynooth) in round 2 of Interface Design competition
• We have 1 team (IT Sligo) in round 2 of Accessibility awards.

Now onwards and upwards to Cairo in July…
Regards, Liam.

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