Flower power car heads to Paris Imagine Cup

3 Jul 2008

Ahead of tomorrow’s kickoff for the world final of the biggest student tech competition of the year – the Microsoft Imagine Cup – one of the two competing Irish teams will not be flying over but rather driving there in a car powered by their own eco-friendly conversion engine filled with sunflower oil.

We can chart the progress of Team Acidrain from the National Univeristy of Maynooth from here in Ireland by visiting the real-time tracker on their website. This morning, the site tells us the team are currently winging their way to Dover via junction 12 of the M20 in the UK.

As the Maynooth team set off yesterday, Paul Rellis, managing director of Microsoft Ireland talked of how proud the company is to have two teams representing Ireland this year.

“We have no doubt these teams are world beaters and in with an excellent chance of bringing home a prize,” he added.

Rellis said the Imagine Cup has become the World Cup of software: “In 2003, we had a thousand competitors from 15 countries – our first winner now has his own company with 27 employees – fast forward to 2008 and the Imagine Cup has attracted over 200,000 students from 100 countries.”

While Team Acidrain is representing Maynooth NUI, ParkIT, which works by taking live feeds from cameras in a car park and digitally analysing them to determine how many free car parking spaces are available, will be flying the flag for the Sligo Institute of Technology.

By Marie Boran

Pictured: Team Acidrain: Aodhan Coffey (20), Karl O’Dwyer (18) and Brian Byrne (27) with Microsoft MD, Paul Rellis