Microsoft Ireland is calling for entries for the Microsoft Imagine Cup 2011 and launched the Imagine Cup Solve This, a programme to give students inspiration to help solve the world’s toughest problems.
The Imagine Cup, now in its ninth year, asks students for students to develop innovative solutions to real-world problems, which will help intergovernmental organisations (IGOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profits.
The initiative aims to show how technological solutions can be used to expand the reaches of services provided by IGOs, NGOs and non-profits.
The Imagine Cup Solve This programme provides a wealth of ideas that students can select to create solutions for as a part of the competition.
Among the topics, organisations have asked students to create technology solutions to help groups foster early reading and literacy and an online knowledge management system with virtual classrooms and content letting teachers share and interact with students.
Other topics included using mobile devices to capture and send videos from remote areas and an integrated collaboration platform to encourage youth participation in global development efforts.
More than 325,000 students representing 100 countries have been involved in the Imagine Cup last year.
Nikola Nevin was the winner of the Irish Imagine Cup in 2010. She developed Imaginote, an audio visual therapy tool with educational and recreational applications.
“The Imagine Cup provided an outlet for me to bring my ideas to life,” said Nevin.
“But the Imagine Cup isn’t just a competition, it’s a global movement that is helping students become entrepreneurs with a purpose,” she said.
"The Imagine Cup competition features students who are very passionate about societal issues, problem-solving and technology," said Clare Dillon of Microsoft Ireland.
"To help students generate project ideas, we created Imagine Cup Solve This, which connects them with nonprofits and organisations in need of new approaches to the variety of problems they encounter.
"This pairing illustrates how we are evolving the competition to empower students to help make a real difference in the world. I hope that this year’s Imagine Cup will be as popular as ever among Irish students and I’m looking forward to seeing the entries come in," said Dillon.
The finals take place in New York from 8-13 July. Students can register for the Imagine Cup 2011 from today and can access a library of problems submitted by organisations to find ideas for their projects.