UAE students unleash technical skills at Imagine Cup 2017

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DUBAI – A total of eight finalists recently battled it out at the UAE finals of the Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2017 at Armani Hotel in Burj Khalifa.TECHNOLOGY - UAE

The students of various schools based in Dubai were earlier tasked to think of an idea or game, application or solution to a difficult real-world problem that will enhance resident’s lifestyle and make services smarter in the city.

Sponsored by global developer Emaar Properties, the students used the latest technologies and the power of cloud. They built their apps using IoT, Big Data, Machine Learning, among others.

“The UAE has a well-established reputation as one of the world’s leading lights of entrepreneurship, with a highly competitive knowledge-based economy.

“[Imagine Cup 2017] empowers the youth of today to become skilled innovators of the future,” Michael Mansour, chief innovation officer of Microsoft Gulf, said.

Teams Green Jam, B.A.S.S, and iBins emerged as victors of the national finals.

Hailing from the American University of Dubai, Green Jam took first place for their project Green Jam. Their work aims to accelerate Dubai’s goal of being one of the world’s most sustainable cities. This is done by turning recycling into a habit for UAE citizens, through a reward system that is widely accessible from anywhere in Dubai, to all residents.

Marking the 15th year of the Imagine Cup, the winning team received $15,000 (AED 55,095) and will go on to meet the region’s top talents at the Imagine Cup MEA semi-finals in Lebanon in May, and if the odds are with them, they will compete with the best young innovators in worldwide finals in Seattle in July.

Team B.A.S.S of University of Wollongong won the second prize for their project Smart Signal. It is a smart city initiative to ease traffic conditions dynamically. It can think for itself, and make its own judgments about what constitutes high traffic. B.A.S.S received $10,000 (AED 36,730).

Meanwhile, team iBins’ creation came in third place. Hailing from Dubai Women’s College, their iBins project is an IoT based Smart Bin solution which is capable of monitoring the fill-level at regular intervals to alert staff ahead of time, ease maintenance and help maintain a fresh, clean and hygienic environment. They received $7,000 (AED 25,711).

Eight finalists including My Team, B.A.S.S, Side Quest, iBins, AAWC Smart Irrigation, Bane’s Mercenaries, I’ll Order, and Green Ham were shortlisted to compete in Dubai division.

“Honoring the skills of our youth and encouraging them to be creative are central to the growth vision of the UAE’s leadership.

“With digital transformation of businesses as a top priority, investing in the IT talent of young people will help nurture the next generation of creative tech entrepreneurs. Imagine Cup serves as an excellent platform that promotes the brightest young innovators and brings out compelling actionable ideas that support the Smart City vision of the UAE,” Veresh Sita, chief digital officer at Emaar Properties, said.

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