The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Microsoft Pakistan have announced the national winners of Imagine Cup 2018 during a ceremony at the Commission Secretariat on Tuesday.
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (SEECS) team, ‘Fe Amaan’, clinched first position, while City University of Science and Information Technology’s team, ‘Data Warriors’, and Bahria University Karachi’s team, ‘IoT Solutions’, obtained second and third positions respectively.
Dr. Amirullah Marwat, Chairman National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training was the chief guest of the ceremony, while Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC and Mr. Abid Zaidi, Country General Manager, Microsoft were also present along with Dr. G. Raza Bhatti, Member Operations and Planning, HEC.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Amirullah Marwat said that survival of a nation is not possible without education. Pakistan has a huge potential in its youth and they have demonstrated their skills in the Imagine Cup, he observed. “I am confident now that we, Pakistanis, can do anything, but it requires us to have a strong willpower,” he stated. He stressed the need for self-accountability to address individual and, ultimately, national issues. He underlined that every sector of the country needs to adopt modern technologies, especially Information Technology, as this is the need of the hour. He maintained that all the sectors are required to make innovations and encourage novel ideas.
Mr. Marwat urged the industry to come forward and award scholarships to Pakistani youth so that they are fully facilitated to serve the country. He advised the students and researchers to ensure their research is based on solutions to problems prevailing in the country.
Congratulating the winners of the national final, Dr Arshad Ali said, “Imagine Cup is all about innovation, transformation and what comes next.” He said Imagine Cup continues to cultivate a spirit of social and technological entrepreneurship, empowering students to use their creativity to address real societal problems through technology.
“We have seen extremely innovative ideas coming in and the students who have been participating especially in the imagine cup and so many of them have gone on to establish their own startups that are now becoming multimillion dollar companies. I am proud of our students for participating in this Global event and I am sure they will bring laurels for Pakistan,” the Executive Director said.
In his remarks, Mr. Abid Zaidi said that Microsoft strives to bring the right set of tools and technology towards the students so that they can change the work for the better. “The way we look at our students, we feel that they are the agents of change and they just need the right set of tools to succeed,” he said, adding that as a technology company, Microsoft wants to empower students and enable them to shape our future.
More About Imagine Cup 2018
Before the national final, HEC and Microsoft held regional competitions. The regional finals were won by Sukkur Institute of Business Administration, NUST SEECS, National Textile University, Faisalabad and Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences, Quetta.
Imagine Cup is one of Microsoft’s many efforts to transform skill development, nurture budding technologists and foster collaborative and innovative spirit. This global technology competition boasts several success stories emerging from the competition. It’s a great platform to innovate, get recognized and eventually get enabled to bring about a positive change.
The winning team will now represent Pakistan at the upcoming worldwide finals in Seattle, USA to compete among global teams for a USD $100,000 prize.
Microsoft Imagine Cup continues to witness strong participation from Pakistan. This year, as an initiative of the Strategic Partnership with HEC, Microsoft reached out to more than 56 campuses through onsite sessions in a bid to create awareness about the competition and effectively market it to the audience, which resulted in record-breaking project entries i.e. 110 in this competition.
The Microsoft-HEC Partnership
Under Education Transformation Agreement, HEC and Microsoft work in partnership to enable student-centric learning, enhance education with powerful software tools and improve the efﬁciency of education systems. The agreement is aimed at supporting all communities, enabling them to enjoy social beneﬁts of a well-educated population.
It encompasses training for educators and educational leaders, conducting research for innovations, and building professional communities to ensure that every student has the beneﬁt of a global network of empowered educators. The key strategic aims of this partnership include transformation of learning and innovation and develop 21st Century Skills and Employability.