Posted on April 29, 2014

Microsoft Qatar today announced the two winning teams from Qatar, ‘I Copy You’ and ‘Techno Commando Squad,’ who will represent Qatar in the first Imagine Cup Pan-Arab Semi-Finals, which will gather teams from 12 Arab countries in Doha this June.

The Imagine Cup National Finals, which was held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Hessa Al Jaber, Minister of Information and Communication Technology, saw participation from five local teams representing universities across Qatar. Registrations to participate in the event this year have increased 200%. Team “I Copy You” from Qatar University was announced the winner in the Citizenship category, after presenting low-cost educational software designed to build communications skills among children with autism. Utilizing Microsoft’s Kinect camera, the software detects the motions of the child and provides feedback to a RoboSapien - a low cost humanoid robot - which uses the information to mimic the movements of the child.

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Team “Techno Commando Squad,” also from Qatar University, was announced the winner in the Innovation category. The team’s project merges existing rehabilitation and fitness technology solutions through Microsoft Kinect to provide a unique physiotherapy solution. The new innovation is a suit equipped with six accelerometers (1 for each arm joint) that connect to a microprocessor that reads the patient’s movements and compares them to the doctor’s instructions.

This year, and for the first time in the Arab region, Microsoft Qatar will be hosting the Pan-Arab Semi-Finals on the 3rd and 4th of June. The two winning teams from the Pan-Arab Semi-Finals will represent the Arab region in the Innovation and Citizenship categories at the Worldwide finals in Seattle, Washington.

The Imagine Cup National Finals in Qatar comprised two main categories: Innovation, and World Citizenship. World Citizenship honors the software application with the greatest potential to make a positive contribution to the betterment of humanity, while the Innovation category rewards apps that deliver technology innovations that advance user experiences in areas such as social networks, search, classifieds or online shopping. This is the third consecutive year that Microsoft has brought together young entrepreneurs and ambitious students in Qatar to promote innovation and education through technology.

Commenting on the event, Microsoft Qatar General Manager Naim Yazbeck said: “Microsoft Qatar congratulates “I Copy You” and “Techno Commando Squad” for winning the Imagine Cup National Finals. We know the winners will make Qatar proud in the first Pan-Arab Semi-Finals here in Doha. Microsoft Qatar has been a longstanding supporter of powering innovation through technology, a key Microsoft priority in Qatar and the region.” “Technology and innovation have the ability to make a difference in our world, and Microsoft has built on the incredible ambition and potential of talented youth as they build the most innovative software, applications, and portals,” added Yazbeck.

In this context, Ms. Reem al-Mansoori, Executive Director, ICT & Society, ictQatar, said: “I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Microsoft for this competition. It is also my pleasure to congratulate the winning teams and I would like to encourage more student teams to join the future rounds of the competition, which is really a great platform to discover and harness their innovative ideas.”

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Five Qatar-based teams presented their ideas to a panel of judges, which included industry experts from Microsoft, the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (TumuhaTEC), World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) and Qatar Assistive Technology Center (Mada). Qatar will also host the Imagine Cup Pan-Arab Semi-Finals in June this year. The event, which takes place for the first time, will witness the participation of 24 teams representing 12 Arab countries.

The Pan-Arab Semi-Finals will take place on the 3rd and 4th of June 2014, at the St. Regis Hotel, Doha. Teams from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates will be participating in this event. Furthermore, each team will be accompanied by mentors, and judges from their home countries. Supporters of the Imagine Cup National Finals include: Ebla Computer Consultancy as the event’s Diamond Sponsor; Qatar’s Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (TumuhaTEC) as the event’s Technology Partner; the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) as the event’s Education Partner; and Nokia as the Communications Partner. 

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