Microsoft awards US$75,000 Imagine Cup Grant to Australian students


Team Stethocloud from the University of Melbourne awarded cash and in-kind funding to support development of smartphone stethoscope

Sydney, Australia— Dec. 4, 2012 — Today, Microsoft Corp. announced the winners of the second annual Imagine Cup Grants, a three-year, US $3 million competitive grant program that provides students with funding and support to help transform their project into a social enterprise or nonprofit that will address a specific social issue. The Imagine Cup Grants are part of Microsoft’s YouthSpark initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth over the next 3 years.

The second place grant of $75,000 was awarded to Team Stethocloud from the University of Melbourne for their solution of a smartphone stethoscope, which assists in the early detection of childhood pneumonia. The StethoCloud device reproduces the diagnostic capability of a trained medical doctor and is able to detect, alert, and advise those with little or no awareness of pneumatic or respiratory illness as to the seriousness of a child’s condition and assist with intervention much earlier, in effect, saving millions of lives a year.

“The Imagine Cup Grants program will help students evolve a great idea for addressing a societal issue into a real-world business,” said Dan’l Lewin, corporate vice president, Strategic and Emerging Business Development, Microsoft. “These students have developed incredible approaches that show great potential for positive local impact. We are excited to offer financial and other support to help them to transform these ideas into businesses with real world impact.”

The grand prize grant of $100,000 was awarded to Team Graphmasters from Germany for their solution called nunav that reduces vehicle carbon emissions through an innovative navigation system. There were also grants of $50,000 each to Team Vivid from Egypt who built a mobile app to access medical records leveraging the cloud; Team Cipher256 from Uganda for their mobile app and listening device to analyse fetal heart rates; and Team QuadSquad from Ukraine who created a solution that transforms sign language into verbal communication. The teams used technologies that include Windows 8, Windows Azure, Windows Phone, Bing Maps and more.

The grant winners were among the finalists at the Imagine Cup 2012 Worldwide Finals which were held in Sydney in July this year. The Imagine Cup is a global competition that invites students to develop a technology, create a business plan and gain a keen understanding of what they need to bring their concept to market. The Imagine Cup Grants program takes the competition further by helping students turn their ideas into reality by creating a real business or nonprofit. As part of Microsoft YouthSpark, the Imagine Cup Grants program is one way Microsoft is helping young people pursue an education, find employment, and foster entrepreneurship.

In addition to the cash awards, the grant packages include software, cloud computing services, solution provider support, premium Microsoft BizSpark account benefits and access to local resources such as the Microsoft Innovation Centers. Microsoft will also connect grant recipients with its network of investors, nongovernmental organisation partners and business partners, and will work with the grant recipients to tailor individual support as needed depending on the progress each team has made so far with its project.

Imagine Cup Grants Award Winners

Team Graphmasters, Germany. Christian Brüggemann, Sebastian Heise, and Iulian Nitescu. Project description: nunav is a navigation system with the potential to reduce the CO2 emissions of cars by preventing traffic congestion. The system proactively routes city traffic by calculating the best route for each car and communicating that information to each driver. Team video: http://bit.ly/RWjVN6

Team StethoCloud, Australia. Hon Weng Chong, Andrew Lin, Mahsa Salehi, Karthik Rajah. Project description: StethoCloud is a cloud-powered, mobile-hybrid stethoscope for early detection of pneumonia. By connecting a custom stethoscope to a mobile phone, the user is able to transmit diagnostic information into a cloud service, reproducing the diagnostic capability of a trained medical doctor. Team video: http://bit.ly/PWCcKy

Team Team Vivid, Egypt. Nour El-Dien Hussein, Muhammed Mousa El-Orabi, Kariem Fady Fawzy Rafla. Project description: Health Buzz is a cost-effective mobile-based solution that helps healthcare service providers access patients’ electronic medical records through a secure cloud based storage system. It is built to service patients and physicians through a phone, tablet or desktop computer.. Team video: http://bit.ly/T4PJAt

Team Cipher256, Uganda. Aaron Tushabe, Joshua Okello, Dr. Davis Musinguzi, Josiah Kavuma, Joseph Kaizzi. Project description: WinSenga is a mobile application that aids health workers as they assist expectant mothers. The algorithm analyses fetal heart sounds to determine the fetal heart rate (beats per minute), and the age and position of the fetus and records these readings to the cloud. Team video: http://bit.ly/Us89qS

Team QuadSquad, Ukraine. Maxim Osika, Valeriy Yasakov, Anton Stepanov, Anton Posternikov, Dmytro Samoilenko. Project description: Enable Talk was created to give disabled individuals with limited communication abilities a better way to communicate. It transforms sign language into a form of verbal communication by creating a mobile device that continuously recognises sign language phonemes. Team video: http://bit.ly/UIDx4E

– Ends –

About Microsoft YouthSpark.

Microsoft YouthSpark is a global initiative that aims to create opportunities for 300 million youth in more than 100 countries during the next three years. This companywide initiative includes Citizenship and other company programs — both new and enhanced — that empower youth to imagine and realise their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. Find out more at: http://www.microsoft.com/youthspark

For more information, press only:

Sophie Kriefman, Ogilvy PR, + 61 (0) 284 375 348, [email protected]

About Microsoft Imagine Cup.

This year marks the 11th year of Imagine Cup, which will be celebrated at the worldwide finals in St. Petersburg Russia, July 8–12, 2013. Students ages 16 and older are eligible to register and compete in Imagine Cup 2013 by visiting the Imagine Cup website at http://www.imaginecup.com. A full list of competitions and challenges are listed at http://imaginecup.com/main/compete. In the past decade, more than 1.65 million students from 190 countries have registered to compete for cash and other prizes.

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