Microsoft Announces the Winner of Imagine Cup Thailand 2017

 |   Thornthawat Thongnab

Celebrating its 15th anniversary, Imagine Cup Thailand 2017 was held under “StudentsInSTEM” theme, with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines that equip students with the necessary skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and creativity essential for successful Thailand 4.0 implementation.

Participants of Imagine Cup Thailand 2017, joined by Siriporn Pajharawat, Director of Developer Experience & Platform Evangelism (DX) Group, Microsoft Thailand (middle right), and Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, the Minister of Science and Technology (middle left)

BANGKOK, 20 April 2017 – Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, today announced the winning team of Imagine Cup Thailand 2017. Team Welse from King Monkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, emerged victorious amidst stiff competition after being shortlisted to the final 7 teams, selected from over 100 submissions nationwide. The team wooed the judges with their portable IoT device that carries clinical lab tests on blood samples.

Siriporn Pajharawat, Director of Developer Experience and Platform Evangelism (DX) Group, Microsoft Thailand, said “We are entering what is widely referred to as the 4th Industrial Revolution, an era where the development of new materials, breakthroughs in the field of genetic engineering and digital transformation are increasingly blurring the lines between the physical, biological and digital worlds.”

According to a list of the Most Promising Jobs of 2017 published by LinkedIn, all the top 20 occupations require STEM skills. Moreover, a World Economic Forum survey revealed that a digital transformation era will make STEM professions become one of the fastest growing jobs in the next 5 years,

“To prepare for this new digital era, Thailand needs to focus on equipping the future workforce with technological and critical thinking skills, and inspire Thai youth to innovate and develop.  The recent Microsoft Asia Digital Future Survey showed that Thai youth feel the wind of change as 70% of them agree that the country is ready to adapt to digital disruptions. We very much hope that Imagine Cup will serve as the platform for our next generation to further develop their STEM skills, and most importantly their creativity as prospect innovators. That’s why for Imagine Cup 2017 this year, we were looking for deep technology integration in fully formed apps and devices that have real-life implementation potential.” added Siriporn Pajharawat.

Business leaders in Thailand and the region are also well aware of the urgency in embracing the digital transformation. A recent Microsoft study showed that 89% of Thai business leaders believe that they need to transform their organizations into digital businesses to enable future growth. However, only 29% of those surveyed indicated that they have a full digital strategy in place. As every industry faces disruption from newer, agile, digitally savvy players, study indicates that organizations in Thailand are prioritizing employee empowerment to catch up with the change, especially for them to collaborate and share knowledge digitally for greater productivity and idea sharing (36%).

These numbers indicate that technology skills that are essential for digital transformation, so it is crucial to equip students with necessary knowledge and skills in order to compete in the new careers of tomorrow.

Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, the Minister of Science and Technology, said” The Ministry of Science and Technology recognizes the importance of developing STEM skills among Thai youth and we are glad to see such great support from Microsoft and value the company’s pioneering efforts through Imagine Cup competition.

“Another crucial point is that public and private sector have shared the same vision of national human resources development, which will be a driving force for youth to develop STEM skills in hope to create innovation for our country in the near future. Imagine Cup is a great platform that encourages youth to think creatively and develop essential skills required for the next generation inventors. In the past 15 years of Imagine Cup, Thai youth have already made us proud four times by winning the World Finals.  I hope this creative competition will continue to flourish and inspire more young Thais to work closely together leading our country toward “stability, prosperity and sustainability,” concluded Dr. Atchaka

“Microsoft Thailand is proud to be playing a role in the country’s digital transformation by supporting and nurturing the talented youth who will be at the forefront of the 4th industrial revolution. It is so exciting to see how these brilliant young minds are looking forward to the benefits that future innovations can bring and, personally, I felt humbled by their raw talent and commitment to champion social and economic issues through the use of disruptive technology,” added Siriporn Pajharawat.

Team Welse will receive the royal trophy from HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and represent Thailand in the inaugural 2017 Imagine Cup Southeast Asia in the Philippines on April 24 where they will compete with teams from nine other countries for a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the World Finals in Seattle The World Finals, which will take place in July this year, and will see the best and brightest teams from across the globe compete for the title of World Champion, $100,000 cash prize and the chance to take home the Imagine Cup.

The winning team of Imagine Cup Thailand 2017, WELSE from King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi joined by (right) Siriporn Pajharawat, Director of Developer Experience & Platform Evangelism (DX) Group, Microsoft Thailand, and (second from right) Dr. Atchaka Sibunruang, the Minister of Science and Technology.