Smart move: ACT team to represent Australia in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup finals

Brain Speller to help people with decreased physical functions communicate
Microsoft managing director, Pip Marlow.

Microsoft managing director, Pip Marlow.

Team UCEGG has won the Microsoft-hosted Imagine Cup national finals and now moves on to the worldwide finals of the student innovation competition.

The team of four, from the University of Canberra, will present its winning idea – the Brain Speller – at the finals held in New York between July 8-13.

Brain Speller is designed to help people with decreased physical functions communicate by converting electronic thought signals into text.

A panel of panel of five judges, comprising representatives from Microsoft and industry experts from companies including ACS Foundation, Built to Roam and nsquared, judged the final.

UCEGG beat four other project groups for the gong - Mum2Be, Global Aid, m-Safeguard, and Social Alert - but faces major competition from 400 students at the worldwide finals.

Minister for Schools Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Hon. Peter Garrett, announced Australia is host nation for the Imagine Cup 2012 worldwide finals.

“The Australian government is committed to revolutionising Australia’s education system through greater student access to information and communication technologies,” Garrett said.

The Imagine Cup, once described by Bill Gates as ‘the Olympics of the software world’, celebrates its tenth anniversary in 2012.

Inspired in part by the United Nation’s millennium development goals, it challenges students to conceptualise ideas that help solve the world’s toughest problems and utilise the power of software and technology to bring those ideas to life.

Managing director of Microsoft Australia, Pip Marlow, said, “We have the brightest and smartest talent in Australia and by hosting the worldwide finals here next year, we hope to help inspire a new generation of student inventors and imagine-makers.”