islamabad-The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Microsoft, Pakistan announced the national winners of the Imagine Cup 2018, a technology competition 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 team, ‘Data Warriors’, and Bahria University, Karachi team, ‘IoT Solutions’, respectively obtained second and third positions.  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 of 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. Imagine Cup continues to foster innovation among students and enables them to transform their ambitions into reality.

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. 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 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 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 said. “I am confident now that we, Pakistanis, can do anything, but it requires us to have a strong willpower,” he stated.  Dr 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 further said the 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.

In his remarks, Abid Zaidi said Microsoft strives to bring the right set of tools and technology towards students. “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.