For Immediate Release
TIRANA, MARCH 15, 2012 With the support from the USAD’s Competitive Enterprise Development project (Rritje Albania) and Microsoft Albania, Albania held its first Microsoft Imagine Cup Competition to support technology and innovation to advance economic and social developments in Albania. USAID/Albania’s Mission Director, Joseph Williams, and Albania’s Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, delivered opening remarks at the competition.
The competition was made possible through partnerships and collaboration among USAID, the Government of Albania, private sector businesses and educational institutions. Albania is seeking to build its ICT sector and support the development of ICT skills among young entrepreneurs in order to increase the competitiveness of businesses.
The Imagine Cup is an annual worldwide series of student technology competitions focused around Microsoft technology and encourages young people to apply their imagination and their creativity to technology innovations that can make a difference in the world. Now in its ninth year, the Imagine Cup has grown to be a global event. In 2010 the Imagine cup grew to more than 325,000 registered students from over 100 countries.
This is Albania’s first Microsoft Imagine Cup competition. The competition challenges talented teams of university-level students to develop inventive projects, by developing innovative software applications. The winning teams from Albania will receive cash prizes and be eligible to compete in regional competitions and, if successful, in the worldwide final to be held in Melbourne, Australia in July 2012.
USAID’s Rritje Albania project has supported the competition by disseminating information on the competition to raise awareness and ensure broad participation and organization of the event. After the competition, USAID will provide technical assistance to the 2012 winners to help them to commercialize their winning ideas. In addition, qualified business and organizations may also apply for a grant from Rritje Albania’s Technology and Innovation Grants Facility under which qualified businesses and organizations may receive up to USD20,000 for successful grant proposals that introduce or develop new technologies and innovations for businesses.
Last updated: April 16, 2015