Imagine Cup teams hailed as models for success
Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer
The Government and the Northern Caribbean University (NCU) have celebrated the stunning achievements of Team Xormis, which recently emerged champions of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Interoperability Competition.
The NCU team rocketed past 90 competitors from across the globe in preliminary contests before beating Brazil and Indonesia in the world finals in Warsaw, Poland.
The team of NCU students Derron Brown, Markel Mairs, Dwayne Samuels and Shawn McLean was yesterday recognised at a luncheon in honour of their success at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston.
Also recognised at the function was Team Educ8, another NCU team that made it to the Imagine Cup world final in the software design category.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding congratulated the teams on their successes.
He said the information and communication frontier was set to become the driving force in developments in trade.
"It is in that particular area that there are such huge possibilities for Jamaica," the prime minister said. "We are trying to restore some of the buoyancy we had in sugar, we have to support our manufacturing sector, our tourism sector is so vital to us, but in terms of potential for growth, in terms of the potential to create more jobs, to earn more foreign exchange and to provide us with the stimulus that can drive and sustain economic development, it is the information and communication technology frontier that we have to look at."
Golding said the NCU teams had demonstrated that Jamaica could compete with the best in the world.
"And out of that competition we can demonstrate that we are the best in the world," he added.
In lauding the students for their achievements, he said the success at the world finals was a significant justification for the expansion in tertiary education that has taken place in Jamaica over the past 15 years.
"It provides opportunities for a much greater number of people and therefore creates the space for persons to demonstrate and improve their own skills and ability," he said.
He added that the teams' achievements pointed to where the country needs to position itself in the changing workplace environment.
Joseph McKinson, country manager of Microsoft Jamaica, hailed the triumphant NCU students for their successes.
"The Imagine Cup is about helping students get real-world experience and turn their passions into real solutions that benefit the world," he said.
Several corporate sponsors awarded the team members with a number of cash prizes and gifts in recognition of their achievements. They will also benefit from free tuition for the remainder of their studies at the institution, courtesy of NCU.