Irish Students Depart for Imagine Cup Finals using their own invention!

The AcidRain team from NUI Maynooth, who are one of two Irish teams competing in the global Imagine Cup finals in Paris later this week, departed for the finals driving a car which uses their new application which enables Diesel cars to use vegatable oil.

The team from NUI Maynooth, along with a team from Sligo IT will represent Ireland at Microsoft’s Imagine Cup 2008 World Final. Worldwide this year saw the highest ever number of students entering the Imagine Cup, with over 200,000 entrants from over 100 countries around the globe. The Imagine Cup, which is now in its sixth year, challenges students around the globe to ‘Imagine a world where technology enables a sustainable environment’.


About Team AcidRain

Team AcidRain from NUI Maynooth have built an optimized, embedded conversion kit which offers a novel solution to the problem of reducing carbon emissions through enabling plant oil powered engines. They have set out to create a “one size fits all” kit.  This embedded solution will convert any diesel engine to run on any plant oil whether it be olive oil, rapeseed oil or sunflower oil to name but a few! There challenge starts today as they take the ferry with their diesel free car to Holyhead and continue their journey to Paris from there.

About Team ParkIT

Sligo IT students, ParkIT, are proposing an application which enables the provision of real time parking information. Using cameras and software, it monitors car park spaces and can determine when a space vacant. This information would then be sent to a central database, which would be used to drive a real time parking information system that provides users with available parking data near their location on request.

Acidrain and ParkIT will now compete with students and projects from around the world at the final in France.  The overall prizes include a chance to Silicon Valley to take part in the Imagine Cup Innovation Accelerator.  It propels Imagine Cup software design champions into the next stage of developing their innovative ideas as a business.

The Microsoft Imagine Cup 2008 Gold sponsors are Enterprise Ireland and Riverdeep Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. Other sponsors include Lenovo, Imag!ne Telecommunications and Lero, the Irish Software Engineering Research Centre.

About the Imagine Cup

The competition, which is open to all third level colleges and universities, consists of nine categories spanning team-based challenges like software design and short film to individual challenges involving algorithms and game programming. Students’ work will reflect valuable, real-world solutions that address the pressing global environmental issues while giving them the opportunity to compete for generous cash prizes.

To find out more about Microsoft Ireland please visit

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