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We’re excited to see that Microsoft has chosen to focus its 2009 Imagine Cup theme around the Millennium Development Goals. The Imagine Cup challenges students around the world to solve world challenges in nine technology categories:

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Design // Short Film // Photography

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Robotics // IT Challenge // Mash Up

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Software // Embedded // Game

This year’s worldwide finals will be held in Cairo, Egypt in July. Last year’s winners, chosen from over 200,000 contestants, seemed mostly to focus on technogadgets to raise awareness of personal consumption patterns in the developed world, so we’re glad to see Microsoft encouraging all this brainpower to consider the bottom-of-pyramid developing world population. Winning 2008 teams will receive business and technology training as part of the Imagine Cup Innovation Accelerator program, to be held in Mountain View, CA in early April this year.

CbD will be watching the Design Invitational category most closely; entries to Round 1 are due March 1.