Initiative sees students from 170 leading universities create innovative proposals drawing on the real world application of third platform technologies

Dubai, United Arab Emirates- February 14, 2016: EMC Middle East today announced the successful initiation of the Annual EMC Graduate Project Competition for Middle East and Africa.

Titled "Envision the Future" and sponsored by the EMC's Egyptian Centre of Excellence (COE), the competition is being judged by a panel of 10 esteemed industry leaders and academicians from across the globe. The competition which was open to senior undergraduate students from universities in Turkey, Middle East and Africa enrolled in the EMC Academic Alliance program is aimed at sparking innovation and creativity in IT education.

The EMC Graduate Project Competition was divided into five stages, kicking off with project abstract submission on the 15th of October and has since witnessed over 65 projects from 272 participating students from across the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and Kenya. An astounding 40% of these entries were submitted by young women from across these countries

Now in the semi-final stage, 30 projects have been shortlisted based on project abstract submissions that were created using only Open Source tools in areas related to cloud and social networking apps, multi-clouds and hybrid cloud, software defined data center and networks, technology for big data apps and domain specific big data applications.

Shortlisted candidates will now move into the next phase of the competition with guidance from professors to put together competitive projects which will be evaluated based on relevance, originality, significance and expected impact. Winners of the EMC Graduate Project Competition will be announced on the 1st of September, 2016 and will stand a chance to win financial exciting prizes.

The competition is sponsored by the EMC's Egyptian Centre of Excellence (COE), which continues to focus investments in Universities' program, community activities, innovation and joint-research in a bid to build and leverage a regional talent pool. Through this exercise the Egypt COE also will identify and recruit aspiring professionals as part of its growth plan to make more significant regional impact.

The announcement aligns with the rapid expansion of the EMC Academic Alliance Program that has seen EMC partner with over 170 leading universities from across the region. The program offers unique, "open" curriculum-based education that is aimed at helping students bridge the gap between what they are taught in universities and the skills needed to succeed in the steadily evolving IT industry.

As enterprises across the region continue to invest in third platform technologies such as cloud, social, mobile and big data to drive competitive differentiation and enhance service delivery, the EMC Academic Alliance is a first of its kind industry- academia partnership that is designed to help students acquire the education and practical skills required to manage and operate complex third platform driven infrastructure.

Over the last three years, over 5000 students across the region have availed of the courses offered as part of the EMC Academic Alliance Program on topics including virtualization, cloud computing, big data analytics, information storage and management, and data protection. The courses based on truly "open" curriculum focuses on concepts and principles applicable to any vendor environment, enabling students to develop highly marketable knowledge and skills demanded by today's evolving IT industry.

In 2015, 1000 students have earned the prestigious EMC Academic Associate  certification demonstrating their proficiency to potential employers, and aiding their progress to more advanced technology education courses and certifications from EMC--all designed to help fill the current shortage of skilled workers in the IT industry.

EMC Quote:

Mohammed Amin, Senior Vice President, Turkey, Eastern Europe, Africa and Middle East (TEEAM) at EMC Corporation

"We are excited to announce this unique platform that not only seeks to encourage creativity and innovation but allows students to leverage all that they have learnt under the EMC Academic Alliance umbrella. As the region continues to witness the accelerated adoption of third platform technologies, we believe it is our responsibility as a leader in innovation to share the skills, knowledge and best practices that the next generation of IT leaders would require. We are confident that the inaugural EMC Graduate Project Competition will be the first of many, offering students and universities a platform to highlight their best and most outstanding minds in Information and Communications Technology."

Partner University Quotes:

Prof. Dr.Yousef Rashed, Deputy Secretary General, Supreme Council of universities, Egypt

"The Supreme Council of universities is proud to have partnered with EMC Academic Alliance to be a part of the globally renowned community that gives students the opportunity to leverage the best in class education, keeping them up to date with the latest trends and developments in the ICT industry. The EMC Graduate Project Competition is a fitting start for the IT leaders of tomorrow, giving them a platform to share their ideas and innovation. We look forward to working with EMC to continue to create an engaging and inspiration learning environment for students, equipping them with the industry knowledge, expertise and outlook to achieve both academic and professional excellence."

Prof. Dr. Joseph Sevilla, Director, @iLabAfrica at Strathmore Universit, Kenya

"We are extremely proud to announce the next step in our successful association with the EMC Academic Alliance that offers our students a creative new stage to bring their brilliant ideas to life. EMC has truly embodied the role of an IT enabler, offering open, vendor agnostic education in an era of hyper connectivity and digitization.  We at @iLabAfrica in Strathmore University, have always endeavored to offer our students the best in learning and engage them in platforms that prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow. We welcome the Graduate Project Competition and wish all the participating candidates the best of luck."

Dr.Lamya Fouad Daghestani, Assistant Professor in Computer Science Department, Vice Dean of College of Computing and Information Technology at King Abdulaziz University- Jeddah

 "King Abdulaziz University is honored to be part of this visionary initiative as it seeks to create enormous opportunities for students to leverage all their knowledge and skills to fuel ideas that not only shape the future of the ICT industry but bring creativity and innovation at the very core of the competitive differentiation and business growth. We look forward to coming together from leading universities from across the region along with leading academicians and EMC to introduce a platform for student participation to drive the wider industry agenda. We are all excited to see the many creative projects from the participating students."

© Press Release 2016