MDM Team Wins Top Telefonica Award at International R&D Fair

MDM Team Wins Top Telefonica Award at International R&D Fair

Vancouver, BC, November 28, 2008 - Movisphere, a virtual world games arcade developed by students of the Masters of Digital Media (MDM) Program in collaboration with Telefonica, won top honours in the "Best New Business Opportunity" Category at Telefonica's Second Annual Research Fair earlier this month. More than 60 entries were received from Telefonica's Research and Development Centres around the world.

Movisphere earned the award for its multiplatform virtual world arcade. Based on a microtransactional model, the platform will enable third party developers to upload multi-player games to an environment where users can play them on either PC or mobile device.

Based in Spain, Telefonica is a leading telecommunications provider with more than 245 million customers in 25 countries. Telefonica actively encourages and supports innovation through initiatives such as the Research Fair where the best new ideas in Internet, mobile technology, videoconferencing, P2P, TV, 3D Visualization, e-Health and other technologies are presented and judged. More than 800 of its top executives, directors and senior managers participated in this year’s event.

Fernando Fournon, President of Telefonica’s research arm spoke at the Research Fair about the company’s commitment to innovation. “This is a great opportunity to see first-hand products currently under development and how these innovative ideas can become reality.”

Recognizing the expertise and talent at the Centre for Digital Media, Telefónica sought out the students of the Masters of Digital Media Program to work on a prototype.  For the past two months MDM graduate students Elmar dela Cruz, McKane Lee, Karthik Venkateshan and Bill Zhao have been working on this innovative and technically challenging project with Telefonica’s Juan Jorda del Amo and Alberto Lumbreras.  A prototype which will include a number of fully-functional features will be presented December 2008.

The MDM/Telefonica team were thrilled with the award, as was Dr. Gerri Sinclair, Executive Director of the MDM Program. “The fact that they did their presentation over video conference and still won is absolutely amazing and a testament to the fantastic accomplishment of the team” she said.

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About the Masters of Digital Media (MDM) Program, Centre for Digital Media @ Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC)
Launched in September 2007, the Masters of Digital Media (MDM) Program is an innovative, full-time professional master’s degree offering students team-based experiences focused on project learning in close collaboration with the international digital media industry. Housed in the Centre for Digital Media at Great Northern Way Campus, the MDM is a 20-month program and includes a paid summer internship.

Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC), established in 2001, is a collaborative educational innovation that combines the strengths of four leading academic institutions: the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology. The MDM graduate degree bears the seals of these four academic partners.

About Telefonica
Telefonica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalization. Its activities are centered mainly on the fixed and mobile telephony businesses with broadband as the key tool for the development of both.

Telefonica has a significant presence in 25 countries and a customer base that amounts to more than 245 million accesses around the world. Telefonica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy.

Media Contact:    
Grace Battiston                      
Masters of Digital Media Program       
Tel: 778 370 1013     
grace_battiston@gnwc.ca