IGT has agreed a five-year deal with the McKenna Institute at the University of New Brunswick (UNB) to help develop the next generation of talent for the gaming industry.
The partners will collaborate to create research and educational opportunities in the subjects of AI, data science and gaming software and hardware platforms and automation, as part of an expansion of the university’s software curriculum.
IGT will also fund contributions towards technology and scholarships and the creation of two new faculty positions, as well as an Innovation Director role.
“We’re excited to establish this strategic agreement between IGT, UNB and the McKenna Institute to fortify gaming technology, data science and artificial intelligence platforms at UNB,” said Renato Ascoli, CEO of Global Gaming at IGT.
“IGT’s strong commitment to New Brunswick takes an important step forward with our establishment of this significant research and educational partnership in the region.
“Our investment can greatly foster the development of a larger and more effectively aligned talent pipeline in gaming-related technologies.”
As revealed by McKenna Institute benefactor Frank McKenna at the announcement of the partnership last week – and subsequently reported by provincial daily Telegraph-Journal – IGT’s involvement will see the global gaming giant invest $3m in funding to help advance the development of digital industries across the Canadian province.
Dr. Paul Mazerolle, UNB’s President and Vice-Chancellor, added: “IGT’s investment in innovation will help UNB and the McKenna Institute establish New Brunswick as a national center for design in regulated gaming technologies. It will provide our students with increased opportunities to use AI and data science to develop knowledge and skills in a field that is in high demand.
“On behalf of everyone at UNB, I wish to thank IGT for its commitment to developing the next generation of talent for the gaming industry and beyond.”