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CGI and Edinburgh Napier University announce digital partnership

IT consulting firm CGI and Edinburgh Napier University have partnered to help improve the stakeholder experience for those involved in higher education, while growing the Scottish digital economy.

The agreement will see CGI leverage its business advisory and technology expertise to bring the university’s research capabilities into areas such as improving health and security outcomes for society.

Edinburgh Napier has also joined CGI’s Sustainability Exploration and Environmental Data Science (SEEDS) programme, in partnership with the United Nations.

Through SEEDS, the organisations jointly launched a digital twin centre of excellence, where five pilot projects have been initiated and the first phases already delivered, including the rehabilitation of stroke survivors so they are able to live as independently as possible.

Through this project, technologies are being used to better tailor recovery approaches for individual sufferers by computationally progressing therapy techniques, allowing students to conduct experiments in a simulated environment.

Lindsay McGranaghan, senior vice president for Scotland and Northern Ireland at CGI, said: “We are thrilled to have signed this agreement with Edinburgh Napier University, and are also very pleased that they have joined CGI’s SEEDS programme.

“We are looking forward to bringing our unique expertise to the university, and to support their vision for a new, sustainable, far-reaching digital stakeholder experience.“

Edinburgh Napier University is one of the universities in Scotland with which CGI already has a Graduate Apprenticeship Programme, which sees apprentices study towards a BSc Honours in IT Management for Business, while also working on real-life projects at CGI, with a starting salary.

Nick Antonopoulos, deputy vice chancellor and director of research at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Our partnership will aim to strengthen the university’s ability to digitise important services for staff and students.

“It will also create opportunities for collaborative research and the joint development of intellectual property in the fields of health, wellbeing and sustainability.”

Future ambitions for the partnership include creating sustainability exemplars to improve stakeholder experiences, such as CGI DataTwin360 ­– a digital twinning technology incorporating augmented reality which streams real-time data to help the university better understand and reduce the carbon footprint of its hosting platforms.

The two organisations will also work together on testing the application of augmented reality to wayfinding around Napier’s facilities, as well as using emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence.

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