IGT partners with UNB’s McKenna Institute to advance gaming technologies, AI research

International Game Technology (IGT) has inked a 5-year agreement with the McKenna Institute at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), Canada, to fund the expansion of the university’s software curriculum.

As part of the agreement, IGT will fund the creation of two new faculty positions and an innovation director role. Besides, IGT will work closely with the university and the McKenna Institute to create research and educational opportunities in the subjects of artificial intelligence (AI), data science and gaming software, and hardware platforms and automation. IGT will also fund contributions towards technology and scholarships.

“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,” said Dr. Paul Mazerolle, UNB’s president and vice chancellor.

McKenna Institute endeavors to actively position New Brunswick as a globally competitive digital economy. The institute works with business, academia, and government on a number of initiatives including fostering digital literacy, attracting top talent to New Brunswick, idea generation, growth acceleration, support for research and development, and job creation for the region.

“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, IGT CEO of Global Gaming.

“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.”

The McKenna Institute and UNB’s faculty of computer science are investing in practical, agile solutions to advance the development of digital industries across New Brunswick in “a rapidly digitizing world.”

UNB is Canada’s oldest English-language university, and New Brunswick’s only national comprehensive university. Founded in 1785, the multi-campus institution has a dynamic focus on innovation, experiential learning, and entrepreneurship. UNB has more than 9,500 students from nearly 75 countries while several thousand more take UNB courses online and at partner institutions around the world.