date and time icon Tue, 21 Nov 2023

Edinburgh Napier and global IT giant CGI announce new strategic partnership

CGI, one of the largest independent IT and business consulting services firms in the world, and Edinburgh Napier University have agreed a new partnership, with the aim of supporting research and developing a skilled workforce for the Scottish digital economy.

The agreement will see the firm’s globally-recognised IT and business advisory services expertise, as well as the latest digital technology, used to enhance ENU’s research capabilities.

Edinburgh Napier has also joined CGI’s Sustainability Exploration and Environmental Data Science (SEEDS) programme, a new research project developed in partnership with academia and 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.

Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director of Research at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “I am delighted to welcome the development of a strategic partnership between CGI and Edinburgh Napier University.

“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 IP in the fields of health, wellbeing and sustainability.

“I am also excited to announce that, as part of this partnership, CGI and Edinburgh Napier University are launching a joint Centre of Excellence in Digital Twins with a particular focus on developing AI, together with advanced technology tools and solutions to support sustainability in the environment, businesses and broader society.”

Lindsay McGranaghan, Senior Vice President, 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.CGI logo

“As a recognised global provider of IT and business consulting services, 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 is already working with CGI for its Graduate Apprenticeship Programme. This sees apprentices study towards a BSc Honours in IT Management for Business, while also developing their career working on real-life projects at CGI, with a paid starting salary.

“This new partnership is a natural extension of our already excellent relationship,” continued CGI’s McGranaghan. “The university not only supports our Graduate Programme but also collaborates with us on other ground-breaking initiatives. These can now be enhanced to involve other educational establishments who share our values of investing in new, innovative, and proactive intellectual property.”

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 and provides carbon accounting that will deliver insights for Edinburgh Napier University. This will help the university better understand and reduce the carbon footprint of its hosting platforms.

The two organisations will work closely together as part of an ecosystem delivering new experiences. This will include testing the application of augmented reality to wayfinding around the facilities. CGI is also assisting with developing a future focussed digital campus for students, employees and visitors following a digital maturity assessment earlier this year.

CGI and Edinburgh Napier University will also explore the potential of a significant step change in digital transformation in a university setting, using emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things, collaboration toolsets and Artificial Intelligence (AI). The partnership will evolve on a business case by business case basis, with the potential to extend it to other partners such as public sector bodies, colleges and universities.

Pictured (L-R): Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Edinburgh Napier University Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director of Research & Innovation, Lindsay McGranaghan, CGI Senior Vice President and Scotland Business Unit leader and Andy McGoff, Edinburgh Napier University Finance Director 
Professor Nick Antonopoulos, Lindsay McGranaghan, Andy McGoff