This week, robotic process automation company UiPath said it will donate software to the George Mason University School of Business. The goal is to provide resources for students to learn about robotic technology.
Valued at $16.4 million, the donation by New York-based UiPath includes 8,200 three-year user licenses valued at $2,000 each.
“This game-changing contribution of RPA software and support from UiPath will be a valuable complement to the school’s focus on the future of work, and will help our students gain insight into new models for business,” said Maury Peiperl, dean of the GMU School of Business, in a statement. “The opportunity for students and faculty to work with innovators like UiPath is an immense benefit to all involved.”
Robotic process automation, or RPA, allows users to configure computer software to mimic how a human would interact with a digital system. This can set up the “robot” to perform a business process that is repetitive for humans. The software itself is already integrated into the school’s curriculum, including the Intro to Business Information Systems course that is required for all undergraduate students.
GMU has been showing interest in bringing robots to the Fairfax campus of late: In January 2019, for instance, the university introduced a fleet of 25 food delivery robots.
UiPath has also been a part of efforts to expand access to robots around the D.C. area. Last year, the company partnered with tech inclusion org Byte Back to promote diversity in the robotics workforce. It also has a partnership with Arlington-based BAE Systems.
“Al and automation will create more than 100 million new jobs in the near future,” said Tom Clancy, SVP of UiPath Learning. “We are UiPath see it as our responsibility to help close this emerging skills gap by empowering tomorrow’s workforce to understand how to best use this technology to their personal and their future employers’ advantage.”