Cincinnati Insurance Expands R&D

OhioJobs grant accelerates digital, data transformation

By Terry Troy

Thanks to a $2.5 million JobsOhio R&D Center Grant, the Cincinnati Insurance Companies is growing its internal innovation team with the focus of enhancing speed and convenience for its insurance agents and consumers. Cincinnati Insurance Companies is the lead property casualty subsidiary of the Cincinnati Financial Corporation.

The insurance company plans to further increase its activities at the University of Cincinnati’s 1819 Innovation Hub, UC’s flagship building in the growing Cincinnati Innovation District. The company leased space in the 1819 building two years ago that serves as its center for recruiting and engagement activities at UC, and for offsite innovation initiatives at its Fairfield headquarters.

“It was exciting to partner with the JobsOhio team on this process and see how the way we are developing innovation at our company mirrors what is taking place across the state,” said Brad Purnhagen, Cincinnati Insurance’s Strategic Innovation lead.

“This assistance from JobsOhio will deepen our dedicated innovation capability and expand the team that supports innovation across our company,” added Wendi Bukowitz, vice president and director of Strategic Innovation for Cincinnati Insurance. “Big data, advanced analytic modeling and the rise of InsurTech present opportunities for us to serve independent insurance agents and their customers in new ways, helping them to better identify, understand and manage risk.”

The company will also provide unique learning opportunities for UC students who will be working alongside Cincinnati Insurance associates, developing skills that will support higher-compensated jobs in areas such as data science and artificial intelligence that are aligned with future business requirements.

“As the financial services sector evolves, there is a growing need to strengthen the capabilities of innovative companies like Cincinnati Insurance,” said J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO. “Assisting Cincinnati Insurance’s digital and data transformation will help them to build upon an already outstanding environment as they develop advanced technology and data science career opportunities in Southwest Ohio.”

J.P. Nauseef, JobsOhio president and CEO

“With more than $14.2 billion of activity every year, financial services represent one of the key strengths of the Cincinnati region’s economy,” said Kimm Lauterbach, president and CEO of REDI Cincinnati. “The Cincinnati Insurance Companies’ announcement marks the latest commitment from an industry leader to the region’s success. Cincinnati Insurance is well-positioned for the future due to their partnership with UC and its placement in the Cincinnati Innovation District.”

Kimm Lauterbach, REDI Cincinnati president

According to JobsOhio, Ohio is the No. 5 largest financial services industry in the U.S. The state is No. 3 in top 50 bank headquarters and No. 4 in top 50 insurance headquarters by assets.