Collective Effort Yields Big Data Results with the Formation of the Columbus Collaboratory

One Columbus and Central Ohio’s leading organizations partner to drive technological advancement, economic growth across the Columbus Region

March 5, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio – On February 25, 2014, leaders from Central Ohio’s top organizations signed an agreement to invest a total of $28 million to establish the Columbus Collaboratory, an advanced technology company that will focus on driving solutions in the areas of big data, analytics and cyber security. The Columbus Collaboratory will address common technology challenges to create solutions that transcend industries, enhance operational efficiencies and improve service for customers.

This new company is the result of One Columbus’s efforts to bring together a task force of public and private entities comprised of chief information officers from Nationwide, Cardinal Health, Limited Brands, Huntington Bank, Battelle, American Electric Power and OhioHealth. The task force was created to explore opportunities to drive economic growth and spur job creation in the Columbus Region through a focus on emerging technology trends.

“These industry leaders came together for the benefit of the community and quickly learned that by working together they could generate solutions to common technology problems,” said Kenny McDonald, chief economic officer, One Columbus. “As a result, a task force was formed with the goal of creating a formal organization that could serve as a single point of contact for sharing knowledge, developing talent and exploring joint research projects.”

The Columbus Region, with the support One Columbus, can now lay claim to a thriving technology- focused landscape with the addition of projects like the Columbus Collaboratory, the formation of the IBM Client Center: Analytics Solutions Lab, and the recent establishment of academic programs at The Ohio State University. The unique combination of these entities that work across multiple industries distinguishes Central Ohio as a magnet for top IT talent from around the world.

“The companies that are investing in the Columbus Collaboratory are very committed to the success and economic development of the Columbus Region,” said Mike Keller, executive vice president and chief information officer at Nationwide. “After a great deal of study, we have decided to work together in the fields of data and analytics and cyber security. By doing so, we will grow high value jobs in the Region and close the significant talent gap in these critical fields.”

The Columbus Collaboratory will enable member companies to:

Learn: Establish an advanced and entry-level curriculum to help prepare the current and future workforce

Explore: Sponsor joint proof of concepts and research projects

Collaborate: Drive synergies and efficiencies across member companies

Build Talent: Build and recruit talent locally and from other regions

This venture is expected to create 100 jobs over three years in the Region. Creating meaningful jobs is a collective win for businesses and the community. The entity will be governed by a Board of Managers that will include representation from each task force member organization. It will be led by an interim CEO, Battelle’s Brad Ashbrook, while a national search is conducted for a permanent CEO.

The Columbus Collaboratory will facilitate learning opportunities that will provide IT professionals access to continued education and training, which will allow them to stay ahead of the curve. The organization will also explore joint research projects that yield a long-term impact to the advancement of technology.

For more information about the Columbus Collaboratory please visit


About One Columbus
One Columbus is a public-private partnership that leverages the strengths of the Columbus Region’s talented workforce, small and large businesses, research and academic institutions, and international connections to ignite economic growth and build a healthier, more sustainable future for Central Ohio. The initiative grows our economy by ensuring that our existing companies are growing and thriving, that the world’s leading companies are attracted to the 11-county region, that innovations are cultivated and commercialized, and that our civic infrastructure is continually improving to meet the challenges of a rapidly evolving world economy. For more information, visit

Kenny McDonald

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