UC, CID create innovative buzz with Great American Insurance partnership

Great American Insurance gains access to UC talent as new partner in Cincinnati Innovation District

As the University of Cincinnati (UC) continues to put innovation at the heart of its future through successful alliances with the nation’s top industries, UC announces its new partnership with the Great American Insurance Group (GAIG) — a leading specialty property and casualty insurer headquartered in the Queen City. 

The new collaboration will provide GAIG direct access to university talent as the company moves innovation projects and next-generation initiatives into UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub and joins the Cincinnati Innovation District® (CID) — aligning strongly with the university's Next Lives Here strategic direction to bend the future through innovation. 

While the CID continues to make an economic impact on the region and gain statewide and national attention, GAIG’s leaders see tremendous value in joining the thriving district. 

Aerial view of Great American Insurance Group building headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.

Great American Insurance Group headquarters in downtown Cincinnati.

Establishing a workspace in the 1819 Innovation Hub will not only provide the new partner with a unique opportunity to engage with promising diverse talent, but also to connect with other corporate CID partners to advance its innovation initiatives. 

“The addition of Great American Insurance Group to our Cincinnati Innovation District and its nerve center, our 1819 Innovation Hub, will be a mutually beneficial relationship, with expanded opportunities for our students to become better prepared to lead the future and GAIG gaining a new kind of access to student talent and faculty expertise," says UC President Neville G. Pinto.

"This marks another momentous step for innovation and our culture of ‘next’  at UC and in our region.”

As a founding member at the Center for Business Analytics (CFBA) within UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business, GAIG joins several other CFBA members, Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized and startup entities that have a presence in the 1819 Innovation Hub and CID, including: Fifth Third Bank, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, Cincinnati Bell, FIS, Hillman Accelerator, Cincy Tech, Cincinnati Insurance Companies, Kingsgate Logistics and others.  

Not your typical insurance company

portrait photo of Gary Gruber, president and COO of Great American Insurance Group

Gary Gruber, GAIG president and COO

Gary J. Gruber, GAIG’s president and chief operating officer sees the insurance industry as fundamental to enabling a strong economy where businesses can thrive and grow.

“Great American is proud of our nearly 150-year history serving many niche industries,” says Gruber. “Investing in people, technology and innovation is critical to our ongoing success. We are honored to join the Cincinnati Innovation District and establish a workspace in UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub to elevate our innovation initiatives and become part of this valuable regional ecosystem.”

Through frictionless access to UC’s wealth of resources from technical infrastructure to faculty research, GAIG leaders plan to roll up their sleeves and work alongside future talent through the direct access to UC’s 46,000+ students while providing real-world business experiential opportunities for bright minds across campus in a variety of short- and long-term student engagement projects.

COLOR Photo of Jim Niehaus.

Jim Niehaus, senior vice president and CIO for GAIG Property & Casualty Division.

“Access to top talent and infusion of new and diverse perspectives are imperative to Great American’s success,” says Jim Niehaus, senior vice president and chief information officer for Great American’s Property & Casualty Division.

“Establishing a presence within the Cincinnati Innovation District will foster collaboration with other district members, and widen our pipeline to UC’s vast array of resources. There is tremendous value in sharing knowledge, best practices, case studies and emerging focus areas, while working in a space dedicated to facilitating innovation in both physical and virtual settings.”

As UC works to significantly accelerate the number of STEM degrees by 15K over the next decade, it also plans to boost federal research at the university and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center by $2 billion. 

The CID’s ultimate goal in creating 20,000 new high-skilled jobs and boosting Ohio’s economy by an estimated $3 billion per year will help GAIG and other CID partners to attract and retain their most precious resource — highly skilled talent to the Cincinnati region.

“As part of our new innovation collaboration with Great American Insurance Group, we look forward to joining forces to solve existing and new challenges in the digitally transformative world,” says David J. Adams, the first chief innovation officer for the University of Cincinnati and architect of the Cincinnati Innovation District®.

“Access to UC’s research facilities, student talent, technical computing power and pipelines to novel ideas will create innovative ways of working and thinking that provide the game-changing talent organizations need today.”


Featured image at top: View of Great American Insurance Group's workplace inside UC's 1819 Innovation Hub. Photos/courtesy of Great American Insurance Group

About Great American Insurance Group

Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company. Based in Cincinnati, Ohio, the operations of Great American Insurance Group are engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialty commercial products for businesses. Great American Insurance Company has received an “A” (Excellent) or higher rating from the A.M. Best Company for more than 110 years (most recent rating evaluation of “A+” (Superior) affirmed October 28, 2020). The members of Great American Insurance Group are subsidiaries of American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG), also based in Cincinnati, Ohio. AFG’s common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol AFG.

About the Cincinnati Innovation District®

The Cincinnati Innovation District® is a unique and thriving ecosystem that attracts, produces, retains and develops talent by co-locating and collaborating with organizations. Unveiled in 2020 by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted, the district envelops myriad innovation assets and access to some of the world’s leading academic and research centers, organizations and talent pools. Powered by the University of Cincinnati, the CID includes the world-renowned Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and other national research centers. The district’s mission is to become a globally recognized talent hub and lead a transformational movement. The combination of industry engagement, unique experiential platforms and accessible research expertise — working at the pace of change — will become a model nationwide. For more information on the Cincinnati Innovation District, visit www.cincyid.com.

About UC's 1819 Innovation Hub

The nerve center of the Cincinnati Innovation District®. Home to startups and midsized and Fortune 500 companies, the 1819 Innovation Hub is an ecosystem that serves as a catalyst for collaboration for industry and talent. The 1819 Innovation Hub is the home to UC’s Office of Innovation, UC’s Venture Lab (a startup accelerator program), UC’s Makerspace, UC’s Office of Technology Transfer and 14 corporate partners who are seeking access to talent and proximity for cross-collaboration. Partners that are currently embedded include: Procter & Gamble, Kroger, FIS, Kingsgate Logistics, Cincinnati Bell, Kao Brands, Hillman Accelerator, CincyTech, Village Life Outreach Project, Fifth Third Bank, Cincinnati Insurance Company, Live Well Collaborative and Simpson Center for Urban Futures.

Impact Lives Here

The University of Cincinnati is leading public urban universities into a new era of innovation and impact. Our faculty, staff and students are saving lives, changing outcomes and bending the future in our city's direction. Next Lives Here.

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