Newswise — MILWAUKEE _ Northwestern Mutual is forming a new partnership with Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM) to create the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute. The partnership is the latest step by the financial security company in its commitment to advance Milwaukee as a national hub for technology, research, business, and talent development.

“As business needs change, the field of data science has accelerated rapidly,” said John Schlifske, chairman and CEO, Northwestern Mutual. “Preparing our future workforce and aligning curriculum with business needs is critical to the economic vibrancy of Milwaukee. Northwestern Mutual is committed to building a center of excellence around data science, and through our partnership with Marquette University and UW-Milwaukee, we will establish Milwaukee as a data science capital with leading academic programs and career opportunities.”

Over the next five years, Northwestern Mutual and its Foundation, will contribute $15 million and Marquette University and UWM will each commit $1.25 million to support an endowed professorship at each university, research projects, new data science faculty, development of expanded curriculum, K-12 STEM learning opportunities, and pre-college programming.

Each university will also make an investment of approximately $10 million in support of data science, bringing the total investment in the Institute to nearly $40 million. The universities’ investments will help fund teaching and research by existing data science faculty, allowing them to continue and expand their work in this exciting field.

“Regions thrive when organizations creatively address common challenges from different perspectives,” said Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell. “Northwestern Mutual, UW-Milwaukee and Marquette are creating an exceptional, unprecedented partnership to further the economic renaissance under way in Milwaukee. Marquette will strengthen the collaboration through our data science major, which gives students the skills needed to transform data into knowledge that will benefit society.”

Components of the Northwestern Mutual Data Science Institute, including hiring interim co-directors and curriculum planning, will begin on June 30, 2018 and the first classes in the Institute will launch as part of the 2019-2020 academic year.

"UW-Milwaukee is thrilled to step forward in collaboration with Northwestern Mutual and Marquette University to resolve some of the most perplexing problems facing our region,” said UWM Chancellor Mark Mone. “A looming talent shortage and global competition demand that we make intelligent decisions that are driven by the plethora of data available to us all. This is easier said than done. Working together will draw us closer to building a region that is rich in technological and analytical expertise and attracts new and strengthens existing organizations and industries while enriching our communities."

Data science has become a major competitive differentiator for companies across all industries.

Using advanced statistical methods, algorithms and technology, data scientists use large data sets to make decisions, solve problems, develop strategies, and create new products aimed at giving companies a competitive advantage.

Beyond funding, Northwestern Mutual will provide classroom and office space in Cream City Labs, the company’s new innovation lab that is under construction and will open fall 2018 in Northwestern Mutual’s downtown Milwaukee campus. Northwestern Mutual data science leaders will also partner with the universities on teaching opportunities, mentoring and internship programs, and will help to provide insight on how student curriculum can better align with current business and industry needs.

To learn more about data science at Marquette University, visit the Marquette website. To learn more about data science at UWM, visit the UWM website.


About Northwestern Mutual

Northwestern Mutual has been helping families and businesses achieve financial security for more than 160 years. Through a distinctive, whole-picture planning approach, we empower our clients to make the most of every single day and plan for important moments in their future. We combine the expertise of our financial professionals with a personalized digital experience to help our clients navigate their financial lives every day. With $265.0 billion in assets, $28.1 billion in revenues, and more than $1.8 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to more than 4.5 million people who rely on us for life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, brokerage and advisory services, trust services, and discretionary portfolio management solutions. The company manages more than $125 billion of client assets through its wealth management and investment services. Northwestern Mutual ranks 97 on the 2017 FORTUNE 500 and is recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2018.

Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM), Milwaukee, WI (life and disability insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income insurance, annuities, life insurance with long-term care benefits, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (securities), broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (fiduciary and fee-based financial planning services), federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance).

About Marquette University

Marquette University is a Catholic, Jesuit university located near the heart of downtown Milwaukee, Wis., that offers a comprehensive range of majors in 11 nationally and internationally recognized colleges and schools. A Marquette education offers students a virtually unlimited number of paths and destinations and prepares them for the world by asking them to think critically about it. Our mission is the search for truth, the discovery and sharing of knowledge, the fostering of personal and professional excellence, the promotion of a life of faith and the development of leadership expressed in service to others. Along the way, we ask one thing of every student: Be The Difference.

About the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Recognized as one of the nation’s 115 top research universities, UW-Milwaukee provides a world-class education to 25,000 students from 91 countries on a budget of $653 million. Its 14 schools and colleges include Wisconsin’s only schools of architecture, freshwater sciences and public health, and it is a leading educator of nurses and teachers. UW-Milwaukee partners with leading companies to conduct joint research, offer student internships and serve as an economic engine for southeastern Wisconsin. The Princeton Review named UW-Milwaukee a 2018 “Best Midwestern” university based on overall academic excellence and student reviews, and the Sierra Club has recognized it as Wisconsin’s leading sustainable university.