Association recognized as leading technology-based economic development initiative
Columbia, S.C. — iTs|SC: Columbia’s Insurance Technology & Services Cluster, an initiative managed by New Carolina – South Carolina’s Council on Competitiveness, was selected by the International Economic Development Council to receive the Gold Award for Technology-Based Economic Development programs serving populations of 200,000-500,000. The top honor in the category, the award focuses on economic development efforts that stimulate and support the growth of technology-intensive firms and sectors as the key drivers of prosperity in their communities. The award was accepted today by Tiffany Davis, senior project manager for New Carolina, on behalf of iTs|SC at the IEDC 2012 Annual Conference in Houston.
“This award further solidifies our region’s reputation as an industry leader focused on cultivating high-wage, high-growth insurance technology and services careers and companies here in Columbia and throughout the Midlands,” said City of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “I’m excited to see our city receive this international recognition as a world-class destination for new technology and innovation.”
The announcement comes on the heels of iTs|SC partnering last month with IT-oLogy and Gartner Inc. to host more than 125 information technology, insurance technology, and insurance services professionals for the Big Data Conference. This was the second year of a locally hosted Gartner event tailored towards bringing key leaders and executives together to network, build intellectual capacity and connect to emerging technology topics. This year’s event was again held at the IT-oLogy facility in downtown Columbia, with leading Gartner analysts discussing trends in information technology, including those specific to the insurance industry.
During the morning, premiere Gartner analyst Doug Laney discussed the future of analytics and the economics of information. The afternoon session, led by iTs|SC, featured case studies highlighting Columbia’s competitive advantages in Big Data as applied to the insurance technology and services industry as well as an executive panel on growth and opportunity both in the region and industry. The day included a networking lunch, sponsored by IBM, and a networking reception hosted in partnership with Tech After Five and sponsored by Advanced Automation Consulting, a member of both iTs|SC and IT-oLogy.
The Columbia region is home to one of the nation’s leading insurance technology and services clusters, employing approximately 15,000 insurance technology and services professionals at an average annual salary of $62,000, nearly twice the state average. The industry generates more than $4.9 billion in annual sales with a nearly $6.7 billion total annual economic impact for the state of South Carolina.
iTs|SC will host iTs|Social, the group’s signature quarterly networking event, from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Oct 23. The group will confirm the location at the end of the week on its website and through its mailing list. All professionals in insurance technology and services in the Columbia region are welcome to attend the social. RSVP at www.its-sc.com for the no-cost event.
iTs|SC: Columbia’s Insurance Technology & Services Cluster, is a New Carolina cluster dedicated to promoting the Greater Columbia area’s wealth of opportunities within the insurance technology and services sector. Representing 10 private sector companies and 5 public partners, its mission is to foster a collaborative environment where the private sector, government, and higher education work to strengthen industry competitiveness, develop a world class talent pool, and enhance Columbia, South Carolina’s reputation as a premier destination for insurance technology and services. Membership is open to any company or organization connected to insurance technology and services. News, events, and information can be found online at www.its–sc.com.
About New Carolina
New Carolina – South Carolina’s Council on Competitiveness – is a public/private partnership working to increase per capita income and enhance South Carolina’s economic competitiveness through cluster economic development strategy. New Carolina has a proven track record for streamlining and coordinating statewide industry efforts and brings valuable insights to the table for connecting the dots and achieving lasting collaborative economic development solutions. For more information, visit www.newcarolina.org.