First Data and the State of Rhode Island to Partner to Create a Smart Government Innovation Center

Center will develop research tools for state and local governments, leveraging advanced analytics and big data

NEW YORK, MAY 31, 2017 – First Data (NYSE: FDC), a global leader in commerce-enabling technology, today announced the company will partner with the state of Rhode Island to serve as a founding member of a Providence-based smart government innovation center. The center will be the first such research partnership of its kind for First Data, and will leverage innovative research developed with the state’s leading educational institutions to address evolving needs in the public sector for data-driven policy design.

First Data will be the inaugural partner for the center, and it is expected that more for-profit organizations will join the effort. The center, to be located in Providence’s College Hill neighborhood, is expected to employ approximately 30 staff members, consisting of full time research faculty, graduate fellows, and student interns recruited from the State’s local universities. Talent for the center will be staffed through partnerships with local educational institutions and led by experts in each respective research area.

The center will primarily focus on research that addresses emerging issues in public and fiscal policy research. This will include the development of analytical tools that leverage proprietary and public financial data to assist in revenue estimating, consumer behavior forecasting, budget development, policy design, and innovation in digital commerce.

Among the institutions First Data will work with to develop data-driven innovative policy solutions is the Rhode Island Innovative Policy Lab (RIIPL) at Brown University – a state-of-the-art research lab with more than 30 behavioral economists, data scientists, and policy analysts dedicated to unlocking the power of data and science to improve policy, alleviate poverty, and increase economic opportunity.

“At First Data, we are committed to driving forward the future of commerce. This partnership will give us access to the best and brightest minds from within Rhode Island’s borders, building on years of research and development experience at First Data,” said Frank Bisignano, Chairman and CEO, First Data. “Governor Raimondo’s statewide government innovation and policy research initiatives, combined with Rhode Island’s role as an academic hub in New England, uniquely positions the state as a location for the center.”

“Rhode Island has maintained a long history of regional leadership in finance. Now, Rhode Island is partnering with the industry leader in commerce technology, First Data, to drive the latest solutions for government innovation,” said Governor Gina Raimondo. “We are excited to be a part of this new initiative that pairs some of our best resources with First Data’s expertise.”

The global market for predictive analytics and big data is expected to grow radically in the next three years. Estimates from the International Data Corporation predict the market will grow from US$130.1 billion as of 2016 to a projected $203 billion by 2020. The smart government center will leverage First Data’s expertise within the FinTech industry and its premier data and analytics capabilities to produce research and analytical tools with government applications. The tools developed by the center will be designed for eventual use by other local and state government agencies through pilot programs.

The placement of the center in Providence provides a distinct geographic advantage. Providence serves as a financial hub for the surrounding region, with many companies and banks that maintain a major presence in the city. Rhode Island is also home to Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public affairs and the recently-founded Government Innovation League, a government incubator founded under the Raimondo administration. The smart government innovation center would help to develop tools for agencies across all levels of government, with the goal of producing an impact that would be felt at the local and national level.

First Data’s Government Solutions group offers a unique combination of government program experience and technology expertise to help government organizations meet the demand for lower costs, as well as more efficient and effective government service.

About First Data

First Data (NYSE: FDC) is a global leader in commerce-enabling technology and solutions, serving approximately six million business locations and 4,000 financial institutions in more than 100 countries around the world. The company’s 24,000 owner-associates are dedicated to helping companies, from start-ups to the world’s largest corporations, conduct commerce every day by securing and processing more than 2,800 transactions per second and $2.2 trillion per year.


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