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DeWine, Husted Announce New Initiative to Make Ohio a “Leader in Technology”

By John Bush | Dayton Business Journal

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted have unveiled a new plan aimed at transforming state government into a more “effective and efficient leader” in technology to improve customer service and save tax dollars.

DeWine and Husted, who are the Republican nominees for Ohio governor and lieutenant governor, announced the program — called “InnovateOhio” — Thursday in Columbus. They were joined by a number of prominent officials in the technology space, including Myrian Capital Managing Partner J.P. Nauseef, a Dayton-area business leader and chairman of the board at Krush Media, a digital advertising and media company. Nauseef is also the former CEO of the Dayton Development Coalition.

Also joining the pair were VentureOhio CEO Falon Donohue; Agile Networks CEO Kyle Quillen; NCT Ventures & Columbus Partnership member Rich Langdale; and Bernie Moreno Companies CEO Bernie Moreno.

“We want to bring the best and brightest technology minds into the conversation on how we improve state and local government,” Husted said. “The private sector uses innovative ideas and technology to improve their customer service and save money, and there is no reason we can’t bring that approach to the way our government operates.”

The goal of InnovateOhio is to gather the best tech companies and creative entrepreneurs in the state to help modernize state and local government, officials say. The plan centers around several initiatives, including:

  • Create a “SmartOhio Operating System” and require state departments to engage in data sharing to improve the efficiency of services across state government, and give the capacity to provide for predictive analytics to solve problems before they occur.
  • Improve procurement by opening up the bidding process to encourage more participation, lower costs, more public accountability, better customer service and state pricing for local governments.
  • Modernize paper-to-digital records by using blockchain technology to create secure digital records and improve convenience. Things such as car titles, proof of insurance, vehicle recall notices and license plates can all be made available.
  • Create an advisory council of Ohio business and technology leaders to advise the administration on how the state can improve customer service.
  • Build a public/private partnership where the private sector can bring data and analytic sharing solutions into government to improve the way public services are delivered.
  • Create a competition of ideas to support innovative research in health care, education, social services, criminal justice, and basic government services such as licensing, permits and registrations.

Other goals of the program include modernizing technology in Ohio’s classrooms; making the state a leader in computer science and coding; designing a match-making application that connects people seeking work to businesses who are hiring; and expanding broadband infrastructure across Ohio to make it a frontrunner in mobile-edge technologies.

“Jon Husted and I have both made using technology to improve services to the people we serve a top priority in both the Secretary of State and Attorney General’s offices,” DeWine said. “I believe it’s imperative that we implement efficiencies across state government to make it work better for people and save taxpayer dollars.”

To execute the initiatives they are proposing, DeWine and Husted said there will need to be a strong pipeline of talent. The workforce component is the topic Nauseef spoke on, saying talent is going to carry the public-private partnership the InnovateOhio program will be built on.

Nauseef said investment in STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — need to begin in early childhood education up through graduate-level schooling.

“I think the state and governments can partner in incentivizing different disciplines that are required today while encouraging secondary education to prepare the students for the STEM disciplines of the future,” Nauseef said. “And I think if the state can play that role of creating those incentives and partnerships, then the companies we have today will get the talent in the STEM-related disciplines that they need today, and we’ll be developing and cultivating a workforce we need 10 and 20 years from now.”

Read the full article from the Dayton Business Journal by clicking here.