Rapid Innovation Through Collaboration

Ben Blanquera, Columbus Collaboratory Vice President of Delivery and Experience

Photo by Kim Wanamaker


In 2014, seven diverse Columbus area companies joined forces to create the Columbus Collaboratory. Working together on complex challenges common to member companies, the Collaboratory develops solutions that enhance operational efficiencies and competitiveness for the member companies and have application in the broader market. Now, in 2018, with an impressive track record of accomplishment in the areas of cybersecurity, data analytics and talent development, the Collaboratory plans to extend this unique model to include the Greater Cincinnati technology ecosystem. 


Columbus Collaboratory Vice President of Delivery and Experience Ben Blanquera talked about the member companies and the Collaboratory initiatives. “The success of the organization lies in the diversity of its members, but also in their shared aspiration to use technology to spur innovation for their companies. Collaboration has been a powerful accelerant for innovation.” The seven founding companies are: American Electric Power Co., Battelle, Cardinal Health Inc., Huntington Bancshares Inc., L Brands Inc., Nationwide, and OhioHealth.

Cybersecurity has been a major focus. A never-ending arms race, collaboration has increased the ROI for every dollar the member companies have invested. Sharing tools, strategies and discovered vulnerabilities has been the purview of the bad guys. The Collaboratory – the good guys – have developed a Threat Intelligence platform, a unique solution for sharing and acting in real time with security peers.

Talent development initiatives have also been directed towards cybersecurity. The unique talent of mature, experienced cybersecurity analysts is rare, hard to acquire or to grow. Those talented individuals want easy access to and interaction with their peers, not jobs as lonely adjuncts in IT. The Collaboratory has established a one-of-a-kind cybersecurity rotation program. Nationally sourced candidates rotate through the seven member companies in a two-year program that has proven to accelerate their growth and experience level.

The diversity of the Collaboratory presents challenges and opportunities for advanced data analytics initiatives.  The Collaboratory uses a case driven approach to delivering functional solutions leveraging advanced analytics technologies like machine learning. Collaboratory data scientists leverage data and workflows to predict, automate and deliver valuable insights. Blanquera says, “A successful analytics strategy requires a broad portfolio approach.” Collaboratory services explore and evaluate opportunities to create business value from analytics and identify requirements for the minimal solution to proceed.

The Columbus Collaboratory will utilize a subscription model to extend its reach into greater Cincinnati. They believe companies in the vibrant Cincinnati technology environment can significantly benefit and contribute to the Collaboratory. They are eager to open dialog with startups and established names within the region.


The Columbus Collaboratory is located at 1375 Perry Street, Columbus, OH 43201. For more information, call 614.591.0440 or visit www.columbuscollaboratory.com/Company