Northwestern Mutual’s ~$40M Data Science Institute

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.



Over the next five years, Northwestern Mutual and its Foundation will contribute $15 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. Marquette University and UWM will each invest more than $12 million in data science education and research by existing data science faculty, bringing the total commitment in this effort to nearly $40 million.


“Regions thrive when organizations creatively address common challenges from different perspectives. Northwestern Mutual, UW-Milwaukee and Marquette are creating an exceptional, unprecedented partnership to further the economic renaissance under way in southeast Wisconsin. 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.”- Marquette University President, Michael R. Lovell.


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. 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.” – UWM Chancellor Mark Mone.


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.