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Embracing Technology:
Taking Ohio to Where We Need to Be in The 21st Century

Strategic Investments in Emerging Technologies, Such as Self-Driving/Connected Vehicles, Drones and Data Analytics, Will Improve Government Services, Spur Economic Growth

Our nation's most successful business operations and entrepreneurships have one strategy in common: they are all embracing technology. Unfortunately, government at every level has failed to match that pace, being too slow or too unwilling to keep up with a rapidly changing world. As a result, the public sector has lost momentum in the way it operates, spends money and serves its citizens. But in recent years, under Governor John Kasich's leadership, Ohio has been working to build a much different model, one that keeps government ahead of the curve with advances in technology that lead with innovative, forward-looking improvements in its programs and makes strategic investments in technologies that encourage economic growth. In fact, Ohio was one of only five states to recently earn an "A" from industry experts for its work to advance technology.* With provisions in the FYs 2018-2019 budget, the state continues to build on that model with a number of new or expanded initiatives.

*Center for Digital Government and Government Technology magazine, September 2016.

Unlocking the Full Power of State Government's Data Resources: The new budget takes the benefits of advanced data analytics to the next level by requiring all state agencies, boards and commissions to share the data they now store in more than 1,600 separate databases. By better connecting and correlating these individual data resources and applying advanced analytical technologies, the state can tackle complex problems with solutions that improve Ohioans' health, security and well-being. While in each instance a database holds valuable uses for its specific program, it is presently rare - and often technically difficult - for that information to be systematically examined in any depth. Now, by removing barriers between the various databases, data from one can be cross-analyzed with other databases or shared with other agencies in ways that can help address more holistically such statewide problems as infant mortality, child welfare issues, opiate addiction, persistent poverty, and school dropout rates.

Building on Ohio's Leadership Role in the Development of Advanced Transportation Technologies: The Kasich Administration is committed to embracing the future of transportation with new investments and forward-looking policies to ensure that Ohio maintains its leadership position with research and implementation of "smart mobility" applications, including autonomous and connected vehicles, drones and other emerging transportation technologies [see separate fact sheet]. By taking full advantage of Ohio's transportation heritage and ability to lead in developing next-generation technologies, Ohio is well positioned to attract major new investments in the research, infrastructure and the jobs that will follow.

Using Innovation and New Technologies to Improve Transportation for Those Seeking Health Care Services: Over the past six years, as the state has improved health care coordination for the most vulnerable Ohioans, the transportation system many rely upon to access medical appointments has not adopted innovations to improve its services. The new state budget streamlines Ohio's existing non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) system by moving from separate, county-administered programs to a single, more efficient model. Modernization of this system incentivizes the use of new technologies in order to make the system run more efficiently, while improving access to high quality transportation services for Ohioans on Medicaid - no matter where they live - and saving taxpayers an estimated $13 million or more over the biennium.

Encouraging New Business Development Through University Discoveries: To encourage more technology commercialization and the formation of start-up businesses using discoveries made at Ohio's public colleges and universities, the budget directs schools to adopt policies to break down barriers to taking intellectual property to the marketplace. In addition, the chancellor may consider whether an institution has a tenure track for faculty members who pursue commercialization activities in order for that institution to receive research funds from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

BOTTOM LINE: The new state budget reinforces Gov. Kasich's commitment to keeping Ohio ahead of the curve with new technologies and innovations, making strategic investments to ensure our state's continuing leadership in areas such as self-driving vehicles and smart highways, drones, cybersecurity and advanced data analytics. Not only can these and other new technologies help state government become more efficient with its operations and services, they will also be fundamental for Ohio's economic growth and expanding job opportunities in the 21st century.