Georgia Tech Played a Key Role in NCR\'s Relocation to Georgia

Future Collaborations Are Planned with the Technology Firm

Georgia Tech played a significant role in one of Georgia's largest economic development successes -- the move of Fortune 500 corporation NCR to Georgia. And the company will be looking to Georgia Tech as a source of engineering talent and as a partner in development of future technology innovations.

Flanked by NCR officials, Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue on June 2 announced that the company would move more than 2,100 jobs to the state by relocating its headquarters to Duluth and by developing a new advanced manufacturing facility in Columbus.

"The opportunity to partner with top-tier academic institutions such as Georgia Tech was one reason among many that we made this decision," said Bill Nuti, NCR's chairman and chief executive officer.

Currently based in Dayton, Ohio, NCR is best known for automated teller machines (ATMs), self-service kiosks and other assisted- and self-service solutions. The Columbus facility, which will employ 870 people over the next five years, will produce advanced technology equipment enabling consumers to use ATM kiosks for a growing number of financial transactions.

Working with Georgia Tech's Strategic Partners Office, NCR officials learned about a broad range of Georgia Tech resources and expertise -- in collaboration with the University System's Intellectual Capital Partnership Program (ICAPP) and the Georgia Research Alliance (GRA).

The Governor's announcement specifically mentioned the College of Computing, Health Systems Institute, Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and College of Management as potential collaborators for NCR. In addition, company officials have been briefed on resources available at the Georgia Electronic Design Center (GEDC), Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center (GVU) and Georgia Tech Information Security Center (GTISC), said Strategic Partners Officer Greg King.

"The company is interested in both ensuring access to a highly educated work force and in linking to the innovation in Georgia Tech's research and development network," King explained. "There are many advanced technology areas in which Georgia Tech and NCR have interests in common."

More than a year ago, King began meeting with NCR officials to learn about the company's needs and to pinpoint potential areas of interest at Georgia Tech. That led to a campus meeting for NCR management with Mark Allen, Georgia Tech's Senior Vice Provost for Research and Innovation. Additional follow-on discussions about potential collaborations were also held.

"Georgia Tech is committed to supporting innovation through university-industry collaborations, and we believe there are many opportunities for us to work with NCR," said Allen. "We welcome this opportunity to work with NCR as the company develops new cutting-edge products and processes."

Georgia Tech will be involved in assisting the development of NCR's Columbus manufacturing operation through an ICAPP-supported project in production design, agile manufacturing and continuous improvement. The project will include faculty and staff from the Enterprise Innovation Institute, Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and College of Management.

"This project and the future collaborations are excellent examples of how Georgia Tech works with organizations such as the Georgia Department of Economic Development, the University System of Georgia's ICAPP program and the Georgia Research Alliance to impact investment and growth in the state," said Carl Rust, director of the Strategic Partners Office.

NCR's connections to Georgia Tech go back more than 20 years to the launch of a new product development group in the Advanced Technology Development Center's former incubator on 10th Street. Since then, the company has had a significant presence in the state, and in 2008 had announced that it would establish a global Center of Excellence in Peachtree City.

"The decision to consolidate functions in Georgia and build a technology-focused corporate headquarters campus is right in line with our business strategy to drive growth, improve our innovation output, increase productivity and continually upgrade our focus on the customer," Nuti said in the June 2 announcement.

NCR will join 13 other Fortune 500 companies and 29 other Fortune 1,000 companies already headquartered in Georgia.

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Writer: John Toon