Gen Re headquarters in Cologne, Germany
Gen Re headquarters in Cologne, Germany Gen Re

Five insurers and several civic groups have launched a new insurance innovation lab in Cologne, Germany focused on creating new solutions for carriers using data science and other digital technologies.

Among the co-founders are European carriers AXA, Debeka and Gothaer, Barmenia and Gen Re AG, the German reinsurer’s legal entity in the country, according to a company spokesperson. Local universities and the Cologne Chamber of Commerce and Industry round-out the member list.

“We are delighted about this initiative and are happy to actively support it, said Winfired Heinen, chairman of the board of executive directors at Gen RE AG, in a statement. “We believe it strengthens Cologne as an insurance hub and we can make a significant contribution to the discussions with our international expertise.”

The venture, dubbed InsurLab, is open to insurers, startups and related service providers, according to a press release. Ulrich Pasdika, Gen Re’s head of R&D, life & health in Germany, was elected to the association’s board along with two other insurance executives not named publicly.

“We firmly believe that cooperation between insurers and reinsurers on the one hand and a wide range of Insurtechs on the other, offers huge potential for innovative approaches,” said Pasdika. “Provided the industry maintains this collaboration in a smart, consistent way, digitalization represents a massive opportunity for it.”

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