Fostering Innovation

Background and Purpose

In general terms, innovation in business is the process of generating new ideas or approaching existing products and services in new ways.  Being open to creativity and willing to innovate upon existing processes is critical to adapting to the ever-changing demands of the market and often facilitates substantial opportunities for growth.  Businesses, or industries, that are resistant to change can quickly find themselves obsolete and struggling to maintain market share.

To create an environment that encourages creative thinking and new ideas companies, can take steps to foster innovation in the workplace and create long-term success for their business.  There are many types of innovation frameworks that businesses use to guide their efforts.

This project seeks to commission a survey to identify how actuaries across the insurance industry are fostering innovation, and understand their biggest successes and obstacles.  What does the innovation framework entail: is it expected to happen organically or are experts consulted, is it a centralized function or an expectation of all actuaries within the organization?  Does the framework vary by line of business or job function (i.e. valuation vs. product development)?  Is there a skillset that lends itself well to innovative thinking?

The survey should include select interviews with participants and be distributed to various professionals, including company and consulting actuaries, executives, mid-level associates and others.

Research Objective

The Actuarial Innovation & Technology Program Steering Committee (AITPSC) is seeking researchers to produce a report high-lighting how actuaries across the insurance industry are fostering innovation. Research should include: what considerations are taken into account when pursuing innovation, what are their biggest successes, including how they evaluate these successes, and what are their biggest obstacles.  This report should highlight specific examples of innovation and its implementation or its failure, across all levels of the organization, as well as highlight the top skillsets for actuaries in relation to innovation.

Proposal

To facilitate the evaluation of proposals, the following information should be submitted:

  1. Resumes of the researcher(s), including any graduate student(s) expected to participate, indicating how their background, education and experience bear on their qualifications to undertake the research. If more than one researcher is involved, a single individual should be designated as the lead researcher and primary contact. The person submitting the proposal must be authorized to speak on behalf of all the researchers as well as for the firm or institution on whose behalf the proposal is submitted.
  2. An outline of the approach to be used (e.g. literature search, model, survey, interviews etc.), emphasizing issues that require special consideration. Details should be given regarding the techniques to be used, collateral material to be consulted, reusability and possible limitations of the analysis.
  3. A description of the expected deliverables and any supporting data, tools or other resources. Consideration should be given to the preference for externalized data that can be included in the AITPSC’s data repository.
  4. Cost estimates for the research, including computer time, salaries, report preparation, material costs, etc. Such estimates can be in the form of hourly rates, but in such cases, time estimates should also be included. Any guarantees as to total cost should be given and will be considered in the evaluation of the proposal. While cost will be a factor in the evaluation of the proposal, it will not necessarily be the decisive factor.
  5. A schedule for completion of the research, identifying key dates or time frames for research completion and report submissions. The AITPSC is interested in completing this project in a timely manner.  Suggestions in the proposal for ensuring timely delivery, such as fee adjustments, are encouraged.
  6. Other related factors that give evidence of a proposer's capabilities to perform in a superior fashion should be detailed.

Selection Process

The PSC will oversee the selection of projects. The PSC will review each proposal and is responsible for recommending proposals to be funded.  Input from other knowledgeable individuals also may be sought, but the PSC will make all final decisions, subject to SOA leadership approval. SOA will provide staff actuarial support to develop and publish the final material.

Questions

Any questions regarding this RFP should be directed to David Schraub, SOA Senior Practice Research Actuary (phone: 847-706-3560; email: dschraub@soa.org)

Notification of Intent To Submit Proposal

If you intend to submit a proposal, please e-mail written notification by June 1, 2021 to Korrel Crawford (kcrawford@soa.org).

Submission of Proposal

Final proposals for the project should be sent via e-mail by June 15, 2021 to Korrel Crawford at kcrawford@soa.org

Note: Proposals are considered confidential and proprietary.

Conditions

The selection of a proposal is conditioned upon and not considered final until a Letter of Agreement is executed by both the Society of Actuaries and the researcher.

The SOA and AITPSC reserve the right to not award a contract for this research. Reasons for not awarding a contract could include, but are not limited to, a lack of acceptable proposals or a finding that insufficient funds are available. The SOA and AITPSC also reserve the right to redirect the project as is deemed advisable.

The SOA and AITPSC plan to hold the copyright to the research and to publish the results with appropriate credit given to the researcher(s).

The SOA and AITPSC may choose to seek public exposure or media attention for the research. By submitting a proposal, you agree to cooperate with the SOA and AITPSC in publicizing or promoting the research and responding to media requests.

The SOA and AITPSC may also choose to market and promote the research to members, candidates and other interested parties. You agree to perform promotional communication requested by the SOA and AITPSC, which may include, but is not limited to, leading a webcast on the research, presenting the research at an SOA meeting, and/or writing an article on the research for an SOA newsletter.