PNC Financial (PNC) is teaming with one of the nation's top business schools to foster innovation in the financial industry.

The $305 billion-asset company said Tuesday it will fund a center for financial services innovation at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.

The center will focus on research related to retail banking with an emphasis on how banks can capitalize on technology to serve customers. Areas of academic focus will include the integration of data and technology to advance the services of banks and to help consumers manage money.

PNC is expected to invest $5.5 million over the coming five years in the venture, which will be directed by Sunder Kekre, a professor of operations management at the Tepper School.

"Advances in technology and their potential application in financial services underscore the importance of research and education in these areas," James Rohr, PNC's chief executive, said in a press release. "Carnegie Mellon is regarded as a global leader in business and technology, and our company has enjoyed a long and productive relationship with its students, alumni, faculty and administrators."

Robert Dammon, the Tepper School's dean, added in the release that the center would "benefit from incorporating faculty and resources from across our campus, combining strengths in business and computer science with other disciplines, such as public policy, consumer behavior and engineering."