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Welcome to UCB in the United States
Mar 19
Becky Malone, Communications & Engagement Specialist
Hackathon Brings Together Diverse Talents for Digital Innovation

As part of our ongoing digital business transformation, we are evolving our clinical development operating model from a sequence of activities into an integrated digital technology and data-enabled process. Each aspect from clinical study design, feasibility assessment, clinical site identification, patient recruitment, data collection, data analyses and reporting are included and open to future innovations. Several pieces are already undergoing major renovations through our End-to-End (E2E) Clinical Study Automation program; that aims to ensure quicker delivery of each study while simultaneously reducing costs and enhancing consistency and quality. This is being realized through an internally developed IT platform that will be used right from the clinical study design stage. “If we look at the future of our responsibilities and scope of our roles, digitalization is an enabler for us to collect and access data and information quickly,” stated Iris Loew-Friedrich, Head of Development Solutions, “we need to ask important questions and get the answers rapidly, so that we elevate and accelerate our contributions.” 

Empowered to bring this vision to reality and inspired by the momentum for more inclusive innovation, in February we called on the collective intelligence, curiosity and enthusiasm of our employees to participate in a hackathon. A sprint-like event where UCB programmers and experts from diverse backgrounds collaborated on a specific technical design challenge for the E2E Clinical Study Automation program. The hackathon focused on improving the quality and efficiency of data analysis through automation. Seventeen multi-disciplinary teams with colleagues from 16 departments across UCB participated in the month-long event. In the end, holistic, innovative approaches to solve the problem statement were submitted by 70% of the teams; far exceeding internal expectations and external benchmarks. "The diversity of thought and creativity of teams hacking this problem was truly impressive!” said Nate Bennett, Head of SSI Standardization and Co-Lead of the E2E Clinical Study Automation program “The quality of teams’ submissions is a testament to the innovative people we have working all across UCB."

Advancing our digital business transformation in a more end-to-end manner and utilizing our diverse talents in creative ways is a win-win for all: for functional transformations through synergies and knowledge sharing, for all employees through development and connectivity, for UCB’s sustainability and ultimately for the patients we serve together. “I am overwhelmed with excitement and pride in seeing the diversity of teams, thoughts, and submissions for the hackathon.” observed Stayce Murray, E2E program Co-Lead and Head of IT Digital Clinical Development, “It is truly a testament to UCB's transversal mindset, patient value focus, and our helpfulness and generosity culture.”